Jump to content

Pujols Wants to Remain a Cardinal for Life, But....

Migrant Redbird

Recommended Posts

USA Today: Pujols: Strategy will determine future with Cards

Albert Pujols said Sunday that the St. Louis Cardinals' commitment to winning will dictate if he re-signs with the club when his contract expires in two years.

MLB.Com: Pujols hopes to end career in St. Louis

"People from other teams want to play in St. Louis and they're jealous that we're in St. Louis because the fans are unbelievable. So why would you want to leave a place like St. Louis to go somewhere else and make $3 or $4 more million a year? It's not about the money. I already got my money. It's about winning and that's it. It's about accomplishing my goal and my goal is to try to win. If this organization shifts the other way then I have to go the other way."

At the Winter Warm-Up last month, Pujols told reporters that he'd be amenable to discussing an extension now, but he also said he understands that it's a business and the team could trade him anytime.

In 2004, before Pujols signed his current $100M/8 year contract, he publicly stated that he wouldn't give the Cardinals a "home town discount". As it turns out, his contract was quite a discount, but he was giving up 3 years of arbitration, 4 years of free agency, and a club option for a 5th year.

On another front, the following story is almost 3 years old, but it kind of supports the thesis that Pujols is a unique player.

St. Louis Cardinals slugger Pujols gets Babe Ruth test at Washington University

Pujols visited Washington University in April [2006] to take part in a series of laboratory tests similar to those conducted on Babe Ruth on a summer afternoon in 1921 by a couple of graduate students at Columbia University.

.... The Pujols tests were conducted by faculty in the University's Department of Psychology in Arts & Sciences and in the School of Medicine, including Richard Abrams, Ph.D., professor of psychology; Desiree White, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology; David Balota, Ph.D., professor of psychology; and Catherine Lang, Ph.D., assistant professor of physical therapy, neurology and occupational therapy.

Pujols, like Ruth, was asked to demonstrate his hitting form while hooked up to various machines that monitored the strength and speed of his swing. Pujols, complaining of a strained back, may have "held himself back a bit" on some of the tests, but his results compared favorably with those of Ruth.

.... "Making exact comparisons between the Pujols and Ruth test results is difficult because the tests given to Ruth were not very well normed," suggests White. "But it's clear that both Ruth and Pujols performed well above average on a number of tests that are very similar in nature."

.... White, who administers these tests frequently as part of her research and clinical work, was especially surprised by Pujols' performance on two tests in particular, a finger-tapping exercise that measures gross motor performance and a letter cancellation task that measures ability to conduct rapid searches of the environment to locate a specific target.

.... Asked to depress a tapper with his index finger as many times as possible in 10 seconds, Pujols scored in the 99th percentile, a score almost identical to one earned by Ruth on a similar test of movement speed and endurance. White was impressed not only by Pujols' tapping speed (2.4 standard deviations faster than normal), but also by the fact that his performance kept improving after repeated trials.

"It was interesting that he actually tapped faster in later trials of the task, suggesting considerable stamina at a high level of performance," White noted. "Most people tap somewhat slower as the test progresses because their fingers and hands begin to fatigue."

.... Pujols' ability to move his eyes in response to visual stimuli was measured using a specialized video camera and an infrared light source, which tracked the exact location of his pupil and how long it takes him to move his eyes from one location to another.

In this test, Pujols was asked to make a single rapid eye movement (a "saccade") from a central fixation point to a peripheral target. In some trials, he was asked to look in the opposite direction - away from - the target when it appears, an "anti-saccade" movement.

"This task measures the speed of orienting the eye to visual targets and also the ability to inhibit the natural response to a stimulus and instead make the desired response, the anti-saccade movement," explains Abrams.

Pujols scored well above average on the saccade and anti saccade tests. His reaction time was 16 milliseconds faster than average for the saccades and 18 milliseconds faster than average for antisaccades.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some more news on Pujols, which everyone has probably already heard.

Pujols to skip WBC due to insurance issues

Albert Pujols still holds out hope of playing in the World Baseball Classic, but on Sunday the Cardinals slugger seemed resigned to the likelihood that he will have to miss the event.

Pujols underwent nerve transposition surgery in his right elbow in October. As a result of the operation, the underwriters of the classic are unwilling to insure the star for his participation. And Pujols acknowledged that if he can't be insured, he won't play for the Dominican Republic.

On a different note: How Good Is This Guy, Pujols?

Well, it really all depends upon his being able to remain healthy.

After eight full seasons in the major leagues at the age of 29, this may be a good time for a reassessment. A reasonable assumption might be that Pujols is at the midway point of a 16-year career. If, in the next eight years, he can duplicate what he has accomplished in his first eight years, he would wind up with the following numbers:

Category Value Rank Comments

Batting Average .334 23

On-Base Percentage .425 13

Slugging .624 4 Behind Ruth, Williams and Gehrig

OPS 1.049 5 Also behind Bonds.

Hits 3,062 19

Home Runs 638 5

RBIs 1,954 5

Of course, Pujols may not continue at this rate. The landscape is littered with players like Ron Santo, Jim Rice, Don Mattingly, Dale Murphy and Roberto Alomar who appeared to be on the way to solid Hall of Fame careers but who suddenly lost their skills in their early thirties.

.... Pujols may extend his career beyond 16 years as many Hall of Fame players have done. This would enhance his counting stats (hits, home runs), probably with some deterioration of his rate stats.

The most remarkable aspect of Pujols’ career is his consistency. His lowest batting average in his eight years is .314 in 2002 and his lowest power numbers were in 2007 with 32 home runs and 103 RBIs. He has averaged 40 home runs and 122 RBIs in his eight years but has never led the league in either category. He has finished in the top four in the NL MVP voting in seven of his eight years but has won the award only twice.

Back to the original question of how good he is, Pujols should take his place in the top five along with Ruth, Williams, Gehrig and Bonds as possibly the best right-handed hitter of all time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Posts

    • Did Bradish go down officially in January? Or did they agree to some kind of PRP/therapy protocol to see if he could pitch this season?
    • I want to be on record as saying I think the defensive importance of 2B seems pretty underrated around here.  As I just mentioned, 2B actually handles more chances than SS.   And while many of those chances involve easier throws, there are plenty of tough plays where the 2B is throwing while his momentum is heading away from 1B, or across his body when charging a chopper.
    • I don’t see how any of the “logic” here matters. We got Burnes in a great deal, that should be enough. 
    • Yeah, I could also see something like 4 or 5 years for the pitchers but with the opt outs not starting until after year 2 or 3. Basically split the difference, more guaranteed money than the Bellinger/Correa structure and not the ability to re-enter FA right away, but still shorter than the 6+ years they wanted initially. All of those should work for the Orioles too, but it would have to be something where the sale is considered certain enough for both ownerships to green light it, and that’s only if they are budgeting a big enough payroll increase AND Elias thinks it’s a worthwhile deal. Plus on those types of deals they will have plenty of other teams interested. But the Wall + Snell/Montgomery being LHP + good team should make the Orioles as appealing as any other for a contract where they want to go back to FA, if they’re willing to put up comparable $.  Ultimately after this Bellinger deal it seems even more likely that Snell or Montgomery are going to end up signing for something that we wish the Orioles had done. Will hurt more if it’s Snell to NYY and/or Montgomery to BOS.
    • If it was a response to pitching injuries, I don’t think a major league pitcher would have been part of the package.
    • This is correct. He doesn’t HAVE to be Ozzie Smith out there if they decide to move him to SS but he will be an underwhelming defender there. That is and has been my point. Will he improve? Yes of course. He’s 20 years old. But he will not be the best defensive option on the team at the most important infield position and for a team like the O’s who have prioritized defense (especially up the middle) I just don’t see them taking the hit there defensively when there are better options. Could I be wrong? Sure. They don’t pay me for my opinions but we will see. He looks better to me as a 2B and again, I don’t rule out a move to the OF. 
    • He made some comment about “keeping him warm” at SS. Interesting fact: in 2023, the average team had more chances at 2B (674) than SS (617).   3B was distantly behind at 422.   
  • Popular Contributors

  • Create New...