The rejuvenation of Albert Pujols’ career with the Dodgers is one of those feel-good stories of this season. Welcome back, Albert.
MLB will welcome Albert Pujols into the Baseball Hall Of Fame whenever and as soon as he decides it’s time to retire.
It’ll be a festive affair with equal smatterings of Cardinal and Angel’s fans attending. But who would have thought there wasn’t another stop along the way with the Dodgers that would highlight a player who still has a feel for the dramatic and still making the best of descending baseball skills good enough to help his team win?
A few weeks ago, The Angels designated future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols for assignment on Thursday, leaving the 41-year-old’s playing future in limbo.
It was the right baseball move for the Angels to make for a team going nowhere in the AL West. Still, nevertheless, the dismissal of Pujols, with no fanfare, left a sour taste in fans across America – as in is the way a future Hall Of Famer deserves to be treated?
Albert Pujols: A Man With No Home?
But we’re all grown up now, and we recognize baseball as a business in disguise as a form of entertainment.
So the talk went how nice it would be if the St. Louis Cardinals, the team where Pujols spent most of his productive years, were to step in to bring him on a board to their first-place team in the NL Central, where Pujols would be most comfortable, and to the delight of fans?
Alas, as we know, it was the Los Angeles Dodgers, a team racked with All-Stars, who stepped in to sign Pujols.
Praise coming from the likes of Clayton Kershaw, who greeted Pujols with this tantalizing statement about Pujols: “It’s been awesome. I think you take for granted the experience factor. Just seeing a guy like Albert Pujols in your clubhouse, it’s a great feeling.”
As if the Dodgers didn’t need another weapon in their arsenal.
Albert Pujols Is All About October For The Dodgers
But make no mistake, this move by the Dodgers is not built in May; it’s all about October when the real and second season in baseball begins.
Because besides what Kershaw alluded to as Pujols being a presence in the clubhouse as a sure-fire Hall Of Famer, picture in your mind Pujols coming into a game with runners in scoring position, to stroke a bleeder into the right field or a screaming double in the gap – and there you have what this is all about.
Since coming to the Dodgers on May 17, the numbers are anything but flashy for Pujols, tracking at .210. But it’s those five clutch-hit RBI that set the stage of what will be in October, with plate appearances that will drive pitchers nuts who are already facing a lethal Dodger’s lineup, even without Pujols.
Living in upstate New York and following the Mets and Yankees, like many baseball fans, I was never privy to watching Albert Pujols day-to-day as he was grinding out those 3,258 base hits or leading the majors in runs scored from 2003-2005, or compiling 668 home runs.
So it was fitting when Albert Pujols returned to St. Louis as an Angel in 2019 that those true fans of baseball would rise to their feet as an acknowledgment of a job well done – saying thank you…
For Albert Pujols, The End May Or May Not Be Near
With the bargaining agreement between owners and players set to expire at the end of this season, the Universal DH will surely be one of the talking points, with players like Pujols rooting for a chance to extend his career.
At 41, you never can tell, but if you placed a bet on anyone, a hitting machine such as Albert Pujols would seem to be a safe bet.
Compilers like Pujols, who rack up the numbers based on longevity while first putting on a major league uniform in 2001 (two decades ago) as a 22-year-old, have made their mark in the Baseball Hall Of Fame.
But the odd thing about Pujols is he’s already established these numbers, and this is gravy, not only for him but us as well as fans of baseball across America, and especially those in LA (video).