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  1. #1
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    Albert Pujols 3000 hit watch

    Pujols currently at 2999 hits. Unless he has a terrible weekend, we should expect to see his 3000th hit come this weekend.

  2. #2
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    Per BP:

    Earlier this month, Pujols gave an interview with Tim Brown, of Yahoo! Sports—the reporter who first broke Guerrero’s age discrepancy. It aired on the first edition of the Yahoo! MLB Podcast. In it, Brown asked Pujols to take him back over a story that Pujols had told Brown before, about his first over-the-fence home run.

    “I actually hit it off Octavio Dotel, I think I told you that,” Pujols said with a laugh. (Brown didn’t remember that.) “I was about about 12, 13, almost 13 years old,” he continued.

    Pujols talked about how giddy he felt, about the excitement and disbelief. “And we go back, you know, 28 years later, and here I am.”

    I’ve listened to this four times, because I didn’t want to report that Pujols is 40 (or 41, I guess) based just on something like this, but I needed to know how much to trust it. Very often, in conversations like these about old times, people get imprecise. They throw a number out. When Guerrero was revealed to be a year older than he’d let on, the official record had him as 33, but he slipped up in an interview and said he was 34 while laughingly talking about the difficulty of recovering from an injury. It was that simple. It could have been a mistake. I told someone I was 28 just a week ago, forgetting my recent birthday. Yet, the reporters to whom Guerrero had been talking caught it, and when they followed up, he simply admitted the truth. It was because he’d said his age with such certainty, though, that the reporters decided to follow up.

    In this case, I have that same instinct. Pujols’ cadence during that recollection wasn’t that of someone estimating or casually tossing off the number. The degree of vividity with which he described the moment and his feelings about it left me feeling like he was locked into the memory, engaged with it. It seemed fixed in his mind. That’s not the hammer, but it’s worth noting.

    Brown, titillated by the detail he’d forgotten in this treasured story, followed up on Dotel.

    “Well, Dotel, I believe he’s like three or four years older than me,” Pujols said. “He was in the league above me, and it was actually like an intrasquad game.”

    Now, we’re cooking with gas.

    Dotel, whose birthdate we know for sure because it was corrected and verified well after his career began, is 44. He was born in late November 1973. Dotel signed with the Mets in March 1993, so it’s technically possible for Pujols to have hit that homer at age 12 or 13, against Dotel, and still be 38 now. However, that would be a shocking age disparity for the two players at the time. More importantly, though, Pujols himself said Dotel is “three or four years” older than he. That would put Pujols’ actual birthdate in either 1977 or 1978.

    Those two little things in Pujols’ recounting of that event are all of the new evidence I can add to the ledger, but I think it really could be enough. If he misspoke, he did it twice, and the mistakes were consistent with each other. It seems more likely that he simply spoke plainly, in the company of a writer he knows well, and forgot to maintain the timeline on which we’d all previously settled.

    So, the balance of probability says that Pujols is now 40. Why does that matter? It’s not just that, perhaps, his atrocious 2017 makes a bit more sense, and it’s not just the way we can adjust our expectations of his output over the final four years of his contract. If Pujols is 40, his career makes a little bit more sense, and is a bit easier to put into its proper historical frame.

    In baseball history, there have been 22 players who were not merely Hall of Famers before they turned 30, and not only Hall of Famers, but no-doubt guys. Many of them had won multiple MVPs by that age. The cool thing—the thing that speaks to Pujols’ greatness—is that he’s one of those 22 no matter whether you think he was born in 1978 or in 1980. Here are those players, with their WARP totals through age 30, and the same from age 31 onward.

    Note: For the several players on this list who played a significant chunk of their careers prior to 1950, the given numbers are all Baseball Reference WAR. Our database for WARP and other advanced metrics goes back only to 1950. I’ve starred those players’ names below.

    Player WARP, Through 30 WARP, After 30
    Ty Cobb* 97.8 53.2
    Mickey Mantle 95.4 22.3
    Albert Pujols (b. 1980) 91.9 16.9
    Rogers Hornsby* 90.4 36.6
    Hank Aaron 82.4 65.2
    Willie Mays 80.4 81.7
    Mel Ott* 80.1 27.7
    Jimmie Foxx* 79.7 16.4
    Babe Ruth* 79.6 82.5
    Frank Robinson 78.5 39.5
    Tris Speaker* 77.6 56.5
    Eddie Collins* 76.4 47.6
    Alex Rodriguez 75.8 30.8
    Rickey Henderson 75.7 47.0
    Barry Bonds 74.9 93.0
    Stan Musial* 73.9 54.2
    Ted Williams* 72.6 50.5
    Ken Griffey Jr. 72.6 10.5
    Lou Gehrig* 72.5 39.9
    Eddie Mathews 70.7 19.9
    Albert Pujols (b. 1978) 68.7 40.1
    Cal Ripken Jr. 58.4 15.3
    Johnny Bench 60.0 9.0

    Looking at this list, the Pujols who’s only 38 stands out like a sad, sore thumb. He’s better in his 20s than any other player since the dawn of the expansion era, by a huge gap, but he’s also worse from age 31 onward than anyone who’s anywhere near him on the list—even worse than Jimmie Foxx, who lost almost two full seasons to World War II in his mid-30s.

    Comparing these figures—which are on two different scales, since WARP and bWAR aren’t precisely the same, and which are for players who came up under disparate systems of player procurement and development, faced different challenges and enjoyed different advantages—is an imperfect way to lay this out, but the point is clear. Pujols’ career makes much more sense if he were born in 1978. He looks less superhuman in his 20s, but then he was playing against tougher competition than perhaps anyone else on this list in their 20s, and maybe if his real age had been known and his talent had been properly scouted, he would have reached the majors two years earlier anyway. In his 30s, he doesn’t fall off a cliff in such an inexplicable way. His career arc maps nicely to those of players to whom he seems most similar, like Robinson, Rodriguez, Musial, Williams, and Gehrig.

    When Pujols collects hit no. 3,000, it will be a great moment to take stock of how great he is, and to appreciate the relatively graceful way he’s aged. We might all appreciate it more if we also keep in mind that the man attaining that milestone is probably 40 years old, since that will make the fact that he’s a shell of his former self much more palatable. In fact, that should make everything about Pujols’ remaining seasons a bit easier to understand, and less frustrating for all involved.


  3. #3
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    Gonna suck in a few years for the angles to owe a 45 year old 30 million bucks haha

  4. #4
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    If I were the Angels, I wouldve investigate this and gotten the later part of his contract voided. Could simply say something like “we were paying him from his age 30-40 season, he’s actually 41 so we shouldn’t have to pay him”

    Regardless, he’ll get into the Hall. Never thought he’d hit a brick wall as hard as he did unless there was some age discrepancy.

    But at the same time, you can’t really fault these guys because not everyone celebrates their birthday. Where I’m from, a lot of my relatives don’t know how old they are or their birthday so their passports are 85% of the time incorrect.

  5. #5
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    Jul 2010
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    I'm sad he won't be doing it in a Cards uniform, but this is a special number 3000 for me.

    I wasn't alive for Stan, and there aren't too many players that I remember their call up, first big league hit, first big league home run, like I remember Pujols'

    He's an absolute machine, and had a hell of a career. One of the best of our generation, and we were lucky to get his prime in St. Louis as he was the anchor of some special teams.

    I remember Jeter as a rookie very well, I remember Ichiro of course, Beltre wasn't a memorable rookie for me, but I do remember him bursting on the scene when he hit those 49. I remember A-Rod as a rookie, and I remember Biggio as a young player, but not as a rookie or anything.

    Pujols being a Cardinal was obviously special too. But I've never seen a hitter like him in my lifetime. Bonds, Ichiro, and others were special/had their uniqueness. Pujols was my favorite right handed hitter ever to watch. His approach and explosion at the plate was awesome.

    I'll be cheering for him. Special moment.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zmaster52 View Post
    If I were the Angels, I wouldve investigate this and gotten the later part of his contract voided. Could simply say something like “we were paying him from his age 30-40 season, he’s actually 41 so we shouldn’t have to pay him”

    Regardless, he’ll get into the Hall. Never thought he’d hit a brick wall as hard as he did unless there was some age discrepancy.

    But at the same time, you can’t really fault these guys because not everyone celebrates their birthday. Where I’m from, a lot of my relatives don’t know how old they are or their birthday so their passports are 85% of the time incorrect.
    Why would you do that? That is trivial money to the organization and they can honor the contract and move him into an organizational position etc. The ill will that it would cause in baseball and the So Cal community isn't worth what the pennies on the dollar they would save relative to their cash flow and their enterprise value. Bad idea IMO

  7. #7
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    He did it!!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by turnaround3 View Post
    Per BP:
    I’m surprised you haven’t made a thread about the shootings at ballpark village yet...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by zookman65 View Post
    Why would you do that? That is trivial money to the organization and they can honor the contract and move him into an organizational position etc. The ill will that it would cause in baseball and the So Cal community isn't worth what the pennies on the dollar they would save relative to their cash flow and their enterprise value. Bad idea IMO
    They still have 700 home run milestone to go as well, chances are he's making that.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by lakerfan85 View Post
    I’m surprised you haven’t made a thread about the shootings at ballpark village yet...
    Lol same

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zmaster52 View Post
    If I were the Angels, I wouldve investigate this and gotten the later part of his contract voided. Could simply say something like “we were paying him from his age 30-40 season, he’s actually 41 so we shouldn’t have to pay him”

    Regardless, he’ll get into the Hall. Never thought he’d hit a brick wall as hard as he did unless there was some age discrepancy.

    But at the same time, you can’t really fault these guys because not everyone celebrates their birthday. Where I’m from, a lot of my relatives don’t know how old they are or their birthday so their passports are 85% of the time incorrect.
    https://www.12up.com/posts/6041654-a...his-listed-age

  12. #12
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    Oct 2017
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    This would be a tough one for the Angels to win, especially since this was thought to have been true when they originally signed him.


    It does suck that Albert lost two years off his career though. Imagine where he'd be numbers wise if you replaced his last two years, with actual healthy productive years at the beginning.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by zookman65 View Post
    Why would you do that? That is trivial money to the organization and they can honor the contract and move him into an organizational position etc. The ill will that it would cause in baseball and the So Cal community isn't worth what the pennies on the dollar they would save relative to their cash flow and their enterprise value. Bad idea IMO
    I rather save that 50MM and invest it on a pitching staff. If Pujols was worth anything positive for the halos then I would agree but he’s been awful, it’s a business decision tbh.

    Sure, you can give him a happily ever after but I would try to get away from that contract ASAP then use that money to try and sign Kershaw/Harper next offseason.

  14. #14
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    The problem becomes if they do it, and fail... how will that affect them long term? Players won't appreciate teams who try to get out of contracts like that.

    Even if they did win, you think that would endear them to signing Harper to a 12 year contract? I would guess that many players would then shy away from the Angels, thinking they might try to get out of contracts later on.
    Plus, they have signed Pujols to a 10 year service agreement after retirement. What happens to that? If Pujols can hit 700 HR's, he'll make quite a bit of money for the team. 3,000 hits made a lot of money for them. There's certainly value to having him on the roster. No way the Angels would risk that backlash, especially when a judge will most likely say "you were aware when you signed him".

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obabikon View Post
    The problem becomes if they do it, and fail... how will that affect them long term? Players won't appreciate teams who try to get out of contracts like that.

    Even if they did win, you think that would endear them to signing Harper to a 12 year contract? I would guess that many players would then shy away from the Angels, thinking they might try to get out of contracts later on.
    Plus, they have signed Pujols to a 10 year service agreement after retirement. What happens to that? If Pujols can hit 700 HR's, he'll make quite a bit of money for the team. 3,000 hits made a lot of money for them. There's certainly value to having him on the roster. No way the Angels would risk that backlash, especially when a judge will most likely say "you were aware when you signed him".
    Meh. It’ll just deter players who lie about their age, I don’t think it’ll deter players like Harper.

    Pujols has provided more negative value than positive. The only times he’ll gather crowds is when he’s approaching milestones so what? A handful to maybe 10 more games of his career? I don’t think that’s worth it when a guy is consistently worth at least -1 win every year.

    There’s a big difference between being 38 and 40 like what is speculated. The production really drops and it would also explain why Pujols hit a brick wall as hard as he did.

    Can’t comment on the service clause he has for when he retired, wasn’t aware of that.

    If the Angels did know then yeah, suck it up. If they didn’t then I’d damn well try to get away from that. Maybe it’s just me but I’m not a fan of paying a 38 year old 25MM a year - even less if he’s actually 40. By the time his contract is up, the Angels will just be kicking themselves more.

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