End of The Machine?
One of the Greatest Hitters of All Time
Growing up a baseball player and a baseball fan you couldn’t help but love Albert Pujols. Every kid wanted to be him, every player wanted to hit like him. You know, the old drive way baseball game you played with your friends – someone always was Albert Pujols calling their shot! Homerun Derby contest – someone always took to his batting stance and started launch balls over everyone’s head.
He joined the St. Louis Cardinals organization after being drafted 402nd overall (13th round) in the 1999 MLB draft. Talk about hitting the f’n jackpot. He played 3rd base his entire season of rookie ball in 2000. Starting off with Single-A Peoria Chiefs and ending up with Triple-A affiliate Memphis Redbirds, where he lead them to their first Pacific Coast League championship and named postseason MVP.
Albert ‘The Machine’ Pujols makes the 2001 Opening Day roster for St. Louis and doesn’t look back. He goes on to win Rookie of the Year, Silver Slugger Award, 4th in MVP voting and named to the Allstar team. The era of Pujols dominance officially began. He would go on to play in 11 season for the Cardinals and stock pile tons of hardware to go along with it. In 2012 the Los Angeles Angles signed Albert to a 10 year $240 million dollar contract. One of the largest contracts for any player at that time. Some wondered why would an organization pay a 32 year old that much money for that long. He had the resume to back it up and also many statistical milestones ahead that the team could leverage for ticket sales, memorabilia, merchandise etc…
When the news broke that the Angels have designated Pujols for assignment (released him), I was shocked. In the final year of his 10 year contract the Angels decided to part ways with the walking legend. Los Angeles is in last place of the American League West with a -32 run differential. Things are not looking on the up and up for them. They needed a change. Out with the ‘OLD’ in with the new.
What does Albert do from here? Does another team sign him? Does he retire? I’m sure he will make his decision soon. Until then… Let’s remember all the great memories Albert has brought us.