Technically speaking, Albert Pujols is having the worst season of his career. Though he leads the National League with 36 home runs, he also leads it in grounded in double plays. Worse, Pujols is only batting .300 with a .371 on-base percentage and a .921 OPS—all the worst totals of his career.
In fact, a quick glance at the numbers Pujols has produced this season proves that he soon will drop to the status of a mere mortal. Of all the years to lead the league with only 36 homers and a subpar .300 batting average, Pujols picked the worse one.
See, Pujols is playing out the last year of his eight-year contract signed before the 2004 season. His salary is $16 million for 2011 and speculation is that it could climb as much as twice that rate in the future. Whether the Cardinals can afford Pujols no matter what the price tag remains up in the air, so it’s understandable that the team is making some contingency plans.
Nevertheless, if the Cardinals lose Pujols there likely will be some fallout in St. Louis. That only makes sense considering Pujols not only is a pillar of the community in his hometown, but also is the best hitter of this generation.
Actually, when all is said and done, Pujols could go down as the greatest right-handed hitter to ever play. He could be the yin to Ted Williams’ yang, or perhaps more apt, the right-handed Stan Musial.
Fact is fact… Albert Pujols is the best hitter I have ever seen.
I only caught the tail end of Rod Carew’s career and I remember seeing him play a few times on NBC’s Saturday afternoon Game of the Week with Tony Kubek and Joe Garagiola doing the call in the late ‘70s. Carew had that big old chaw in his right cheek and that crazy batting stance of his. When my friends and I would play ball in the courtyard behind our home in Washington, some one would always imitate Rod Carew or Lee May, who was the DH and star for the Orioles before Eddie Murray came into his own.