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Thursday, May 06, 2021

Los Angeles Angels designate slugger Albert Pujols for assignment

Albert Pujols has been designated for assignment by the Los Angeles Angels, the team announced Thursday.

Pujols is slashing .198/.250/.372 in 92 plate appearances this year with five home runs and 12 RBIs. For his career, the 10-time All-Star has slashed .298/.376/.545 with 667 home runs and 2,112 RBIs.

“The Angels Organization proudly signed Albert Pujols in 2011, and are honored that he has worn an Angels jersey for nearly half of his Hall-of-Fame Career. Albert’s historical accomplishments, both on and off the field, serve as an inspiration to athletes everywhere, and his actions define what it means to be a true Superstar. Since his Rookie of the Year Season in 2001, Albert and his wife Deidre have generously given their time and resources to countless charities throughout the world. We are thankful to the entire Pujols Family,” Angels owner Arte Moreno said in a statement.

Pujols’ 10-year, $240 million contract with the Angels expires after this season.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 06, 2021 at 02:26 PM | 192 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: albert pujols

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   1. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: May 06, 2021 at 02:39 PM (#6017326)
It ends for everyone but I'll always remember Pujols in his heyday. He was such a great player in every phase of the game. It's not just the ridiculous bat but he was a really good defender and a terrific base runner.
   2. GregD Posted: May 06, 2021 at 02:40 PM (#6017328)
It is crazy to me that he only made 10 All-Star games
   3. Froot Loops Posted: May 06, 2021 at 02:44 PM (#6017330)
Today would be a good day for him to reveal his real age.
   4. Traderdave Posted: May 06, 2021 at 02:47 PM (#6017332)
Today would be a good day for him to reveal his real age.


Best to wait until the final LAA check clears.
   5. The Duke Posted: May 06, 2021 at 02:48 PM (#6017333)
I wonder if the Cardinals bring him back in September. Will be a lot of pressure on DeWitt to have Albert retire a Cardinal
   6. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 06, 2021 at 02:53 PM (#6017337)
I wonder if LaRussa brings him back to Chicago. They're playing Billy Hamilton right now.
   7. The Duke Posted: May 06, 2021 at 02:54 PM (#6017338)
Ha! Pujols to the White Sox at TLRs request. Perfect.
   8. gef the talking mongoose, peppery hostile Posted: May 06, 2021 at 02:56 PM (#6017339)
Mike Trout will miss his great-granddad.
   9. The Mighty Quintana Posted: May 06, 2021 at 03:03 PM (#6017342)
What a career...what other players put themselves in the HOF in their first 10 years, and then just sort of hung around for another 10 years? Griffey and Yaz come to mind, but I'm sure there are plenty of others.
   10. Howie Menckel Posted: May 06, 2021 at 03:09 PM (#6017349)
indeed

Mark Feinsand
@Feinsand
The White Sox feel like the perfect landing spot for Albert Pujols, who played for Tony La Russa from 2001-11 in St. Louis. Luis Robert's injury has opened a spot for a bat in Chicago.
2:50 PM · May 6, 2021

"players put themselves in the HOF in their first 10 years"

Frank Thomas says hi, as does Duke Snider
   11. Traderdave Posted: May 06, 2021 at 03:10 PM (#6017351)
What a career...what other players put themselves in the HOF in their first 10 years, and then just sort of hung around for another 10 years? Griffey and Yaz come to mind, but I'm sure there are plenty of others.


Banks?
   12. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 06, 2021 at 03:14 PM (#6017354)
By law, every great player must end their career in Oakland.
   13. Hombre Brotani Posted: May 06, 2021 at 03:14 PM (#6017358)
The greatest first baseman since Lou Gehrig, without exception. He didn't have the slow decline I was hoping for as an Angels fan, so that makes today kind of inevitable, but I'm still surprised it happened. The team has been really bad the last few weeks, and Pujols has been one of the reasons why. There's pressure to win this year, and they can't do it with Albert.

Vaya con dios, El Hombre.

I have to change my name.
   14. ecwcat Posted: May 06, 2021 at 03:17 PM (#6017359)
The contract was absurd and he never lived up to it. He was at the wrong side of 30. Sabermetrics 101.
Glad to hear. No more "best player of all time" crap.
   15. Lassus Posted: May 06, 2021 at 03:22 PM (#6017362)
Pujols is slashing .198/.250/.372 in 92 plate appearances this year with five home runs and 12 RBIs.

Lindor: .157/.276./.478 in 89 plate appearances this year with one home run and 3 RBI.
   16. gef the talking mongoose, peppery hostile Posted: May 06, 2021 at 03:24 PM (#6017363)
How long has it been since LaRussa managed a player older than him?

Edit: Duh. A decade, obviously.
   17. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 06, 2021 at 03:28 PM (#6017365)
Lindor: .157/.276./.478 in 89 plate appearances this year with one home run and 3 RBI.
But still too early for a Bobby Bonilla type buyout, right?
   18. Tom Nawrocki Posted: May 06, 2021 at 03:29 PM (#6017366)
The team has been really bad the last few weeks, and Pujols has been one of the reasons why. There's pressure to win this year, and they can't do it with Albert.


I am reminded of the 1993 White Sox, trying to get back to the playoffs for the first time in ten years, who released the 45-year-old Carlton Fisk that June. In a way, it was unfortunate that Fisk wasn't around for the good times after having been a mainstay with the team for so long, but at the same time, if they'd kept him around, they might not have been in the postseason at all.
   19. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: May 06, 2021 at 03:30 PM (#6017367)
Does this release him from the personal services contract too, or is that separate? (Either way, it might be awkward to show up to sign autographs and do a press conference next spring for the team that released you the previous May.)
   20. michaelplank has knowledgeable eyes Posted: May 06, 2021 at 03:32 PM (#6017368)
Nice, polished statement by the Angels, but...

honored that he has worn an Angels jersey for nearly half of his Hall-of-Fame Career


...ooof:

STL .328/.420/.617/1.037, 170 OPS+
LAA .256/.311/.447/.758, 108 OPS+
   21. Rally Posted: May 06, 2021 at 03:36 PM (#6017369)
It's not just the ridiculous bat but he was a really good defender and a terrific base runner.


Ever since Statcast gave us player sprint speed, Albert has been the slowest ballplayer on earth. He's slower than all the catchers.

Despite this, Albert has attempted 12 steals since 2016, and has been safe all 12 times. That certainly speaks to him knowing how to run the bases.
   22. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: May 06, 2021 at 03:46 PM (#6017370)
LAA .256/.311/.447/.758, 108 OPS+


That's actually better than I'd have expected. He was actually pretty good the first half of the deal; .266/.325/.474/123OPS+ 2012-2016.
   23. villageidiom Posted: May 06, 2021 at 03:47 PM (#6017371)
I have to change my name.
"Los Angeles HOW WILL THEY LOSE TODAY of Anaheim" is probably too long. "Los Angeles DFA of Anaheim" would work.
   24. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: May 06, 2021 at 03:50 PM (#6017373)
Despite this, Albert has attempted 12 steals since 2016, and has been safe all 12 times. That certainly speaks to him knowing how to run the bases.


That failed tag up on the fly ball to left field in a close game the other night might have been the last straw.

Pujols was a phenomenal player, and I'll never forget some of the plays he made that I saw live - the homerun off of Lidge foremost among them. But one random one from some playoff series (I'll never forget the play, but the details have not stuck with me) - there was a weak groundball hit to left side with a runner on second. The runner broke for third when the throw came across, and Pujols left first base early to step into the catch and be able to throw with more velocity to just barely nab the runner at third. The awareness, both of the situation itself and what he would need to do physically to make the play, was incredible.

The sad thing as an Angel fan is that most of my indelible memories of Pujols originate from his days as a Cardinal. He had a few nice Angel moments, but none that I cherish as a treasured baseball memory.
   25. JL72 Posted: May 06, 2021 at 03:52 PM (#6017375)
Not surprised, but then made me wonder about Miguel Cabrera, who is currently "hitting" .098/.179/.213/13 OPS+ in 67 PA.

The only difference is Detroit is still on the hook for 2022 and 2023 at $32 million per year. With the team record at 9-22, I assume they figure there is no harm in seeing if he can rebound someway, somehow. What a truly horrendous contract.
   26. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: May 06, 2021 at 03:55 PM (#6017376)
That homer off Lidge, holy hell what a moment. I'd wager there has never been a sports moment where the crowd noise went from THAT loud to THAT quiet in a second. One thing about it is that for such a dramatic home run it was an absolute bomb. Those great homers; Fisk, Maz, Carter, etc...for the most part aren't 500 foot bombs. That one was just destroyed though.
   27. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: May 06, 2021 at 04:01 PM (#6017379)
That homer off Lidge, holy hell what a moment. I'd wager there has never been a sports moment where the crowd noise went from THAT loud to THAT quiet in a second. One thing about it is that for such a dramatic home run it was an absolute bomb. Those great homers; Fisk, Maz, Carter, etc...for the most part aren't 500 foot bombs. That one was just destroyed though.


I showed my son that homer the other day just as proof of what Pujols used to be. I told him if he looked closely, he could see the exact moment when Lidge's soul left his body.

The crazy thing, though, is that as devastating as that homerun was for Lidge and the Astros and Astros fans, the Astros came back to win the next game AND Lidge came back to post some pretty good seasons after that.
   28. The Duke Posted: May 06, 2021 at 04:05 PM (#6017380)
His best Angel memory is coming back to STL for that wonderful weekend
   29. Lassus Posted: May 06, 2021 at 04:11 PM (#6017384)
I mean, he was just a privilege to watch.
   30. Bull Pain Posted: May 06, 2021 at 04:12 PM (#6017386)
The White Sox have the reigning MVP (Abreu) at 1B, the 3rd pick of the 2019 draft (Vaughn) who had been a 1B his whole career playing LF to cover for Jimenez's injury and a guy making the minimum (Mercedes) that doesn't seem capable of playing a position slashing 386/426/614 as a DH. They have to play Billy Hamilton because their top 4 outfielders coming into the season are all injured. Unless Albert can magically play RF, there is not be a team in the AL that could use him less. If they bring in Pujols, there will be a full scale revolt from the fanbase that already hates LaRussa.
   31. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: May 06, 2021 at 04:45 PM (#6017394)
Yeah, but look at it this way: if he plays for CHW, maybe LaRussa will pull some strings and get him into the hall of fame.
   32. Hombre Brotani Posted: May 06, 2021 at 04:47 PM (#6017395)
The sad thing as an Angel fan is that most of my indelible memories of Pujols originate from his days as a Cardinal. He had a few nice Angel moments, but none that I cherish as a treasured baseball memory.
Almost all of those moments were with St. Louis. A big reason for that was because these Angels not been in big, historic September/October moments for him to have those moments... but Albert's rapid decline has been one of the reasons they haven't been. I've got all the admiration in the world for Pujols as a player and a human, but I don't have any of the reverent affection for him that Cardinals fans have.
   33. JRVJ Posted: May 06, 2021 at 05:00 PM (#6017400)
In some ways, it's a pity that the Angels didn't DFA Albert a couple of years ago, so that his long decline would have ended earlier.

Still, he is clearly one of the all-time greats and it's sad that this is how it ends for him (at least in Anaheim).

Having said the former, I'm sure the Pujol family is grateful for all the checks they got from the Angels (not so much the memories, but definitely the checks).
   34. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: May 06, 2021 at 05:08 PM (#6017404)
Albert has attempted 12 steals since 2016, and has been safe all 12 times. That certainly speaks to him knowing how to run the bases.


From age 34 on, Barry Bonds was 69-for-80 in steals. From age 38 on, he was 21-for-22.
   35. The Duke Posted: May 06, 2021 at 05:11 PM (#6017405)
La Russa was the one guy who wanted to sign Bonds after the league blackballed him so I’m absolutely sure he will want to sign Pujols. I’m guessing even Reinsdorf will object. Signing bonds would have been a great idea. Signing Pujols, not so much
   36. Shredder Posted: May 06, 2021 at 05:14 PM (#6017407)
STL .328/.420/.617/1.037, 170 OPS+
LAA .256/.311/.447/.758, 108 OPS+

It's actually a bit hard to believe he was above 100 with the Angels. What's crazy to me is the dip in ISO OBP, which started his last year in St. Louis. His selectivity is one of the things that made him great in St. Louis, and he was just terrible at recognizing balls and strikes as an Angel. And anecdotally, it doesn't seem to be a function of diminished bat skills leading to pitchers throwing him more strikes. He chased a lot of absolute crap as an Angel. Just terrible plate discipline. I honestly can't think of an explanation beyond "I'm making a lot of money and people want to see me hit the ball".
   37. Shredder Posted: May 06, 2021 at 05:15 PM (#6017408)
Albert has attempted 12 steals since 2016, and has been safe all 12 times. That certainly speaks to him knowing how to run the bases.

It speaks to him being able to tell when the pitcher is paying absolutely no attention to him, or being on the back end of a double steal.
   38. A triple short of the cycle Posted: May 06, 2021 at 05:30 PM (#6017412)
I was hanging out at my local dive bar circa 2006 or 2007, Giants-Cardinals game is on the TV showing Pujols career BA splits. There were I think four categories like vsLHP/vsRHP, home/away, day/night, and something else(?), so eight batting averages total. Anyway, Almost all of the numbers were 0.331, and the ones that weren't were only a couple of ticks away. Crazy!

I'll take 4.5 years in the how-much-older-is-he-really pool.
   39. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: May 06, 2021 at 05:38 PM (#6017416)
How long has it been since LaRussa managed a player older than him?


Over 40 years, I believe. In 1980, a 35-year-old La Russa managed a 54-year-old Minnie Minoso.
   40. BillWallace Posted: May 06, 2021 at 05:42 PM (#6017418)
That failed tag up on the fly ball to left field in a close game the other night might have been the last straw


In some ways it's quintessential Pujols, because it was a pretty damn smart play. Very few players would tag there, but yet anyone faster than a Molina would have made it. Truly the mind is willing but the body is a statue.
   41. Snowboy Posted: May 06, 2021 at 05:52 PM (#6017419)
What a career...what other players put themselves in the HOF in their first 10 years, and then just sort of hung around for another 10 years? Griffey and Yaz come to mind, but I'm sure there are plenty of others.


I don't think Yaz belongs in that conversation. He was above average all the way to 40, and always played 140+ games a year.

Released in May does remind me of Griffey, and Mike Schmidt. We could all see the end coming, and hope it's a gentle ride into the October sunset, but sometimes it turns out to be a cliff. A harder end than anyone wants. Pujols was a hell of a player.
   42. Walt Davis Posted: May 06, 2021 at 06:07 PM (#6017420)
I thought they'd have Albert Pujols Day before this happened. Maybe that means he wants to catch on with another team. I don't think it's going to happen.

OPS+ for age 33 on:

AP 116 126 118 113 080 091 090 077 074
MC 155 093 128 097 103 013
JV 167 126 094 105 089
SS 160 133 114 078 DNP 101
MM 170 216 177 203 105
TH 133 099 128 087 117 089 089

Obviously Pujols is the one who's actually several years older. (Cabrera, Votto, Sosa, Mac, Helton) Thome and Thomas aged very well (and obviously Ortiz, Cruz, Edgar but their 20s weren't historic or that promising ... we could say the same about Sosa). The only thing "unusual" about Albert vs his "peers" is that his age 33 season wasn't up to snuff.

Griffey and Yaz come to mind

Griffey sure (injuries) but Yaz? From age 33-43, he put up a 118 OPS+ including a 106 at age 43. That was good for 27 WAR, 6 WAA, he had his last 5 WAR season at age 37. TZ even gives him +10 in the field at age 39, a season in which for some reason he got 2 starts in CF. And he's about 3 months from his 82nd birthday, may we all age as well as Yaz.

Frank Thomas says hi

Followed by "now, about this slander against me ..." From ages 33-40 Thomas put up a 130 OPS+. That wasn't the Thomas of old nor on its own would it put you in the HoF but what more do you want? There's a lot of missed time in there due to injury but there was also a 125 OPS+ in 624 PA at age 39. They can't all be Aaron and Mays.

There's nothing unusual about the second half paling in comparison to the first half of course; nothing particularly unusual about the second half not even being close. It's the pattern of most HoFers. What distinguishes Pujols, Cabrera, Griffey, Banks, etc. is that they were still ridiculously obvious 1st ballot HoFers despite not doing a lot over the second half. (That probably wasn't true of Thome.) Compare that to somebody like Snider who had to struggle over the line.

   43. bookbook Posted: May 06, 2021 at 06:13 PM (#6017421)
Mike Schmidt had a 140 OPS+ as a 37 year old (and 112 at age 38, before retiring in the middle of the next year). I’m not sure I see the parallel.
   44. Walt Davis Posted: May 06, 2021 at 06:16 PM (#6017422)
It's actually a bit hard to believe he was above 100 with the Angels. What's crazy to me is the dip in ISO OBP, which started his last year in St. Louis. His selectivity is one of the things that made him great in St. Louis, and he was just terrible at recognizing balls and strikes as an Angel.

I can't really apply the eyeball test, especially to Pujols as an Angel, but I'm not sure this is quite accurate. From 21-24, Pujols walked at about a league average rate. He then moved up to an isoOBP of 100 which is good but not the numbers of a Votto much less a Bonds. And that bump coincided with the jump in his ISO (SLG) and is as likely to be pitchers pitching around him more than they did in his early years. In fact I'd be surprised if the jump wasn't entirely IBB (he peaked at 44).

My pet theory was that he just couldn't adjust to not being Pujols anymore. Contrast with Thomas -- it may have taken him a while but he came around to the idea that he was now a 260 hitter not a 320 hitter and he let the walks and HRs do the work for him. So yes, at exactly the time Albert should have tried to be more selective to compensate for a slower bat, he acted like a guy who can hit 320. But I can't rule out that he became less selective in doing so.
   45. Howie Menckel Posted: May 06, 2021 at 06:29 PM (#6017423)
Frank Thomas says hi

Followed by "now, about this slander against me ..."

the statement is retracted, and those responsible will be sacked
   46. Snowboy Posted: May 06, 2021 at 06:33 PM (#6017424)
Mike Schmidt had a 140 OPS+ as a 37 year old (and 112 at age 38, before retiring in the middle of the next year). I’m not sure I see the parallel.


Fell off a cliff. Done in May. Formerly great players. That's all I meant.
   47. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: May 06, 2021 at 06:34 PM (#6017425)
It's actually a bit hard to believe he was above 100 with the Angels. What's crazy to me is the dip in ISO OBP, which started his last year in St. Louis. His selectivity is one of the things that made him great in St. Louis, and he was just terrible at recognizing balls and strikes as an Angel. And anecdotally, it doesn't seem to be a function of diminished bat skills leading to pitchers throwing him more strikes. He chased a lot of absolute crap as an Angel. Just terrible plate discipline. I honestly can't think of an explanation beyond "I'm making a lot of money and people want to see me hit the ball".


I don't get the sense that Pujols ever liked walking. His unintentional walk rate actually didn't drop that much when he got to the Angels. He seemed like a player who always went up there wanting to hit the crap out of the ball, but occasionally had to concede to the fact that pitchers were so afraid for their own livelihoods that they threw him nothing near the strike zone. He never struck me as a guy who hit the ball hard because he had such a good sense of the zone that he would never swing at a bad pitch. He was certainly better than Vlad Sr. in that regard, but he was not Mike Trout. He hit the ball hard because he was a beast who could demolish anything near the strike zone.

In his Angels career, his bat speed was still high, but his reaction time slowed to the point where he had to start his swing early. That meant he started swinging at pitches before he recognized them as breaking balls, and ended up swinging at some really bad balls out of the zone. I don't think his attitude about hitting changed - the problem was that it didn't and he still goes up there looking to demolish anything he can reasonably reach.
   48. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: May 06, 2021 at 06:51 PM (#6017428)
I only saw Pujols play once in person, against the Mets in New York in August 2009. He was still magnificent then -- "magnificent" seems to be a word that was coined to describe Pujols specifically, in his prime, as he was then. I missed his first at-bat because I'd moved to town just a week or two before and didn't realize a train from Park Slope to Flushing would take well in excess of an hour, but I saw the next four: single, double, homer, homer.

I still remember the first homer, because it wasn't the kind you see everyday. I don't know if it still is, but back then dead center at Citi was 408 feet from home plate, and behind the wall was a giant, plastic apple that would theoretically rise into the air if the Met ever hit a home run. They didn't, but Pujols did. He absolutely unloaded on a pitch from Johan Santana, and the ball soared over that 408 sign and banged off the back half of that plastic apple. 430 feet if it was a foot. I don't know if it's the longest home run I've ever seen in person, but off the bat it sure looked like it was on the express train to New Rochelle.

I know he hit another -- a grand slam, in the 9th, to put the game definitively out of reach for a Mets team that was staggering to a second-division finish after two straight heartbreaking seasons -- but I don't really remember it. I just have the scorecard. And I remember the big West Indian dude who was sitting next to me who leaned over and said, "Watch this, man," even as Pujols was coming up to bat, as though he possessed the sad knowledge that Albert was about to dagger his team. That ball landed, and though the Mets had another at-bat, it seemed like the whole stadium, 35000 people, sighed, stood up, and filed toward the exits.

I've seen a handful of legends -- Griffey, Ichiro, Frank Thomas (who homered both times I saw him, once as a young slugger with Chicago in the Kingdome, and once as an aging bargain-basement DH with Oakland in the Rogers Centre), Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, Randy Johnson. Only Pujols and Pedro Martinez made me feel, though, like I'd been profoundly fortunate to be in the ballpark when true genius was on display. It's been a sad end to a brilliant career, but to me Albert Pujols will always be the unbeatable superstar who electrified an otherwise-ordinary game on a sticky August night in Queens.
   49. gehrig97 Posted: May 06, 2021 at 06:55 PM (#6017430)
As much as I love Gehrig, I think it's pretty clear Pujols is the best ever at his trade.

Does the Easiest Question in Baseball History Have a New Answer?
   50. cardsfanboy Posted: May 06, 2021 at 06:56 PM (#6017431)
In a near perfect world, what I would like to see is that he takes a few weeks off, the Cardinals offer him a minor league deal, with a guarantee that if there is a game played in which the final standings won't be affected, that he will get a major league start. Where he is given a legit chance in the minors to prove he can at least, with rest, play a couple of games at a good level. If not, still offer him a one day contract.

My perfect world scenario is that Albert agrees to play the minors, where he plays two days, takes two days off (as always I think players like Pujols, Rolen or Yadier need more days off than they are willing to admit) just to see if the bat can rebound enough to be worth a pinch hit appearance or two. If so bring him up on August 31st and put him on the bench and make him the first pinch hit option, and if he can perform enough, maybe hope to put him on the post season roster (post season rosters usually need fewer pitchers due to day off than everyday rosters, so there is a possibility there)

Either way, I do think that there is a good chance we'll see Albert in a Cardinal uniform this season, as he has more or less said he was retiring anyway.
   51. Ron J Posted: May 06, 2021 at 06:57 PM (#6017432)
#44 One of the interesting things about the great Pujols is that he didn't do a great job of controlling the count. Didn't need to. He was unusual in his ability to swing hard and make contact.

What you find a lot of hitters doing as the bat starts to slow is that they try little changes. They narrow the range of pitches that they attempt to drive. Or try harder to get a good hitter's count.

Pujols never did that. He showed a less than typical drop-off on pitcher's counts but still had too many.

Might be that his skill set didn't permit a change of style. He's a pretty unusual player and swinging hard and making contact is tough.
   52. Lowry Seasoning Salt Posted: May 06, 2021 at 06:58 PM (#6017433)
Every generation of fans has players who are in the "You should have seen him in his prime. Just phenomenal!" category. Pujols is one I'm grateful to have seen.
   53. cardsfanboy Posted: May 06, 2021 at 07:07 PM (#6017434)
As much as I love Gehrig, I think it's pretty clear Pujols is the best ever at his trade.


I love that article, but I don't think it makes it clear that Pujols is the best ever, I think the point is that the second easiest answer about the best position player ever, is not as cut and dry as people think. If someone put a hot iron to my eyes and ordered me to rank first baseman of all time, I will lean to Pujols for the reasons the article mentions.... but I don't think it's cut and dry. The issue about dominance pre-integration is that even with the best negro league players in an integrated league, the best will still be the best, they just might have a few challengers. How many negro league players would have actually made it onto a starting roster in the majors if it was completely color blind? Ultimately we are talking about, based upon even today numbers roughly 3-4 per team, and not all of them are starters.

The easiest answer is of course greatest third baseman of all time, Schmidt, and there really isn't even someone challenging for second place.


It would diminish the dominance of guys like Ruth and Gehrig a bit, but enough to make a difference... I'm not sure..
   54. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 06, 2021 at 07:22 PM (#6017437)
As much as I love Gehrig, I think it's pretty clear Pujols is the best ever at his trade.

Are we going to ignore the fact that Gehrig probably lost 5 seasons and another 25 WAR or so to the disease that killed him?
   55. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 06, 2021 at 07:35 PM (#6017440)
Are we going to ignore the fact that Gehrig probably lost 5 seasons and another 25 WAR or so to the disease that killed him?
Even without that credit, Gehrig leads Pujols in W.A.R. 114.1 to 99.4. Also ahead in OPS+, 179 to 145.
   56. TomH Posted: May 06, 2021 at 07:43 PM (#6017442)
Schmidt used to be the easiest answer. Because Musial > Gehrig IMHO, and Musial spent more time at 1B than LF.

But A-Rod clouds Schmidt's clear hold on #1 3Bman.

Easiest answer now might be Josh Gibson!
   57. cardsfanboy Posted: May 06, 2021 at 08:10 PM (#6017443)
Are we going to ignore the fact that Gehrig probably lost 5 seasons and another 25 WAR or so to the disease that killed him?


No, but just looking at the first 2117/2156 games of their career, you are looking at Albert Pujols with a 162 op+, while playing gold glove defense and plus base running skills, by war he's at 96.9 war compared to Gehrig's 114 after the same amount of career... whether you think that integration and expansion could make up the difference is somewhat the point of the argument. I am an Albert Pujols fan, but I do not think integration would have cost Gehrig a war per season which is what the claim is about.

Albert's first 11 years compared to Gehrigs first 12(and change) is absolutely superior, I don't think that is even a debate. But Gehrig at season 13 and 14 produced MVP quality seasons, while Albert produced starter quality seasons, and then of course the disease.... Albert with a typical age drop wins this discussion, but he didn't typical age drop, he cratered going from perenial mvp candidate to a plus starter to a replacement level player in quick succession, he put up a borderline all star season once after his first 12 seasons, where you would expect him to put up another three.
   58. cardsfanboy Posted: May 06, 2021 at 08:14 PM (#6017445)
But A-Rod clouds Schmidt's clear hold on #1 3Bman.


No he really doesn't, Schmidt's claim is as both an elite batter for the position and elite defender, and arod was never an elite defender at the position, Arod is the Banks of shortstop, (yes I know Banks was a shortstop also) what I mean is he's going to be classified as a shortstop, simply because his value else where wasn't as great, nor was it as impactful on the psyche of the fans.

Third base is underrepresented in the hall simply because it's on the mid point of the defensive spectrum, and to truly shine there, you have to do both, hit well and field well. Arod was an average fielder on his best days at short, he absolutely didn't shine at third either, so he was more or less considered a left fielder playing a position not left field, and not doing it badly.

Or more accurately, how can anyone compare a 54.0 war third baseman(Arod) to a 91 war third baseman(Schmidt) and call it a debate?

Arod has more war as a shortstop than Jeter, he goes to the shortstop pool. (well almost)
   59. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: May 06, 2021 at 08:15 PM (#6017446)
It's not just the ridiculous bat but he was a really good defender and a terrific base runner.

I once flipped on the TV in the ninth inning of a Cardinals game, and just as the screen on the crappy TV in my college apartment was stabilizing, Pujols was scoring on a groundout to break a tie. Which wouldn't have been particularly remarkable except that he was scoring from SECOND BASE on a groundout.

Needless to say, I was very confused. But this actually happened in this actual game.
   60. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: May 06, 2021 at 08:31 PM (#6017449)
Pujols is slashing .198/.250/.372

Still better than half of the stiffs the Tigers are running out there every day.

Seriously. I mean, this was their lineup yesterday:

1 Grossman - LF .212 .368 .313
2 Schoop - DH .182 .210 .253
3 Candelario - 3B .284 .346 .405
4 Cabrera - 1B .098 .179 .213
5 Goodrum - SS .217 .286 .410
6 Castro, W - 2B .196 .241 .284
7 Jones, J - CF .169 .194 .277
8 Reyes, V - RF .153 .167 .254
9 Greiner - C .219 .242 .344


Christ on a bike.
   61. SoSH U at work Posted: May 06, 2021 at 08:50 PM (#6017452)
59. A.J. Pierzynski once scored from first on an infield groundout where no errors were made.
   62. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 06, 2021 at 09:09 PM (#6017455)
I do not think integration would have cost Gehrig a war per season which is what the claim is about.
Someone should probably do a study on MLB players whose careers spanned both eras, while also controlling for age & injury, but Ted Williams & Stan Musial don’t appear to have regressed once MLB integrated. Not sure why one would assume Gehrig would be different had integration come earlier.
   63. Graham & the 15-win "ARod Vortex of suck" Posted: May 06, 2021 at 09:11 PM (#6017456)
But A-Rod clouds Schmidt's clear hold on #1 3Bman.


If this is the case, and A-Rod falls behind in the shortstop discussion, then how on Earth is Honus Wagner at short not the easiest answer? Did he just play too long ago when conditions were too different to be the clear cut #1? Otherwise, he stands head and shoulders above even Ripken and Arky Vaughan.
   64. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: May 06, 2021 at 09:27 PM (#6017457)
Arod has more war as a shortstop than Jeter, he goes to the shortstop pool. (well almost)


Actual footage of Arod in the shortstop pool.
   65. base ball chick Posted: May 06, 2021 at 09:51 PM (#6017458)
Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: May 06, 2021 at 03:55 PM (#6017376)

That homer off Lidge, holy hell what a moment. I'd wager there has never been a sports moment where the crowd noise went from THAT loud to THAT quiet in a second. One thing about it is that for such a dramatic home run it was an absolute bomb. Those great homers; Fisk, Maz, Carter, etc...for the most part aren't 500 foot bombs. That one was just destroyed though.


- i was there in the stands upper deck, watching. i knew it was gonna be bad when lidge didn't put That Dratted Pest away but i wasn't really prepared for 550' of terrorized baseball splashing down in the trinity river a couple miles away. if it ever landed. but yeah, it was so quiet not even the saint looey fans were making a sound and you could hear feet thudding on the basepaths while lidge crouched on the mound (i guess i wasn't as surprised as i might could have been seeing as how lidge had been struggling since the c*bs series at the end of sept, but - shrug - what can i say)

roy oswalt defeated Uncle the next day but it was already too late

i watched Uncle pound the heck out of my team for 18 games a year for 10 years and he was seriously an all time great to put it mildly. i'm glad i got to watch him when he was unbelieveably great. i do wish he had more applause for the outstanding baserunner and glove man he once was

i hope now that he's finished as a ballplayer that he will get his feet/ankles/knees finally really fixed because he looks like it hurts him to even walk let alone jog
   66. Walt Davis Posted: May 06, 2021 at 10:33 PM (#6017471)
Since when was ARod a LF playing SS/3B? ARod was good defensively. ARod's "claim" to "3B" is that we know that guys who can handle SS are usually even better at 3B and he proved he could play 3B in his 30s so almost certainly he'd have been even better there in his 20s.

Because Musial > Gehrig IMHO, and Musial spent more time at 1B than LF.

Musial played 1900 games, 1850 starts in the OF and only 1000 at 1B, calling him a 1B is silly. Calling him a LF is also silly -- he had more OF time in LF than in CF and RF but over 1/3 of his time in LF came from age 39 on. The great Stan Musial did not spend much time in LF, only the aged Musial made it his primary position.

Musial at various ages:

21 -- mostly LF
22 -- mostly RF
23 -- mostly RF, some CF, no LF
24 -- DNP
25 -- mostly 1B, some LF
26 -- 1B only
27 -- equal CF/RF/LF
28 -- equal RF/CF
29 -- equal LF/1B
30 -- equal LF/1B
31 -- CF with some 1B/LF
32 -- LF with some RF
33 -- RF with some LF
34 -- 1B with some RF
35 -- 1B with some RF
36 -- 1B
37 -- 1B

17 seasons, only 2 of them primarily LF and 2 more half LF. Why is that guy an LF? Why is he a 1B? Why is he a RF? It's not Musial's fault our silly obsession with assigning a player to a single position doesn't capture how he actually played the game.
   67. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: May 06, 2021 at 10:33 PM (#6017473)
Ted Williams & Stan Musial don’t appear to have regressed once MLB integrated.


It's worth remembering that MLB didn't integrate all at once. But more importantly -- both men's pre-integration career wasn't that long, largely due to the war. Musial was 26 in Robinson's first year. Williams was 28. Their early years were so great that it can be hard to know, but they both peaked just as Black players were being allowed into the league.
   68. The Duke Posted: May 06, 2021 at 10:45 PM (#6017478)
So the teams being talked about are :

Cardinals - no way that happens with no DH
Royals - matheny connection but they don’t have a need
Reds - Votto is out
White Sox - don’t need a 1B or DH
Cleveland - they have a need at 1b
Yankees - voit’s about back - don’t see that
Tampa Bay - they kinda have a need

The reds could be a good spot. Great American is a perfect park to drive up HR total but it would only last as long as Votto is out. Having said that Votto has the same issue Pujols does. He’s not very good anymore.

   69. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: May 06, 2021 at 10:49 PM (#6017479)
No DH in Cincy either. Prince Albert has been a dreadful fielder for a long time and he hasn't done it much since 2019. Two years is a long time for one's body in his 40s.

All of this is predicated, too, on his wanting to keep playing. Maybe he does -- he is, after all, a professional athlete. But if I had his pain problems and his utter lack of financial problems, a coaching gig would sound pretty damned good to me right now.
   70. Howie Menckel Posted: May 06, 2021 at 11:02 PM (#6017482)
if I had his pain problems and his utter lack of financial problems, a hammock and a drink with a tiny umbrella in it would sound pretty damned good to me right now.

ftfy
   71. The Honorable Ardo Posted: May 06, 2021 at 11:26 PM (#6017485)
Someday I'll tell my grandchildren I saw Pujols, Trout, and Ohtani as teammates in the same game.
   72. The Duke Posted: May 06, 2021 at 11:44 PM (#6017487)
Fangraphs has Pujols as the 10th worst position player. Ozuna and Cavan biggio and Gurriel Jr are worse. You have to be pretty good to put up such awful numbers.
   73. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 06, 2021 at 11:53 PM (#6017490)
I hope either the Angels or the Cardinals bring him back for at least a game or two at the end of the year. Both he and the fans deserve to celebrate him and say a proper goodbye knowing it will be his last game.
   74. Lowry Seasoning Salt Posted: May 07, 2021 at 12:04 AM (#6017492)
I hope either the Angels or the Cardinals bring him back for at least a game or two at the end of the year. Both he and the fans deserve to celebrate him and say a proper goodbye knowing it will be his last game.


Same, but best do it soon because a few months off doesn't help any player's on-field skills.
   75. Lowry Seasoning Salt Posted: May 07, 2021 at 12:12 AM (#6017498)
Are we going to ignore the fact that Gehrig probably lost 5 seasons and another 25 WAR or so to the disease that killed him?


Never agreed with it myself, but I thought the consensus was that health is a skill.

My problem with the idea is that a skill suggests something players can control. Gehrig shows otherwise, of course, ditto any player who has Tommy John surgery. No reason to think Nick Johnson wasn't doing proper things to be on the field. And no reason to think David Wells was thinking much about his health. Sure, some guys do hurt their ability to play with bad health—Mantle and Gooden come to mind—but most of a player's health is the genetic lottery or the randomness of on-field injuries.
   76. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 07, 2021 at 12:17 AM (#6017499)
Same, but best do it soon because a few months off doesn't help any player's on-field skills.
Eh, that ship kinda already sailed…
   77. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: May 07, 2021 at 12:35 AM (#6017501)
ftfy


Meh, a hammock & a drink might be fun for a week or two, but after that it sounds pretty effing boring.
   78. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 07, 2021 at 12:42 AM (#6017503)
Clearly you have neither the right hammock nor the right drink.
   79. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: May 07, 2021 at 05:26 AM (#6017506)
Never agreed with it myself, but I thought the consensus was that health is a skill.


I think general ability to avoid injury and recover quickly is a skill. I don't know that the ability to avoid getting Lou Gehrig's Disease is a skill.
   80. Rally Posted: May 07, 2021 at 07:47 AM (#6017507)
I don't think Yaz belongs in that conversation. He was above average all the way to 40, and always played 140+ games a year.


Concur on Yaz. He was a very good player for over 20 years, except for a short peak from 1967-1970 where he played like an inner circle guy. Otherwise, Yaz at 42 (275/358/431, 111 OPS+) wasn't that different from what he was at 22 (296/363/469, 120 OPS+). In addition, Yaz at 42 played 2 games in center field.

Yaz had two below average hitting seasons out of 23, his rookie year, and his age 41 season (96). He came back to post two above average hitting seasons at 42 and 43. He continued to get on base until the very end. Pujols on the other hand had a .343 OBP in his first year as an Angel (age 32) and never again had an OBP that looked good.
   81. Rally Posted: May 07, 2021 at 07:51 AM (#6017508)
I don't know that the ability to avoid getting Lou Gehrig's Disease is a skill.


Gehrig was quite clear on this: it was luck.
   82. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: May 07, 2021 at 08:14 AM (#6017511)
Will never forget the Reds-Cards game of July 3, 2009. Hosted a party on the Riverboat deck out in centerfield. Homer Bailey through 7 had shut out the Cards. Top of 8th, Reds up 3-0, Homer ends up loading the bases with Albert up next. David "Stormy" Weathers is brought in to pitch. Turned to my dad when this happened and said "Pujols is going to hit a grand slam". Which, to be fair, is probably what 90% of the people in the stadium were thinking. Pujols proceeded to hit a grand slam. Like the Lidge homerun, I am fairly certain if you can find and watch the video, you can see the moment Weathers' soul left his body. He would retire after that season.
   83. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: May 07, 2021 at 08:20 AM (#6017512)
With Votto out, the Reds should be giving Castellanos and/or Winker a first baseman's glove and play Naquin regularly. Not that Naquin is really any good, but, he is better than Pujols.
   84. DL from MN Posted: May 07, 2021 at 08:43 AM (#6017513)
both men's pre-integration career wasn't that long, largely due to the war.


The war also prematurely ended many baseball careers. MLB was headed for a talent shortage if they hadn't integrated and brought in Latin American players.
   85. The Duke Posted: May 07, 2021 at 08:44 AM (#6017514)
Jocketty is still an advisor to the Reds, their uniforms are red, and he might actually hit 33 HRs in Great American.
   86. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: May 07, 2021 at 09:10 AM (#6017519)
I have to add two cents on Yaz. The similarity to Pujols, I guess, is that they were/are first-ballot HOFers who played forever past their peaks - but that is about where the comp ends.

I would argue Yaz had one of the most gradual career archs of any all-timer in baseball history.

From 1963-1970 (age 23-30), he had a peak that compares with most of the all-time greats in history, masked a bit by the era in which it occurred. He has black ink all over the place:

In that eight-year period he leads the league in hits twice, runs twice, doubles three times, home runs and RBI twice, walks twice, batting average three times, OBP five times, SLG three times, OPS four times, OPS+ four times. Seven ASGs, four Gold Gloves, a Triple Crown/MVP season where he takes a team out of nowhere to Game 7 of the WS. 5 Top 10s in the MVP. His OPS+ for the eight years is 153, and he is stealing bases, hitting triples - he really was elite for those eight years.

Then, from 1971-1983, he is never quite as good again, but he is good (some times very good), and it just keeps going: His OPS+ for the rest of his career is 113, 118, 139, 140, 112, 120, 125, 112, 108, 116, 96, 111, and 106 at age 43. In his 40s, he is still a good enough athlete to play some center field, if needed. And even at age 43, he's hitting .266 with a little power and a lot of walks.

I think the Angels would have definitely traded what they got from Pujols' contract (age 32 to the present) for what Yaz provided in his final 10 years. Peak Pujols was a sight to behold, but the last five years of Pujols have been remarkably bad: Since 2017, almost 2000 PAs of .240/.289/.405, OPS+ of 85 offense. He has exactly as many GDPs since 2017 as he does doubles (67).
   87. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 07, 2021 at 09:21 AM (#6017520)

My problem with the idea is that a skill suggests something players can control.

When people say that health is a skill or that a player has control over it, they don’t mean that a player has conscious control over it. They just mean that it’s a characteristic of the player himself and not of his environment or team. We might say that a player has no control over how many runners are on base when he comes to the plate, but he has control over how he performs in those situations. He obviously doesn’t have complete “control” over it; it’s not simply a matter of willpower or focus or whatever. But when we evaluate a player, we are usually trying to identify the things that are inherent to the player himself vs. those things that are a result of the environment and need to be adjusted for. Health falls more in the former category although there are certainly gray areas.
   88. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 07, 2021 at 09:26 AM (#6017521)
Are we going to ignore the fact that Gehrig probably lost 5 seasons and another 25 WAR or so to the disease that killed him?

Pujols was a remarkable player, but it shows just how bad he’s been over the past 5 years that Gehrig actually has more WAR than Pujols after age 35.
   89. Rally Posted: May 07, 2021 at 09:37 AM (#6017524)
I think the Angels would have definitely traded what they got from Pujols' contract (age 32 to the present) for what Yaz provided in his final 10 years.


Angels, maybe not. Arte Moreno is a stubborn man. For this Angel fan, Sign me up and I’ll even throw in a 2 year extension for Yaz. He would have been a nice fit with OBP hitting ahead of Trout, mostly a DH but a good 1B and able to play some outfield when needed.
   90. donlock Posted: May 07, 2021 at 09:43 AM (#6017525)
Rocky Colavito and Ken Boyer both fell off a cliff in the mid 1960s. Long time power guys who lost their stroke rather suddenly.
   91. Rally Posted: May 07, 2021 at 09:46 AM (#6017526)
Most players as they age, just about all of them, hit for lower batting averages. They all lose speed. Most lose power, though there are some exceptions. I think of a guy like Tony Phillips, who had no power as a young player, hitting 27 as a 36 year old. But you rarely see a player completely lose his plate discipline like Albert did. A lot of his earlier walks were intentional, but of the non-intentional variety he took 60-70 per year as a Cardinal. As an Angel, more like 30 to 40.

Is there any other long career player whose walks dropped off so much in his 30s?
   92. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: May 07, 2021 at 09:49 AM (#6017527)
#89: If you put a guy like post-peak Yaz ahead of Trout in the lineup, he is getting on base a lot, decent speed ahead of Trout...it stinks that the greatest player of his generation - and one of the 10 greatest of all time, at this rate - will be understatedly hitting solo home runs at 11:30 PM eastern time every night for a sub-.500 team for 15 years.
   93. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: May 07, 2021 at 10:00 AM (#6017528)
They just mean that it’s a characteristic of the player himself and not of his environment or team.


It's a little more than this. It's also that if a player does it (or it happens to him), it increases the probability that it will happen again. Health is a skill, because players who get injured are more likely to get injured again than are players who haven't been injured.

at 11:30 PM eastern time


I for one, appreciate this. Maybe I'm unusual as an east-coaster, but 11:30pm is about the only time that I have to watch baseball games. So the Angels have sort of become my team - you get to watch Trout, and they're still playing when I've got time to fire up mlb.tv
   94. Rally Posted: May 07, 2021 at 10:21 AM (#6017532)
In walks, Pujols is unique.

Looking at players who had 2500 or more AB up to age 31, and then 32+. Through 2019, there were 311 such players. 204 walked as much, or more as older players. I’m looking at all walks, not IBB, since Those are not recoded for all baseball history. Of the ones who walked fewer times, Albert went from 77 per 500 AB to 40. This is the biggest drop ever. Before him, the biggest drop was Norm Cash, who went from 93 to 66.

Taking out intentional walks, Cash and Pujols both lose 25 per 500 AB.
   95. SoSH U at work Posted: May 07, 2021 at 10:25 AM (#6017535)
Most players as they age, just about all of them, hit for lower batting averages.


Just another reason to love Adrian Beltre.

Health is a skill, because players who get injured are more likely to get injured again than are players who haven't been injured.


Do you have proof of this?
   96. The Duke Posted: May 07, 2021 at 10:40 AM (#6017536)
I think health is definitely a skill in some cases. Some injuries are just freaky and can be chalked up to bad luck. But a lot of injuries are preventable. Even arm injuries. Glavine talks about an early Braves coach introducing him to long toss and how that alleviated his arm injuries. Wainwright has said this year that Kim taught him long tossing and his mph has turned around and stopped declining. Molina has a rigorous off season program to maintain flexibility. Nelson Cruz is the poster child of how maintaining perfect conditioning can sustain a career.

I also think there are guys who simply are prone to injuries. Look at Tommy Pham. He keeps getting stabbed - he’s just prone to that type of injury.
   97. Itchy Row Posted: May 07, 2021 at 11:01 AM (#6017538)
Over 40 years, I believe. In 1980, a 35-year-old La Russa managed a 54-year-old Minnie Minoso.
He managed Ron Reed in 1984. Reed is two years older than La Russa.
   98. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: May 07, 2021 at 11:21 AM (#6017548)
Health is a skill, because players who get injured are more likely to get injured again than are players who haven't been injured.


Do you have proof of this?


I would love to see some study of this topic - and I bet it has been done by teams trying to figure out who to draft. Probably one of the biggest variables between teams' draft boards is how they evaluate the risk of a high school or college player's injuries translating to more injuries in the pros. I'm a Patriots fan, and you see this every year in the draft: The reason Gronk was available deep in the 2nd round was because of his back injuries in college. That obviously paid off in historic fashion for New England. But a few years later they drafted Dominique Easley in the first round, because he was a top-10 talent with an injury history...he never really played in the pros, because of injuries. So teams must be trying to figure this question out...

Also: Bill Parcells had one of my favorite quotes ever from a coach or manager: "The most important ability is availability." One of the more remarkable things about recent baseball history is that Ken Griffey Jr. - who doesn't have a whiff of PED attached to him, despite playing during that entire era - amassed 630 HRs, and one of the greatest careers ever, even though he averaged 99 games per season from the age of 31 on. He was pretty durable early in his career, but when I think of Griffey, I think, "One of the all-time greats, but got injured a lot, or else *he* would be the all-time HR leader."

Availability is the greatest ability.

   99. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: May 07, 2021 at 11:26 AM (#6017552)
But you rarely see a player completely lose his plate discipline like Albert did.


I appreciate the stats you posted in 94, but I really don't think Pujols lost that much plate discipline. I think he never had all that much and was simply pitched to far more carefully in his prime than he was with the Angels. Yeah, these last few years he's got no chance on breaking balls because he has to start his swing so early. But for the first 5 - 6 years of his Angels career, I think he kept swinging at mostly the same pitches he always did, but he couldn't hit them quite as hard. And so pitchers started coming a lot closer to the edges of the zone. And his contact skills are so good that still wasn't swinging and missing much, but instead of rockets through the infield, he grounded out to the shortstop playing as a second left fielder.

I don't have any stats to back this up, mind you, so I might be full of it. That's just the impression I got from watching Pujols his whole career. Even with St. Louis, he would routinely swing at and hit balls several inches outside the strike zone. Only he'd hit them for doubles or homeruns instead of popups and ground outs. So pitchers threw him pitches several feet out of the strike zone and he walked more.
   100. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 07, 2021 at 11:48 AM (#6017554)
@theaceofspaeder
Albert Pujols has gotten a hit off 10.21 percent of all players to ever throw a pitch in an MLB game.


Is...is that true???


Still better than half of the stiffs the Tigers are running out there every day.


Tigers DHs are collectively hitting .117! .117!
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