While Albert Pujols‘ time in Anaheim is likely coming to an end, the Angels first baseman remains undecided on his future beyond 2021.
For a moment, it appeared Pujols was ready to hang up his spikes for good after this season when his wife, Deidre, posted a photo on Monday with the following caption.
Shortly after, Deidre clarified that the original post wasn’t meant to be intended towards retirement, rather the end of his historic 10-year, $240 million deal.
Maybe that was what Deidre Pujols meant to say, or maybe Albert quickly changed his mind. Regardless, the 41-year old isn’t calling it quits just yet.
Angels: Whenever he officially hangs it up for good, Albert Pujols will go down as one of the greatest players in the history of baseball.
It’s been a heck of a ride for the future Hall of Famer. During his time in St. Louis, I’d argue Pujols was the greatest hitter in the league, and his name is etched as one of the best in the history of baseball.
Unfortunately, Father Time caught up to ‘The Machine’ sooner than the Angels thought when they signed him in the 2011 offseason.
Albert Pujols Career Statistics:
- With STL (2001-2011) .328/.420/.617 455 HR 1329 RBI AS (x9) MVP (x3)
- With LAA (2012-2020) .257/.312/.488 217 HR 771 RBI AS
It’s easy to forget given his recent struggles, but there was a time when Pujols was the toughest out in the sport. Not only would he beat you with his power, but Pujols dominated opposing pitchers in the strike zone.
As a Cardinal, Pujols posted more walks than strikeouts in all but one season, his rookie year in 2001. Yet Pujols still went on to win the NL ROY following a .329./403/.610 line with 37 home runs and 130 RBI.
That was just a taste of what was in store for the remainder of his career. I could go on and list the incredible seasons Pujols had, but we’d be here all day. To sum up his greatness, I’d use a simple statistic from 2006, when Pujols hit 49 home runs while striking out 50 times. Let that sink in for a second.
These days, it’s rare to find a player who can walk more than he will strikeout, let alone hit more home runs, and Pujols came that close. It’s unheard of, and we will probably never see anyone accomplish that feat for quite some time.
That’s what Angels fans were hoping to see in Anaheim, but unfortunately, Pujols’ only All-Star campaign came in 2015 when he slashed .244/.307/.787 with 40 home runs and 95 RBI.
Some fans will never forgive or forget the lack of production from Pujols in Anaheim, but the reality is it tends to happen with players and these types of contracts. Pujols is not the first, nor will he be the last player to decline in productivity after signing a long-term deal past age-30.
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Whenever Pujols decides to retire from the game of baseball officially, I hope it comes before the season so he can receive the proper send-offs around the league. Even if he is past his prime, It’s not every day you get to watch one of the greatest of all time take the field.
Let’s enjoy it while we can.