Reckless: Vital Sound 1: Featuring a battle of sorts between Los Angeles & Miami.
On the other hand, this may be the day that saved the Cardinals, the one on which they avoided the sort of albatross – or, as it shall be called, the Albertross – that can hamper a franchise for years. Sort of like A-Rod’s current deal, which he signed at age 32. Before Rodriguez signed this contract, he averaged 154 games per season and hit .306/.389/.578. His numbers have dipped significantly since, and he has played an average of 30 fewer games over the first four years. The deal is a disaster.
Pujols will arrive in Los Angeles beset with bumps and bruises – a bad back, foot problems, a chronically injured elbow. No matter his otherworldly healing ability and pain tolerance, Pujols is a health risk on any sort of multiyear deal, let alone 10. If he can continue to average 155 games a year, as he did in his first 11 seasons, the contract won’t look nearly as bad.
The only person to play that many games from his age-32 to -41 seasons is Pete Rose. And the only player with 1,500 games at that age over a decade is … Pete Rose. Knock it down to 1,400 games and the list grows to nine. Ever. And just 22 in history have played at least 1,300 games from their 32nd birthday to their 41st.
...Or he could turn into another player who wore an Angels uniform through his 33rd birthday, slogged through 150 games a year while fighting lower-body injuries and survives today as a desiccated version of himself: Vladimir Guerrero. Him or A-Rod or Ken Griffey Jr. – there are dozens more examples, each more harrowing than the previous, each speaking to human fragility and owners’ insistence on ignoring it through long-term deals.
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