Where is the Love for Pujols?

Where’s the Love for Pujols?

Baseball MLB

St. Louis Cardinals first basemen, Albert Pujols, is currently playing in what will be his final year in Major League Baseball. Pujols, 42, is also closing in on one of the most prestigious milestones in all of sports, the 700 home run club.

Usually, when a player of his caliber is retiring, there is more fanfare from teams. So far, there has been almost none. It has seemed too quiet for my liking. Where’s the love for Pujols?

Pujols’ Legendary Career – 2001 to 2021

Pujols’ career began way back in 2001 with the St. Louis Cardinals. Immediately, he captured the attention of the league in a commanding way, winning NL rookie of the year and finishing 4th in NL MVP voting. From 2001 to 2011, Pujols went on to win 6 Silver Sluggers, 3 MVPs, and 2 World Series Championships with the Cardinals. He was arguably the best player in the league during that time.

Albert Pujols with the St. Louis Cardinals
Albert Pujols with the Cardinals

In the winter of 2011, Pujols signed a 10-year, $254 million contract with the Los Angeles Angels. Pujols was not the only big-name acquisition the Angels had in the offseason, as they also signed former MVP, Josh Hamilton. The Angels seemed primed to make deep runs into the postseason for the foreseeable future. Well, shit happens. They only managed to make it to the postseason once, in 2014.

Pujols’ time with the Angels was difficult to watch from a baseball fan point of view. Father time began to catch up with him and he was unable to remain in the lineup and contribute. On top of that, he is also the SLOWEST runner in all of baseball.

He missed 99 games in 2013 and wound up missing parts of the 2018 and 2019 seasons. During the 2021 MLB season, Pujols was traded to the actual Los Angeles baseball club, the Dodgers.

Pujols goes home to St. Louis

Prior to the 2022 season, Pujols inked a 1-year, $2.5 million deal to return and finish his career with the Cardinals. At the time, he needed 21 home runs to join the 700 home run club. A tall task for someone that would only play about 100 games if he can remain healthy.

Albert Pujols hits HR 697

Well, here we are halfway into September and he needs just 2 more home runs to join the club.

As improbable as it seemed at the start of the year, we are looking at reality in the bum cheeks.

Pujols needs to be celebrated, 700 home runs or not

The fact that I’m not seeing retirement gifts from every club Pujols plays is rather disgusting. He is one of the most loved and respected players in the game. Opposing fans say as much too.

It’s not just opposing clubs that are stiffing him, it’s also the media. We are witnessing one of the potentially greatest ends to a career given the importance of the 700 home runs. This has shades of Summer of 1998 greatness all over it! Coverage needs to be there for every goddamn plate appearance and not just tweets each time he hits one.

Maybe teams just don’t see the fun in celebrating milestones or big events anymore, such as Rocco Baldelli

I for one, want to see more coverage of the great, King Albert. He is one of the greatest to play and deserves to be treated as such.