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Monday, December 12, 2011

Miklasz: Poor Albert had no choice

6. What about this quote, which you offered Saturday: “I made a decision. I’m being obedient. I didn’t want to go to a place God didn’t want me to go to.”

Really? God ordered you to Anaheim? I wonder what God would have advised had the Angels offered less money than the Cardinals. I’m assuming God was angry over the Miami Marlins’ refusal to offer no-trade protection in their contract bid. Can you tell us how God would have reacted if the Cardinals had offered $254 million or more over 10 years?

7. Pujols was won over when Moreno called him to turn on the charm in a 30-minute phone call. Is that all it took? An owner telling you what you wanted to hear, even though you had never met the man? That means more than what has been a mutually beneficial 11-year relationship with St. Louis?

8. Albert are we really supposed to believe that you would have accepted the Cardinals’ $210 million over the Angels’ $254 million if DeWitt had called to whisper sweet nothings and coo in your ear and plead with you to stay?

Oh, that’s right. We forgot.

It wasn’t about the money.

Best of luck to you, Albert.

Thanks to Pedrone.

Repoz Posted: December 12, 2011 at 06:37 PM | 86 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: angels, cardinals

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   1. The District Attorney Posted: December 12, 2011 at 06:49 PM (#4014153)
Watching a nervous and clearly conflicted Albert Pujols on the stage in Anaheim, I kept thinking: Why wasn't he happy? Pujols already had a dream of a life, a fantasy, and it just got a whole lot better. Now he'll be enjoying the enhanced prosperity of his new $254 million contract from the Angels.

And he seemed sad in a way... Why wasn't Albert thrilled by his good fortune? This was his big payday, his big payback, and you'd think he'd be walking on clouds, singing with those Angels. But Pujols was oddly detached. He didn't appear to be of the mind to celebrate his victory.

Part of that can probably be explained by the obvious: deep down inside, Pujols may wonder if he made a mistake. Even if that's the case he probably feels genuine remorse after walking out on a fan base that adored him, stood for him, treated him as a baseball god. Walking out on the fans couldn't have been easy for anyone who possesses a soul.

But I'd have to think that some of Pujols' discomfort was connected to the realization that it was going to be difficult, if not impossible, to effectively sell his spin to a discerning public back in St. Louis.
Yeah, okay. You can read the man's mind through the television. And you just know that as he celebrates earning $254 million in a new, glamorous city, what's really on his mind is that he screwed the St. Louis Cardinals, should have signed with the St. Louis Cardinals, and how he can explain himself to the fans of the St. Louis Cardinals.

Be a journalist and not a talk show caller, guy.
   2.  Posted: December 12, 2011 at 06:53 PM (#4014164)
Albert, this is God. Please send me money.
   3. Javy Joan Baez (chris h.) Posted: December 12, 2011 at 06:56 PM (#4014172)
And Albert...stop touching yourself!
   4. Gotham Dave Posted: December 12, 2011 at 07:05 PM (#4014192)
Pujols' point was obviously that God doesn't give a #### where he plays baseball. Miklasz's tantrums are pretty fun, though; I hope he's not done yet.
   5. The Non-Catching Molina (sjs1959) Posted: December 12, 2011 at 07:09 PM (#4014196)
The Cardinals, just as they have done with EVERY superstar they have ever had, LOWBALLED Pujols. I think he knew they were going to do that, and I think that's why he cut off negotiations last spring.

Of course it was about the money, and Albert took the best deal that a stable franchise offered. No, the Marlins aren't stable, and Albert realized that.
   6.  Posted: December 12, 2011 at 07:10 PM (#4014198)
How do you get

Pujols' point was obviously that God doesn't give a #### where he plays baseball


from

I didn’t want to go to a place God didn’t want me to go to.
   7. Gotham Dave Posted: December 12, 2011 at 07:13 PM (#4014201)
OK, "obvious" is a too strong word, but I do think it's the basis for his thinking. Pujols' morality is based on Christiandom, and not on what sportswriters think, and Jesus doesn't care if players stay with the team that happened to draft them. He didn't say that God didn't want him to go to Miami or St. Louis, just that he didn't want to go where God didn't want him to go. Which is nowhere, cause come on.
   8. Shredder Posted: December 12, 2011 at 07:15 PM (#4014204)
And Albert...stop touching yourself!
I swear, when I read Shock's post, the first thing I thought was "Real Genius".
   9. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: December 12, 2011 at 07:17 PM (#4014207)
The Cardinals, just as they have done with EVERY superstar they have ever had, LOWBALLED Pujols.

Is this true? They were able to extend guys like Holliday, Carpenter, Wainright, McGwire and so on. Those guys aren't at Pujols' level, but man, you'd have to go back to Stan Musial to find a player who is. I don't blame Pujols for taking the cash nor the Cardinals for not locking into a 32 year old player for 10 years. We're not having this same conversation about CJ Wilson or Buehrle, etc. It's just business.
   10. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: December 12, 2011 at 07:53 PM (#4014240)
Best fans in baseball.
   11. Joey B. is counting the days to Trea Turner Posted: December 12, 2011 at 08:02 PM (#4014246)
It's one thing if you feel they should have made Pujols a bigger offer, but I too am curious as to what other star players the Cardinals have allegedly "lowballed" recently.

I just looked at the numbers on MLB team payrolls going back to 2000. In every year St. Louis was in the upper half, and in some of those years they were in the top third in total team payroll. So let's not try and make them out to be like the Marlins or the Pirates, because it's nonsense.
   12. spike Posted: December 12, 2011 at 08:11 PM (#4014261)
“The Cardinals’ ten-year, $210MM offer to Pujols included $30MM deferred without interest”, tweets Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Sounds pretty lowball-ey to me.
   13. Spahn Insane Posted: December 12, 2011 at 08:14 PM (#4014266)
Best fans in baseball.

You forgot the " ™ ."
   14. asdf1234 Posted: December 12, 2011 at 08:15 PM (#4014267)
Low-ball isn't the right word. Veterans have known for signing below-market contracts to play with the Cardinals since at least McGwire, though the front office has handed out non-sweetheart deals to free agents Holliday and Lohse in the recent past. Regardless, it's hard to see how their offers to Pujols were low-balling him given his projected value over a ten-year period. Anaheim overpaying Pujols does not mean that every other team low-balled him.

Best fans in baseball.


Is this your coy way of requesting an application?
   15. Spahn Insane Posted: December 12, 2011 at 08:15 PM (#4014271)
I just looked at the numbers on MLB team payrolls going back to 2000. In every year St. Louis was in the upper half, and in some of those years they were in the top third in total team payroll. So let's not try and make them out to be like the Marlins or the Pirates, because it's nonsense.

Agreed, which makes their apparent lowballing of Pujols especially curious.
   16. Spahn Insane Posted: December 12, 2011 at 08:17 PM (#4014273)
Low-ball isn't the right word. Veterans have known for signing below-market contracts to play with the Cardinals since at least McGwire, though the front office has handed out non-sweetheart deals to free agents Holliday and Lohse in the recent past.

A lowball that's justified by an organization's well-developed sense of entitlement is still a lowball.
   17. Dale Sams Posted: December 12, 2011 at 08:23 PM (#4014285)
Seriously, #### you to anyone who ###### about Albert going to Anaheim, or Mount Sinai, or whatever. And especially Card fans who cry. YOU JUST WON THE WORLD SERIES. I wouldn't care if Papi and Schilling and Manny wore pinstripes in 2005. Flags fly forever.

And hand-wringers over steroids? #### you too.
   18. Dale Sams Posted: December 12, 2011 at 08:24 PM (#4014287)
I swear, when I read Shock's post, the first thing I thought was "Real Genius".


I believe Albert can, in fact, hammer a nail through a board with his penis.
   19. Nasty Nate Posted: December 12, 2011 at 08:25 PM (#4014289)
All of y'all mother #######,
#### you, die slow ############.
   20. philevans3154 Posted: December 12, 2011 at 08:26 PM (#4014290)
Albert broke the 11th commandment:

"Thou shalt not upset the delicate sensibilities of Cardinal Nation."
   21. Javy Joan Baez (chris h.) Posted: December 12, 2011 at 08:28 PM (#4014297)
I believe Albert can, in fact, hammer a nail through a board with his penis.

A GM's gotta have his standards.
   22. esseff Posted: December 12, 2011 at 08:30 PM (#4014300)
but I too am curious as to what other star players the Cardinals have allegedly "lowballed" recently.


Don't see that they have.

They extended Carpenter TWO years early after the 2006 championship (at great cost, since he immediately got hurt and missed a season).

Faced with a tough decision on picking up a $10 million option on an aging and declining Jim Edmonds, they took the extra step of extending him for 2/18MM (the Padres ended up paying $6 million of that for next to no return).

There were some who thought the Cardinals bid too cheaply on Edgar Renteria in his first free agency, but it seems like Boston regretted it's 4/40MM deal, or whatever it was, pretty quickly.

I don't see the offer to Pujols as a lowball, but assuming it was, the question would be, to what end, after he had made clear that he would be testing the market and not accepting any discount deals?
   23. Bob Tufts Posted: December 12, 2011 at 08:31 PM (#4014302)
"Pujols was won over when Moreno called him to turn on the charm in a 30-minute phone call. Is that all it took? An owner telling you what you wanted to hear, even though you had never met the man?"


In explaining why he signed with the Yankees in 1977, Reggie Jackson admitted money was a critical factor, but also said that owner George Steinbrenner had “hustled me like a broad at the bar.”
   24. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 12, 2011 at 08:32 PM (#4014304)

Agreed, which makes their apparent lowballing of Pujols especially curious.


If they sign Albert to a ten year deal, they can't afford the Ryan Theriots and Kyle Lohses of 2020. You wouldn't want that, would you?
   25. tshipman Posted: December 12, 2011 at 08:33 PM (#4014305)
Regardless, it's hard to see how their offers to Pujols were low-balling him given his projected value over a ten-year period. Anaheim overpaying Pujols does not mean that every other team low-balled him.



Really? You don't see how a 19mm per year (after taking into account the deferred money) average annual offer is a lowball? Even setting that aside, the market for baseball players is what other teams are willing to pay. The Angels offered 254, no-trade, and no deferred money. Offering 210 with deferred money is a lowball in that case. You're asking the player to take 30% less for the privilege of playing for the Saint Louis Cardinals.

Let's say you make 40K now, and all around you, you see people who aren't as good as you making more money at similar firms. Someone else offers you 70K. You take the offer to your boss, and they say, "Well, we can do 49K." That's not a lowball?
   26. phredbird Posted: December 12, 2011 at 08:38 PM (#4014311)
Agreed, which makes their apparent lowballing of Pujols especially curious.


guh?

in the immortal words of tom hagen, 'he played it beautifully'.

i'm referring to bill dewitt. he set up a win-win. he added up the best offer he was going to make, and waited for albert to blink. if i'm reading this right, dewitt is thinking 'if he takes this offer, i can live with how much money i'm paying. if he walks, i've saved myself a headache of a contract in about 5 or 6 yrs tops. most of the fans are economically illiterate b-tches who will blame pujols for being money hungry.' the beautiful part is that lozano knows this. and i'll bet anything lozano told albert this. something along the lines of hey, hombre, he's playing us. you can take this deal or not, but he's proven he runs the franchise either way. you might as well take the bigger money. we're going to be dewitt's boys or you'll take a hit from the fans. you might as well take the money.
   27. Spahn Insane Posted: December 12, 2011 at 08:40 PM (#4014313)
If they sign Albert to a ten year deal, they can't afford the Ryan Theriots and Kyle Lohses of 2020. You wouldn't want that, would you?

As a Cub fan? No indeed!
   28. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 12, 2011 at 08:40 PM (#4014314)
i'm referring to bill dewitt. he set up a win-win. he added up the best offer he was going to make, and waited for albert to blink. if i'm reading this right, dewitt is thinking 'if he takes this offer, i can live with how much money i'm paying. if he walks, i've saved myself a headache of a contract in about 5 or 6 yrs tops. most of the fans are economically illiterate b-tches who will blame pujols for being money hungry.' the beautiful part is that lozano knows this. and i'll bet anything lozano told albert this. something along the lines of hey, hombre, he's playing us. you can take this deal or not, but he's proven he runs the franchise either way. you might as well take the bigger money. we're going to take a hit from the fans. you might as well take the money.


Was there ever talk back in say 2007 or 2008 of a contract extension for Albert? Seems like that would have been a good time to "tear up" the rest of his contract and offer a ten year deal then. Maybe even offer an "opt-out" after his age 36 or 37 season and hope his ego is enough that he opts-out and saves from the last remaining albatross years (like A-Rod, except don't sign him to a stupider contract afterwards). That way you satisfy Albert's ego with the biggest contract in baseball, AND get him through his most productive years without having to pay a 40 year old elite money. I think that would be the win-win, providing that Albert goes along with it. Of course, if he was dead set on "testing the waters" then so much for that idea.
   29. salvomania Posted: December 12, 2011 at 08:40 PM (#4014315)
Anaheim overpaying Pujols does not mean that every other team low-balled him.


Exactly.

Why should the Cardinals offer to commit a quarter of their payroll for 5-6 years to what could easily be a league-average 1b*?

I have no problem with Pujols going to Anaheim---it's a better situation for him. Get away from the suffocation of being the biggest fish (a blue whale, really) in a tiny pond, get a chance to try something new and different (he's been a Cardinal, an NLer, for 11 years; he only gets one MLB career---why not see what else it could be like?), and have the flexibility of playing DH as he continues to age and decline, both at bat and in the field.

Why these STL columnists are going all hand-wringy I have no idea, other than to incite readers and appeal to some lowest-common-denominator local base.

*I reckon that by 2015, at age 35 and entering the fourth of the 10 years, Pujols will be a slow, much-less-mobile player who will hit about .290/.350/.520, at best, while playing maybe 130-140 games, split between 1b and DH. That player is worth nowhere near $25M, and I'm glad the Cardinals won't be paying him that.
   30. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: December 12, 2011 at 08:54 PM (#4014328)
Why should the Cardinals offer to commit a quarter of their payroll for 5-6 years to what could easily be a league-average 1b*?

*I reckon that by 2015, at age 35 and entering the fourth of the 10 years, Pujols will be a slow, much-less-mobile player who will hit about .290/.350/.520, at best, while playing maybe 130-140 games, split between 1b and DH. That player is worth nowhere near $25M, and I'm glad the Cardinals won't be paying him that.


So he'll still be slightly better than Ryan Howard is now, but at the same price as he'll be then?
   31. esseff Posted: December 12, 2011 at 09:02 PM (#4014335)
I'd just like to point out that this "lowball" offer was one that nearly all of baseball expected Pujols to take last Wednesday afternoon after his talks with Miami broke down and before we knew that the Angels were swooping in with their new TV cash. Given that, I'm not sure that, by definition, this can be considered a lowball.
   32. Lars6788 Posted: December 12, 2011 at 09:06 PM (#4014337)
The Cardinals should have blown up the contract Pujols signed in the mid 2000s and made him a Cardinal for life.

I think most MLB teams have no qualms about signing guys long term, except Pujols at some point just wasn't considered the right guy for the franchise and it was the team's decision to sever its ties.

If Pujols was a true home grown star with Joe Mauer's smile, the Cardinals probably wouldn't have let it get this far.

If he left, the media can always pick up the slack and demonize Pujols while the Cardinals can be lauded for a smart financial move.
   33. bunyon Posted: December 12, 2011 at 09:14 PM (#4014344)
As I've said elsewhere on this site, I'm sad he left St. Louis. However, one can't logically conclude Pujols owed St. Louis more than St. Louis owed Albert. Any logic that leads you to think he should have given a hometown discount also leads you to think that the Cardinals should have matched, and slightly exceeded, any other offer.

Either all that sentimentality exists, or it doesn't. If it does, they both owe each other. If it doesn't, then no one is a bad guy.
   34. valuearbitrageur Posted: December 12, 2011 at 09:18 PM (#4014351)
Anaheim overpaying Pujols does not mean that every other team low-balled him.


Anaheim didn't offer as much as Florida did, so St Louie wasn't just far behind in 2nd, it was far behind in 3rd.

You can argue that Anaheim overpaid Pujols, but you can't argue that the Cardinals offered a fair deal, clearly he will likely be worth more. He'll be producing $30M+ value seasons for some time before he starts to decline. The Cards thought they'd get a bargain out of Albert, they tried to get him to sign a 5 year deal, and they low balled a 9 year deal.
   35. Nasty Nate Posted: December 12, 2011 at 09:24 PM (#4014355)
The Cardinals should have blown up the contract Pujols signed in the mid 2000s and made him a Cardinal for life.


They couldn't just force a contract extension on him, and I doubt he would have given much of a discount considering that his last extension turned out so team-friendly.
   36. Zonk Will Be Reinstated in August Posted: December 12, 2011 at 09:28 PM (#4014359)
I think it's really the whole 'justifying it' thing that sours it --

Pujols ought to just hire Bob Gibson as his spokesperson because Gibson put it perfectly - it probably wasn't an easy decision because Pujols has been in STL for a long time, so he's at least got nominal 'ties' to St Louis... but as Gibson said, for an extra 5 million, he'd probably get over it.

For me personally, if I was in Pujols' shoes - I'd have probably stayed in St Louis for less, but that's me - I enjoy getting into a nice, comfortable rut and staying there.

For Pujols, the extra 5 mil per was worth more than the comfortable rut. He really ought to quit dancing around that fact and just come out and say it. He gave it some thought, considered staying for less, but ultimately decided the money was worth it to move along.
   37. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 12, 2011 at 09:28 PM (#4014361)
You can argue that Anaheim overpaid Pujols, but you can't argue that the Cardinals offered a fair deal, clearly he will likely be worth more. He'll be producing $30M+ value seasons for some time before he starts to decline.

He produced 5.4 WAR last season. He has declined 2 years in a row.

Last year was not worth $30M. There's a reasonable chance Pujols never has a $30M season again.

That's not to say the Cards didn't lowball him; given the MIA and LAA offers that seems clear. But, I think the odds of Pujols being underpaid on this deal are shockingly small.
   38. valuearbitrageur Posted: December 12, 2011 at 09:32 PM (#4014370)
As I said on the other thread, Mikalz actually said that he's obligated to criticize Pujols more because Pujols had the nerve to defend himself from critics.

And if this year was not an aberration, St.Louie should not have offered any 9 year deal, or any $19M AAV deal. Clearly they think it was an aberration.
   39. cseadog Posted: December 12, 2011 at 09:38 PM (#4014375)
Perhaps Albert recognized that he had greater value in the AL where the DH beckoned for the golden years. Athletes want to get paid, but even more they want to contribute. Watching Barry Bonds gimp around left filed in an effort to stay in the line-up should have (and probably did) make the AL more attractive.
   40. Zonk Will Be Reinstated in August Posted: December 12, 2011 at 09:44 PM (#4014383)
As I said on the other thread, Mikalz actually said that he's obligated to criticize Pujols more because Pujols had the nerve to defend himself from critics.


When the critics are right, though -- even right about something wholly self-evident and pseudo-stupid -- I'm forced to line up with the critics.

It was about the money... and fine, just don't feed anyone this line about commitment or the owner kissing your butt or whatever... It was about the money.

If Pujols just came out and said "Look, the Angels offered me 40 mil more to play for them. What would you do?" -- I'd be in his corner.

I just have a low tolerance for people that either 1) make farcical claims in the hopes that I'm stupid enough to believe them, or 2) ask me to join them in their own self-delusions.

Albert might very well in the second category -- in fact, I'd bet dollars to donuts he is -- but nothing says anyone has to follow him into the land of self-delusion.

Cripes... I don't even like the Cardinals or their fans.
   41. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 12, 2011 at 09:44 PM (#4014384)
And if this year was not an aberration, St.Louie should not have offered any 9 year deal, or any $19M AAV deal. Clearly they think it was an aberration.

Why?

5.5, 5.0, 4.5, 4.0, 3.5, 3.0, 2.5, 2.0, 2.0 is 32 WAR in 9 years. If you assume 1 WAR is worth $5M today and escalates at 5%, that's worth $188M.

Throw in some additional revenue from keeping your biggest star since Musial, or slightly higher expectations of salary inflation, and you can easily justify a 200/9 contract even if Pujols is never any better than he was in 2011.
   42. Walt Davis Posted: December 12, 2011 at 09:47 PM (#4014386)
Why should the Cardinals offer to commit a quarter of their payroll for 5-6 years to what could easily be a league-average 1b*?

Ha ha.

In case you're curious, your 290/350/520 line is a 140 OPS+ in 2011. That "nightmare scenario", even at 550-600 PA and average defense, is still about 3.5 to 4 WAR which is obviously way above-average. With moderate inflation, a win is going to cost, what, $5.5 M by then so it would be an overpay but hardly disastrous.

Anyway, the chances of Pujols being a league-average 1B in 4-5 years are not "easy" but actually very low. The chances of him not being worth $25 M are reasonably high, depending on your assumptions about MLB inflation and severe injury risk. I certainly would rather not have years 9 and 10 of this contract.

Seeing the detail on the Cards and Marlins offers, I am quite annoyed that the Cubs weren't part of this mix. I said from the get-go I'd gladly go 8/$200 on Pujols which sounds like it would have been in the lead at least until the Angels swooped in.

I didn’t want to go to a place God didn’t want me to go to.

Given Pujols' apparently conservative Christian beliefs, this possibly means he didn't think God would want him to play in front of all the gay people in Miami.

But then why insist on a no-trade clause? :-)
   43. Sleepy was just “inspecting the bunker”, y’all Posted: December 12, 2011 at 09:51 PM (#4014396)
Anaheim didn't offer as much as Florida did, so St Louie wasn't just far behind in 2nd, it was far behind in 3rd.

This was discredited. Florida's offer was in the 200M range.
   44. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 12, 2011 at 09:58 PM (#4014404)
In case you're curious, your 290/350/520 line is a 140 OPS+ in 2011. That "nightmare scenario", even at 550-600 PA and average defense, is still about 3.5 to 4 WAR

I think the issue you'll face is they'll be a few 300-400 PA seasons in there. And a few at 120 OPS+.
   45. salvomania Posted: December 12, 2011 at 10:17 PM (#4014428)
Ha ha.

In case you're curious, your 290/350/520 line is a 140 OPS+ in 2011.


I said "best case scenario." That line is just a tick below Pujols's age-31 line (.299/.366/.541), which is pretty optimistic; I would expect a line more in keeping with a 120 OPS+ (.280/.340/.480) in his age 35 season.

And there were 22 players last year with a 140 OPS+, most of whom were not firstbasemen/DHs. I'd want more than that out of my $25M player.

a win is going to cost, what, $5.5 M by then so it would be an overpay but hardly disastrous.


Well, if the spin is that it's "an overpay but hardly disastrous" and we're only in year four of a 10-year deal, again, I say "no thanks."
   46. PreservedFish Posted: December 12, 2011 at 11:09 PM (#4014481)
It was about the money... and fine, just don't feed anyone this line about commitment or the owner kissing your butt or whatever... It was about the money.


They are inextricable. "Money" and "commitment" are exactly the same thing. I remember that Pedro caused a stink in RedSoxville when he said that he chose the Mets because they respected him more. For Pedro, hell, maybe he did care about respect more than cash. But the best way to evaluate how much "respect" a team gives you is by looking at how much money they offer you.*


* I suppose it's possible that one team could give you a half-hearted and discourteous offer of $250,000,000 while another gives you a worshipful offer of $200,000,000, but it probably doesn't happen often.
   47. Forsch 10 From Navarone (Dayn) Posted: December 12, 2011 at 11:21 PM (#4014495)
I'm tired of all the handwringing about this. Pujols and the Cardinals both acted rationally. If 10 years is the buy-in, then I'm glad he's not back. Let's play some ####### baseball.
   48. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 12, 2011 at 11:41 PM (#4014511)
Really? God ordered you to Anaheim?


Maybe He did, Bernie. Or did He call you up and say differently?
   49. valuearbitrageur Posted: December 12, 2011 at 11:42 PM (#4014514)
hen the critics are right, though -- even right about something wholly self-evident and pseudo-stupid -- I'm forced to line up with the critics.

It was about the money... and fine, just don't feed anyone this line about commitment or the owner kissing your butt or whatever... It was about the money.

If Pujols just came out and said "Look, the Angels offered me 40 mil more to play for them. What would you do?" -- I'd be in his corner.

I just have a low tolerance for people that either 1) make farcical claims in the hopes that I'm stupid enough to believe them, or 2) ask me to join them in their own self-delusions.


The critics aren't remotely right. Albert has the right to feel any way he wants, disrespected, unappreciated.

It's farcical to ask someone how they feel, then criticize their feelings if they don't match up to your opinion of how they feel.

Albert was getting plenty of money from whoever was his next boss, I have no doubts that perceived respect played a part in his decision.
   50. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: December 12, 2011 at 11:59 PM (#4014526)
I just have a low tolerance for people that either 1) make farcical claims


So, you can't stand yourself then? Seriously, the notion that you can read Pujols mind is ####### hilarious.
   51. Guts Posted: December 13, 2011 at 12:14 AM (#4014546)
Let's focus on the much more disastrous news that the Cards are about to resign Skip to a two year deal! I am not excited for another year of Skippy the Infield Single Fairy.
   52. Something Other Posted: December 13, 2011 at 12:23 AM (#4014555)
It was about the money... and fine, just don't feed anyone this line about commitment or the owner kissing your butt or whatever... It was about the money.

They are inextricable. "Money" and "commitment" are exactly the same thing.
That's what she said!

Accepting an athletes equating money and respect as an equation worthy of respect is preprosperous. I'm trying to think of the last ballplayer who said, "the Scorpions offered me less money, but more respect, and that's why today I'm a Stinger."


47. Dayn, Moral Champion Posted: December 12, 2011 at 06:21 PM (#4014495)
I'm tired of all the handwringing about this. Pujols and the Cardinals both acted rationally. If 10 years is the buy-in, then I'm glad he's not back. Let's play some ####### baseball.
This seems remarkably level-headed, and therefore has no chance of becoming a meme.

I suppose the problem is all those folks who feel that there are suprarational factors the parties should have given form to.
   53. Zonk Will Be Reinstated in August Posted: December 13, 2011 at 12:29 AM (#4014560)
I just have a low tolerance for people that either 1) make farcical claims



So, you can't stand yourself then? Seriously, the notion that you can read Pujols mind is ####### hilarious.


What other reading is there between 1) and 2)?

Either he's playing everyone for idiots or he's succeeded in deluding himself. He went to Anaheim for more money. Like I said, fine. Wrapping it up in 'commitment' or 'respect' is just salon nonsense... It's no different than the silly historical revisionists who like to come up with all sorts of sundry reasons for Civil War besides slavery -- name whatever proxy for "money" you want, it was about money. Anaheim offered him ~40 million more than St Louis, so he took it.

The only debatable question is whether Pujols has succeeded in deluding himself otherwise or not.
   54. Tippecanoe Posted: December 13, 2011 at 12:30 AM (#4014561)
Hand-wringing generates more internet hits than level-headedness. Can't wait for Bernie's Braun column!
   55. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: December 13, 2011 at 12:31 AM (#4014562)
Watching Barry Bonds gimp around left filed in an effort to stay in the line-up
Evidence?
   56. Walt Davis Posted: December 13, 2011 at 12:32 AM (#4014564)
I think the issue you'll face is they'll be a few 300-400 PA seasons in there. And a few at 120 OPS+.

At ages 40 and 41 sure.

I said "best case scenario." That line is just a tick below Pujols's age-31 line (.299/.366/.541), which is pretty optimistic; I would expect a line more in keeping with a 120 OPS+ (.280/.340/.480) in his age 35 season.

Actually a 140 OPS+ at age 35 is pessimistic for Pujols. You are dead wrong and not basing your claim on history whatsoever. Look at any hitter with Pujols' lineage. The worst is Frank Thomas who put up a 136 OPS+ over ages 32 to 41. From ages 35-39 he put up a 139 OPS+ despite suffering a major injury at age 33. (You also have the bizarre Dick Allen)

The notion that Pujols should be expected to decline over the next few year is just simply WRONG! The chances of him being a "true" 120 OPS+ hitter at age 35 are miniscule.

Top OPS+ hitters through 31, integration era, and their subsequent OPS+ and PA

Williams 187, 4000 (had a war in there)
Mantle 156, 2500 (a drunk with no knees)
Musial 144, 6000
Pujols
Thomas 136, 4000
Allen 125, 1500 (who knows what was wrong with Allen)
Bonds 205, 5900
Bagwell 133, 3600 (major injury but in decline)
Mays 151, 5800
McCovey 134, 4500
Aaron 151, 6100
Manny 150, 3900
Piazza 116, 2600 (a C, not comparable)
Robinson 149, 4100
Kiner retired at 33 but hadn't put up an OPS+ over 150 since 28 so probably not a good comp anyway

So you've got some cautionary tales of decline in there (Allen and ... ummm, that's about the only one that comes close to the scenario where Pujols would be a 120 OPS+ hitter at 35). And you've got cautionary tales about playing time (Robinson, McCovey, Thomas). Against that you've got Williams, Musial, Bonds, Mays and Aaron.

Assuming Pujols isn't a secret drunk or about to test positive or about to go off to war or channeling Dick Allen, the expectation for his next 10 years is about 5000 PA and a 150 OPS+. Our expectation should be that he will remain one of the very best hitters in baseball through age 37-38, then the skills will likely decline substantially and the playing time is probably a crap shoot.

Playing time/durability concerns about Pujols are clearly legitimate (although I am not convinced these aren't primarily major injury concerns and I'm not sure those are that much higher in this age range). I myself would have been reluctant to offer years 9 and 10 of the contract.

But concerns about his bat prior to his late 30s ARE NOT legitimate. A true elite hitter like Albert Pujols declining to a true 120 OPS+ hitter at age 35 would be virtually unprecedented in ML history.
   57. MattAtBat Posted: December 13, 2011 at 12:38 AM (#4014570)
Let's focus on the much more disastrous news that the Cards are about to resign Skip to a two year deal!


Mozeliak's takeaway from the Pujols kerfuffle is to tag one extra year on all contract offers.
   58. Walt Davis Posted: December 13, 2011 at 12:49 AM (#4014583)
Based on last year's ZiPS career projection, Albert has left

4100 AB (not PA), 1178 hits, 2040 TB, 503 BB ... about 287/365/498 which is about a 140 OPS+ under last year's numbers. I'll take the over -- if he's limited to just 4600 more PA, he'll have a higher OPS+; if he's healthy enough for substantially more PA, I probably still take the over on OPS+ but not by much. I suspect ZiPS is applying a standard aging curve which I don't think is justified.

Guesstimating, that's about 30 WAR which, no, will not be worth $250 M but ain't far off the 8/$200 I've been saying I'd offer him (especially if we start adding in revenue boosts from milestones, etc.)
   59. salvomania Posted: December 13, 2011 at 12:52 AM (#4014590)
But concerns about his bat prior to his late 30s ARE NOT legitimate. A true elite hitter like Albert Pujols declining to a true 120 OPS+ hitter at age 35 would be virtually unprecedented in ML history.


You make a pretty convincing case. I'm just trying to convince myself otherwise.

I actually looked up on the P-I the best seasons by 35 year olds, 36 year olds, 37 year olds, etc., and they were, for the most part, HoF-type hitters (with the occasional Hank Sauer). In other words, guys like Pujols.
   60. greenback used to say live and let live Posted: December 13, 2011 at 12:53 AM (#4014591)
With moderate inflation

That's not going to happen.
   61. Hombre Brotani Posted: December 13, 2011 at 01:06 AM (#4014613)
Either he's playing everyone for idiots or he's succeeded in deluding himself. He went to Anaheim for more money. Like I said, fine. Wrapping it up in 'commitment' or 'respect' is just salon nonsense...
I don't believe it was about the money. Or rather, I think Albert doesn't believe it was about the money. He believes it's about commitment, loyalty and respect, and in contract form baseball teams express commitment, loyalty and respect in the form of dollars, years, and no-trade clauses. Critics will only see the dollar bills, but Albert sees something else. You can call it "deluded" if you want, but Pujols already has more money than he can ever hope to spend so it's certainly possible that his perspective on money is going to be different from yours.
   62. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: December 13, 2011 at 01:10 AM (#4014616)
My totally uninformed opinion is that the Matt Holliday contract probably poisoned the well a bit. Pujols signed a below market deal with St. Louis (and who knows what representations they made in those negotiations) and the Cardinals subsequently gave Holliday more money. I wouldn't say that made Albert so mad that he wanted to leave but my guess is that it made him view this negotiation as more of a business transaction than during his last deal.

EDIT: and I think it's a virtually universal belief among employees that ownership can afford to pay them much more. If there is any hallmark in MLB labor relations it's the ownership crying poor, followed by later revelations to the contrary. In that climate, why wouldn't a player view salary offers as a direct indicator of how much they are desired/respected by a specific team?
   63. Morty Causa Posted: December 13, 2011 at 01:14 AM (#4014623)
I don't see why it can't be both. I also don't see why people find it so hard to understand why someone wouldn't admit to himself, much less go on record, that he's a #### who would sell for an extra coupon to Burger King. Money is important--very very important. As someone once said, there is no one who is powerful who does not have money (and money behind him) and there is no one who has a lot of money who does not have power. C'mon, this isn't nuclear physics--this is much more important!.
   64. MattAtBat Posted: December 13, 2011 at 01:16 AM (#4014627)
Projecting Pujols' future, how much weight should be put on his recent downward trend? Pujols' wOBA, OPS+, etc. have been on a steady decline for three seasons.

Most of the guys on Walt's list were remarkably consistent throughout their career. The only guys that had a three season slide similar to Pujols were Bagwell & McCovey. Neither of which had particularly strong finishes to their careers.
   65. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: December 13, 2011 at 01:19 AM (#4014628)
What other reading is there between 1) and 2)?

Either he's playing everyone for idiots or he's succeeded in deluding himself. He went to Anaheim for more money. Like I said, fine. Wrapping it up in 'commitment' or 'respect' is just salon nonsense... It's no different than the silly historical revisionists who like to come up with all sorts of sundry reasons for Civil War besides slavery -- name whatever proxy for "money" you want, it was about money. Anaheim offered him ~40 million more than St Louis, so he took it.


Maybe he went for the money. Maybe he went because he likes California. Maybe he went because he thinks having the DH as a fallback would be a good idea. Maybe he went because he thought the Angels had a better shot of winning going forward. Maybe he went because he felt slighted by the way the Cardinals handled the negotiation. Maybe he went because he didn't get along well with the rest of the team. Maybe he went because he can't stand seeing Yadier in the shower any more. Maybe it's some combination of a through z.

I certainly don't pretend to know. What I do know, is that the one person here who has definitely deluded himself is you, if you really think you can read somebody's mind.
   66. Tippecanoe Posted: December 13, 2011 at 01:29 AM (#4014636)
What I do know, is that the one person here who has definitely deluded himself is you


Easy, killer. He's just giving an opinion like everybody else here.
   67. charityslave is thinking about baseball Posted: December 13, 2011 at 02:17 AM (#4014682)
What I do know, is that only an AL team can justify a 10 year contract to a 31 year old player, no matter how great. The Cards played this just right. If it was going to be more than 8 years, bid competitively and lose.
   68. smileyy Posted: December 13, 2011 at 02:35 AM (#4014700)
[64] You see a decline, I see fluctuation, and a wrist injury in 2011.

If I were the Angels, I would have invented new fields of wrist injury research before signing him to that contract, to ensure that it has fully healed, or will do so in the offseason.
   69. Jay Z Posted: December 13, 2011 at 05:33 AM (#4014794)
Assuming Pujols isn't a secret drunk or about to test positive or about to go off to war or channeling Dick Allen, the expectation for his next 10 years is about 5000 PA and a 150 OPS+. Our expectation should be that he will remain one of the very best hitters in baseball through age 37-38, then the skills will likely decline substantially and the playing time is probably a crap shoot.


Only 4 of the players on your list made 5000 PA, and they were all more mobile than Pujols. The 5000 PA seems like a reach to me.
   70. a bebop a rebop Posted: December 13, 2011 at 06:39 AM (#4014818)
Nobody here has mentioned the possibility of a ginned-up age. Has that set of rumors been resolved in favor of Pujols or am I just bomb-tossing here? Because if he's really 33, the last few years look a bit more plausibly like a decline.

EDIT: I'm also a Rangers fan, so here's hoping...
   71. Walt Davis Posted: December 13, 2011 at 06:49 AM (#4014822)
Williams would have made 5000 PA except he missed (essentially) two years for the war.

I think (but don't remember clearly) that Robinson would have given it a good run except he decided to concentrate on his managing. At 38, he had 579 PA and a 141 OPS+. Then at 39, as player-manager, he had a 153 OPS+ but gave himself only 149 PA. (He might have been injured in early July but otherwise his appearances are spread throughout the season so I think it was because he was concentrating on managing.) He gave himself only 79 PA at age 40 and he didn't hit great (104 OPS+). Anyway, it's not a stretch to think he might have gotten another 700 PA if not for his managerial aspirations.

And the four who surpassed 5000 did so by quite a bit making it to roughly 6000. If you take out Kiner (no idea what his story was but, as I said, it was already clear he wasn't the hitter of his early 20s), Piazza (because he's a C) and Allen (because _something_ was going on) you've basically got a list where half the guys are around 4000 and half around 6000. Split the difference and you get, tada, 5000.

And there are lots of guys not on that list who made it to 4800+ PA from ages 32 onward including, oh, Jeff Conine. Obviously there are tons who didn't make that threshold but there's no reason to think Pujols should age worse than Jeff Conine is there? McGriff, Galarraga (poor man had cancer for crying out loud), Dw Evans, Da Evans, Perez, Reggie, Brock, Brett, Kent, L Gonzalez, Parker, Downing, Winfield, Murray, Yaz, Palmeiro, Edgar, Molitor, Biggio ...

It's hardly a rare thing.

And mobility ... Bonds and Mays were certainly more mobile. Aaron probably but not by much -- the main reason Pujols hasn't played OF most of the past years is because he hurt his throwing arm. He's certainly more mobile than Musial and Williams were. And he's not generally less mobile than the guys in the list above. And of course both he and the Angels have a contractual incentive to keep putting him out there.

By the way, for the expansion era, ages 21-31, Pujols has the 4th most PA. I don't know where this idea that he's fragile comes from. Granted, AROD and Santo, are two of the guys ahead of him on the list. Ripken is at the top and Pujols is followed by Yaz and Murray. Jeter (4159 and counting), Alomar (oops), Rose and Andruw (oops) round out the top 10. So obviously he could become fragile but we don't have good reason to think he specifically will.

I don't think we have a good handle on the interplay of performance decline, nagging injuries and serious injuries that lead to the "standard" aging curve. But Pujols is unlikely to suffer from a sufficiently severe performance decline as to lose playing time. Presumably older players are at greater risk of serious injury than younger ones but I'd like to see it quantified. The nagging stuff doesn't seem to become really problematic until the late 30s (when you do see many of these guys dropping to 400 PA seasons).
   72. McCoy Posted: December 13, 2011 at 07:30 AM (#4014829)
If you take out Kiner (no idea what his story was but,

Injuries, injuries, injuries.

Pulled muscle in left leg in 1972 sent him to the DL for almost 20 games in the middle of the season. Pulled a groin muscle in May of 1973 that cost him a dozen games and he also missed almost 20 games in September because of a rib injury.

As for retiring he stated that he would play for as long as necessary to get 3,000 hits and that would be it. He stated he hated the traveling but that he probably could have played for another two seasons but chose to retire instead.
   73. Hombre Brotani Posted: December 13, 2011 at 08:41 AM (#4014837)
If I were the Angels, I would have invented new fields of wrist injury research before signing him to that contract, to ensure that it has fully healed, or will do so in the offseason.
Pujols hit .318/.375/.579 after coming back really quickly from the wrist thing, so maybe Albert's already secretly invented new fields of wrist injury research.
   74. Something Other Posted: December 13, 2011 at 11:16 AM (#4014845)
Did anyone quote this from the ESPN article? If not...

Deidre Pujols also said she had no ill will toward the Cardinals or owner Bill DeWitt and that she understands the fans' frustration with her husband's decision.

"It's just like God," she said at the end of the interview, "to put us on a team called the Angels."


As for Matt's post,

Projecting Pujols' future, how much weight should be put on his recent downward trend? Pujols' wOBA, OPS+, etc. have been on a steady decline for three seasons.

Most of the guys on Walt's list were remarkably consistent throughout their career. The only guys that had a three season slide similar to Pujols were Bagwell & McCovey. Neither of which had particularly strong finishes to their careers.
This does seem to get downplayed more than it oughtta. For a quarter of a billion ANY flaws in the record would make me very, very nervous, and that's an awfully big flaw.
   75. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: December 13, 2011 at 11:40 AM (#4014846)
Why these STL columnists are going all hand-wringy I have no idea, other than to incite readers and appeal to some lowest-common-denominator local base.


I'm confused. This is what local beat writers do. In the internet age, local writers have one job - to spin for the local team and gin up the proper marketing spin in the local fan base. The STL sports writers are simply doing what they're paid to do these days - push the company line. In the case of Pujols and the Cards, the company line is to ensure that the delicate feelings of the self-proclaimed "best fans in baseball" know that the bad guy is the guy in California, not the guy in STL who didn't pay him to stay.
   76. deputydrew Posted: December 13, 2011 at 01:41 PM (#4014885)
Isn't it that the Cardinals were low-balling Albert in December, but that they did so in March? It seems that Pujols was more willing to sign with St. Louis in Spring Training, but the reported offer wasn't even in the ballpark. My sense is that the St. Louis brain trust never thought he would leave, so they could afford to take their time and slowly increase the offer until he signed. Honestly, I sort of agreed with them at the time. Good for Albert and good for Angels fans. As a National League fan, I'm sorry to see him leave, even if it makes it slightly easier for my Giants to make the playoffs and World Series...
   77. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 13, 2011 at 01:44 PM (#4014886)
the expectation for his next 10 years is about 5000 PA and a 150 OPS+.

Walt, I find this incredibly hard to believe. Pujols had a 150 OPS+ this year.

4100 AB (not PA), 1178 hits, 2040 TB, 503 BB ... about 287/365/498 which is about a 140 OPS+ under last year's numbers.

Makes more sense, but, there's still significant downside, especially in the ABs.
   78. Zonk Will Be Reinstated in August Posted: December 13, 2011 at 02:02 PM (#4014899)
Maybe he went for the money. Maybe he went because he likes California. Maybe he went because he thinks having the DH as a fallback would be a good idea. Maybe he went because he thought the Angels had a better shot of winning going forward. Maybe he went because he felt slighted by the way the Cardinals handled the negotiation. Maybe he went because he didn't get along well with the rest of the team. Maybe he went because he can't stand seeing Yadier in the shower any more. Maybe it's some combination of a through z.

I certainly don't pretend to know. What I do know, is that the one person here who has definitely deluded himself is you, if you really think you can read somebody's mind.


All your maybe's do nothing more than present supporting evidence for 1) --

Because none of them are what he said... What he said was that it was about commitment (and then the background adds that all this commitment adds up to more compensation). The "maybes" only matter if Pujols hadn't publicly announced any 'reasons' for taking the larger, more lucrative contract from Anaheim -- but he did, so they function as nothing but alternate reasons why he's walking down the path of 1) or 2).

My point was that either he's not being honest with us in his statement about why he left OR he's deluding himself because he doesn't fancy himself the type to just want the biggest payday.

If any of your maybes are true - then we're right back to him thinking Cardinal fans are too stupid, or "won't understand" his reasons.
   79. Hombre Brotani Posted: December 13, 2011 at 03:04 PM (#4014969)
Because none of them are what he said... What he said was that it was about commitment
And he signed with the team that gave him the most years and the no-trade clause. There's no problems there.
If any of your maybes are true - then we're right back to him thinking Cardinal fans are too stupid, or "won't understand" his reasons.
I'm certainly thinking that.
   80. Zonk Will Be Reinstated in August Posted: December 13, 2011 at 03:18 PM (#4014985)
If any of your maybes are true - then we're right back to him thinking Cardinal fans are too stupid, or "won't understand" his reasons.


I'm certainly thinking that.


Well, I'm not a Cardinals fan by any stretch of the imagination -- and I'll repeat, I simply don't want to play along with the proxy reason silliness that equals $$$$.... and BTW - as a 10/5er, the NTC was irrelevant if he had resigned with St Louis.
   81. Hombre Brotani Posted: December 13, 2011 at 06:22 PM (#4015323)
Well, I'm not a Cardinals fan by any stretch of the imagination -- and I'll repeat, I simply don't want to play along with the proxy reason silliness that equals $$$$....
It's silly to you, but so what? Pujols has made over $100 million over his career already; you really think he looks at money the same way you and I do? He wants to feel the love from his employer, and like it or not, a pat on the back isn't going to do it. "Oh, gosh, even though I'm worth a lot more on the open market, I'm going to take the Cardinals' lowball offer because I'm a nice guy?"

The Angels came in not just with money but with the extra years to boot. In contract language, they said, "We love you, and not only will we give you market value, we're not going to make you hunt around for a last contract when you're 39. We're going to take care of you when you're old." That's love and respect, contract style.
   82. Zonk Will Be Reinstated in August Posted: December 13, 2011 at 07:02 PM (#4015398)
It's silly to you, but so what? Pujols has made over $100 million over his career already; you really think he looks at money the same way you and I do? He wants to feel the love from his employer, and like it or not, a pat on the back isn't going to do it. "Oh, gosh, even though I'm worth a lot more on the open market, I'm going to take the Cardinals' lowball offer because I'm a nice guy?"


Ummm... the "so what" was sort of my entire point - I find the proxy reasoning insulting, and again, I don't even like the Cardinals.

Ironically enough, I had a similar situation at work this past spring - but on the other side of the table. Another division was looking to poach one of my better performers. He told me he was approached the same day, and wasn't necessarily interested in leaving - but felt it would be in his best interests to get an idea of the financials. I told him quite honestly that he would be doing his career a disservice if he didn't at least listen (it wasn't a lateral move with just more money) and that as much I didn't want to lose him - that I certainly understood if it came down to dollars (he had a kid on the way).

I immediately talked to the VP of my division to request some leeway to do a salary adjustment if it came down to it... He balked -- and tried to have me feed the line of "respect" bullshit that Pujols is peddling instead.

We continued discussing - and the guy did indeed get an offer that included a 10% bump in salary. He said he'd actually prefer to stay if we could come within a couple points of it, so I tried again but to no avail. When the gent then asked me my advice - I was honest with him... all I could do was offer up vague promises about an "assessment" during the next review cycle, but I had little faith that even then we'd be all that close to what he was being offered to move on. I told him if it were me - I'd take the offer and assured him that I had no hard feelings and would be more than happy to have him back if it didn't work out.

We didn't futz around this with 'respect' nonsense because 1) I like to think I'm pretty good at showing appreciation for good work more than just at review time, and 2) he wasn't unhappy -- it was a simple matter of a 10% raise being too good to pass up.

Again - I don't give a #### about Pujols going west for money... I'm annoyed by the kabuki theater that tries to spin it into something besides the money.
   83. My name is Votto, and I love to get Moppo Posted: December 13, 2011 at 07:32 PM (#4015430)
Miklasz: Poor Albert had no choice


If there's one thing Albert is not, it's poor.
   84. asdf1234 Posted: December 13, 2011 at 07:39 PM (#4015436)
Nobody here has mentioned the possibility of a ginned-up age. Has that set of rumors been resolved in favor of Pujols or am I just bomb-tossing here?


Pujols moved to the U.S. when he was 16; what incentive would he and his family have to lie about his age and keep him a year or more behind in school? If he were a significant prospect I might see it, but Pujols was a baseball nobody in high school and not particularly well thought of in JC. Most damning to the age conspirators, though, is the fact that Pujols applied for and received his U.S. citizenship in 2007. Knowing that he was due for a huge pay raise in 2012, why would he have risked tens of millions by risking the exposure of his real age to an increasingly paranoid federal government in return for U.S. citizenship?

And while I opened ESPN.com ready to ##### and moan about Skip's new contract, $1.5M a year for a bench player who hits an empty .300 against RHP and who can fake it at 2B and CF isn't awful, particularly when he's well-liked. Limit him to 200 PAs against RHP and I'll be content.
   85. asdf1234 Posted: December 13, 2011 at 08:08 PM (#4015481)
But concerns about his bat prior to his late 30s ARE NOT legitimate. A true elite hitter like Albert Pujols declining to a true 120 OPS+ hitter at age 35 would be virtually unprecedented in ML history.


It would be, but Pujols's first 250 PAs last year are still fresh in our minds. By the time June rolled around, I was convinced that he was done as a superstar. While he did come back in approximate Albert fashion, that half season scared the #### out of many of us and was a sneak peek of Future Pujols, a hitter who is forced to cheat on good fastballs and is consequently out in front of everything. And, since n=10 or so when we're dealing with hitters comparable to Pujols, I don't know that I'd be comfortable dismissing any naked-eye scouting reports of Albert as illegitimate, particularly coming on a season when his oWAR declined by nearly three wins.
   86. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 13, 2011 at 08:14 PM (#4015488)
Pujols moved to the U.S. when he was 16; what incentive would he and his family have to lie about his age and keep him a year or more behind in school?

He was behind educationally, esp. with regards to speaking English, and they wanted him to finish HS and go to college.

Most HS kick you out at 19, so if he were 18, it was a real advantage to be "16".

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