October 22, 2012
What does it say about the St. Louis Cardinals that despite losing Albert Pujols to free agency that they are in the NLCS? I mean, we’re talking about the player many have described as the best hitter of our generation, right?
More importantly, what does it say about Albert Pujols?
I know this is a hot topic among Angel fans and baseball fans in general. When you look at the surface of this discussion – you can come to some easy conclusions, right? At the very least – you can ask some pointed questions…
Is Albert Pujols over-rated?
Some of you; heck, a lot of you are standing and yelling at the top of young lungs – YES, he’s over-rated!
Not so fast.
Look, before we even get into this discussion – I would like to point out that this isn’t the first time a genuine super-star has left a team only to find that his former team had tremendous success the following season without him.
Alex Rodriguez left Seattle following the 2000 season when the Mariners won 91 games. The following season the Mariners won an incredible 116 games without ARod while the Rangers only won 73. Same thing happened again when ARod left Texas following the 2003 season when the Ranges won 71 games and improved to 89 wins the following season without him.
Does that make ARod any less of a player?
Ha! Don't think I didn't hear that snide comment of yours!
Personal opinions about his character aside; from a purely statistical point of view, ARod has been one of the best offensive players in the game. The fact that the teams he left ended up winning more games without him is probably more coincidence than anything and as fun as it is to level the blame at his feet (and that is big time fun) – that idea is suspect in my opinion.
Same goes for Albert. The Cardinals are simply a great organization. Not only are they winning without Albert, but also without Hall of Fame manager Tony LaRussa and one of the most respected pitching coaches ever in Dave Duncan.
I think it says more about the Cardinals than it does about Albert. Rather than point any fingers at Albert, I think we should simply praise the Cardinals.
Think about it. Isn’t it more appropriate to say that the Cardinals won in spite of losing Albert rather than because of losing him?
I think it is. Give credit where credit is due... the Cardinals are great.
So, let's stop with the Albert Pujols bashing and get back to enjoying the fact that the Texas Rangers and Oakland A's (like the Angels) are also watching the post season from home. Just saying.