Pujols Breaks Drought
The St. Louis Cardinals opened a three-game series at PETCO Park against the San Diego Padres on Monday by securing a 3-1 victory. The news, however, was Albert Pujols, as he clubbed his eighth home run of the season ending the longest home run drought of his career, 105 at bats. Pujols deposited a Dustin Moseley pitch into the left-field seats, one row back, for his first home run since April 23rd and eighth this season.
This is a walk year for Albert and he’s obviously pressing as he has career low numbers across the board. At the moment, Pujols is on pace for a season of batting .269 with 27 HRs and 87 RBI. While that’s a pretty decent year for most major league mortals, that’s not going to get him a 10-year $300 million A-Rod type contract. It will be interesting to see how Albert plays the second half of the season as the media hounds him about his contract situation.
Nelson Cruz and Josh Hamilton hit two home runs and drove in three runs in their first game back from the disabled list, a 4-0 Rangers victory over the Chicago White Sox on Monday at the Ballpark in Arlington.
The Rangers are a completely different team with these two mashers in the lineup. If these two can remain healthy, there’s no reason the Rangers can’t return to the World Series, even without Cliff Lee.
Fred Wilpon the Talent Evaluator
New York airwaves were on fire yesterday with the news that Mets owner, Fred Wilpon bashed star members of his team in a story that was running into Tuesday’s edition of The New Yorker. Well, today the story is out for all to read so people can make up their own minds on whether the quotes being tossed around yesterday were taken out of context.
The 11,000-word story chronicles Wilpon’s rise to prominence in real estate, his business relationship with convicted Ponzi scheme operator Bernie Madoff and how his ongoing financial distress threatens to topple the baseball empire he created. The story also contained a passage in which Wilpon criticized outfielder Carlos Beltran, shortstop Jose Reyes and third baseman David Wright.
Wilpon called himself a “schmuck” for signing Beltran to a seven-year, $119 million deal. He indicated that Reyes would not reach his supposed financial goal as a free agent. And he tabbed Wright “not a superstar.”
On David Wright – “He’s pressing. A really good kid. A very good player. Not a superstar.”
On the value of Jose Reyes – “He thinks he’s going to get Carl Crawford money. He’s had everything wrong with him. He won’t get it.”
On Carlos Beltran – “He’s 65-to-70 percent of what he was.”
While many people are saying that it wasn’t smart to rip his players, in essence devaluing them, the reality is that his comments about Wright were measured and accurate while his comments on Reyes and Beltran were about two impending free agents. Any team that wants to sign them and pay them millions will certainly have their own opinions based on what see with their own eyes. No one is going to spend or not spend millions based on what another team’s owner said. If Wilpon said the he thought he had a roster full of All-Stars, would that make other teams all want to sign his players? No.
One interesting little tidbit to note here is that this article was written as a result of comments made to the author, Jeffrey Toobin, who was spending time with Fred Wilpon watching a game from the stands in April. Jason Bay was on the DL (what else is new) and wasn’t in the lineup so his name didn’t come up during the course of conversation. I’m guessing Fred has some opinions about the money he spent on Bay too.