Pedro Martinez, David Ortiz upset at the 'shameful' way Angels handled Albert Pujols situation

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Yahoo Sports 07 May, 2021 - 05:50pm 23 views

What happened to Pujols?

Albert Pujols' time with the Los Angeles Angels has come to an end. The club designated Pujols for assignment Thursday afternoon, the team announced. He is in the final season of his 10-year, $240 million contract. CBS sports.comAngels release Albert Pujols in final season of 10-year contract

Did Albert Pujols retire?

In the end, Albert Pujols's Angels career ended not with a retirement tour or a standing ovation, but with a DFA. The Angels released the future Hall of Famer on Thursday, bringing an unceremonious end to Pujols's tenure with the team fewer than five months before the expiration of his 10-year contract. Sports IllustratedPredicting the Five Best Landing Spots for Albert Pujols

Why did the Angels let Pujols go?

At a virtual news conference in Anaheim on Thursday, club officials said they made the move because Jared Walsh had taken over at first base and Shohei Ohtani at designated hitter, leaving no place for Pujols. The New York TimesAlbert Pujols Is Designated for Assignment by Angels

Albert Pujols designated for assignment by Angels

FOX 2 St. Louis 07 May, 2021 - 08:00pm

Tipsheet: Pujols' competitive drive takes him over Anaheim cliff

STLtoday.com 07 May, 2021 - 08:00pm

Los Angeles Angels first baseman Albert Pujols (5) and St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina (4) joke around during a pitching change in the ninth inning of a game on Sunday, June 23, 2019 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. Photo by Colter Peterson

Let’s face it, Albert Pujols is washed up. The Machine finally broke down.

His hitting has been regressing for years and he has long been a liability in the field. This time comes for all athletes, even the greatest of the great like Albert.

And rather than gracefully finish out his career as a role player, Pujols insists he can play every day.

His greatest strength – fierce pride fueling his superhuman competitive drive – has become his greatest weakness as well.

Remember how he would run into outs by 30 feet again and again and again trying to take an extra base as a Cardinal? His heart overtook his mind in those moments . . . and that’s where we are today on a macro scale.

The revamped front office of the Anaheim Angels doesn’t want to stick manager Joe Maddon with that conflict, so it sent Pujols packing. His departure was cold and unceremonious.

Pujols didn't want to linger without a regular role. The Angels said “OK, you’re out.”

Angels management has been mulling the decision for weeks. The new regime held no special allegiance to Albert.

The Cardinals stuck Tony La Russa with the Ozzie Smith Dilemma and folks may remember how poorly that went. This scenario was worse, because Albert doesn’t have nearly as much left as The Wizard did at the time of his relegation to part-time play.

(Speaking of La Russa and the whole past-your-prime issue, about Tony admitting that he did not know the extra-inning rules? The White Sox skipper didn’t realize that he didn’t have to make his pitcher serve as the tiebreaker runner at second base. If the pitcher’s slot in the order made the last out of the previous inning, that job goes to the player in the preceding slot. A reporter informed him of the rule during a postgame video call. Oops!)

What a painful end to Albert’s time in Anaheim. What a vivid reminder of how badly Albert’s career would have wound down in the STL with no designated hitter (except in one brief pandemic season) to protect his worn-out wheels.

As has been stated many times before, the Cardinals are lucky Pujols left as a free agent to sign his back-loaded contract with the perennial also-ran Angels.

Fans here can fondly remember Albert as the greater hitter they will ever see. They can remember Albert giving pitcher after pitcher after pitcher the Brad Lidge Treatment with merciless efficiency.

They did not have to endure his heart-wrenching decline during the past few years.

Managers Mike Matheny and Mike Shildt did not have to deal with Pujols stubbornly battling against his deterioration. They did not have to deal with his quest for historic milestones clashing with the team’s need to win.

The headlines in Southern California said it all.

“Albert Pujols’ time with the Angels had moments, but few memories” trumpeted the Orange County Register.

“Albert Pujols was not the star the Angels wanted him to be” opined the Los Angeles Times.

Some Cardinals fans would endorse dumping Matt Carpenter and putting Pujols into that bench role for Old Time’s Sake. Yadier Molina would enjoy reuniting with his old cohort.

But like BenFred wrote, that just wouldn’t work for anybody.

Like the Angels, the Cardinals must get on with the business of baseball. Nostalgia has its place in the Cardinals Hall of Fame, but not on the field.

Here is what folks are writing about Albert’s exit:

Alden Gonzalez, ESPN.com: “His first decade with the Cardinals -- consisting of a .331/.426/.624 slash line, 408 home runs and 1,230 RBIs -- stands as arguably the greatest 10-year run in baseball history. In Year 11, he finished fifth in NL MVP voting and won his second World Series ring. But his prime didn't really make it to Anaheim. Pujols began his Angels career with a mystifying drought of 27 games without a home run. He recovered to post a highly productive season in 2012, then had his 2013 season cut short by plantar fasciitis and wasn't necessarily the same thereafter. Pujols averaged 30 home runs and 105 RBIs from 2014 to 2017, but his slash line dropped to .257/.310/.448. From 2018 to 2021, he batted .239/.290/.414 and was worth a total of negative-0.1 Baseball-Reference wins above replacement. Twenty-four games into the 2021 season, he was batting .198.”

Bob Nightengale, USA Today: “Angels owner Arte Moreno, who’s on the hook for the remainder of Pujols’ $30 million contract this year, signed off on it, giving the front office their wish by making Jared Walsh their full-time first baseman with Shohei Ohtani as the everyday DH. And Pujols gets his wish of becoming a free agent again, with hopes of latching on with another team where he needs 33 more homers to become the fourth player in baseball history to hit 700 career homers . . . Pujols had no desire to collect his paycheck and be a glorified pinch-hitter. When he wasn’t in the starting lineup against the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday night, particularly with Ryan Yarbrough scheduled to pitch, Pujols wanted answers. He had six hits in nine at-bats off the left-hander with two homers and two doubles. Maddon, who earlier told Pujols that he would be in the starting lineup, informed him the situation changed. A few hours later, Pujols was no longer an Angel, ending his tenure four months before his 10-year, $240 million contract expired. Pujols told two people with direct knowledge of the move that although he didn’t formally request a release, he didn’t want to hang around if he wasn’t going to be a regular.” 

Mike Axisa, CBSSports.com: “It would be a damn shame if this is how it ends for Pujols. Teams have been steering clear of one-dimensional first base/DH types the last few years, and 41-year-olds who are five years removed from their last good season don't generate much attention. Pujols has Hall of Fame pedigree and that may land him a job, but there's a good chance this is the end for an all-time great.”

"He wants to play every day at first base. His passion is driving there. He really believes it. And I'm happy that he has that strong belief on what he does."

Angels president John Carpino, on hitting the DFA button to send Pujols away.

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The Milwaukee Brewers have suffered one personnel setback after another this season, yet they remain atop the National League Central.

Los Angeles Angels first baseman Albert Pujols (5) and St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina (4) joke around during a pitching change in the ninth inning of a game on Sunday, June 23, 2019 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. Photo by Colter Peterson

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White Sox Manager Tony La Russa Says Albert Pujols “Not a Fit”

NBC Chicago 07 May, 2021 - 06:33pm

When the Los Angeles Angels announced they had designated the future first-ballot Hall of Famer, Albert Pujols, for assignment Wednesday, no one seriously thought he would end up on the South Side. And any theories to suggest the contrary were put to rest on Friday by White Sox manager Tony La Russa, himself.

Albert Pujols

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