SocraticGadfly: Pujols to Dodgers!? Some untold story in Anaheim, or Phat Albert's revenge porn signing?

May 15, 2021

Pujols to Dodgers!? Some untold story in Anaheim, or Phat Albert's revenge porn signing?

I did NOT NOT NOT have the Los Angeles Dodgers on my Albert Pujols bingo/dance card, but reportedly, that is exactly what is happening.

And, that's the subject of this post, per this header.

The Angels released Phat Albert because he wanted more playing time and they wouldn't guarantee it. It boiled down to whether they're better with Taylor Ward in RF and Jared Walsh at 1B rather than Walsh playing halfway out of position in right and Pujols at first. And, the answer is likely the former, and Pujols doesn't want to ride pine, with Shohei Ohtani ahead of him at DH, too, he would ride plenty of pine. Neither did Alex Rodriguez at the end of his career, so one could say "can't blame Pujols."

One CAN question how well he can be self-honest when he told the Haloes he thought he could play every day AT FIRST. That story notes that he wouldn't have been playing there at all had Dexter Fowler not had a season-ending injury.

(Update, June 15: One month in, and small sample size caveats, plus platooning caveats, and all? Phat Albert's Dodgertown time shows him having his best batting since his first year with the Haloes.)


The Dodgers have made CLEAR he's coming off the bench.

Red Satan says Max Muncy can slide over to second or third base at times. That, in turn, would let them supposedly rest Justin Turner and/or keep him at third and play Gavin Lux less.

But, that ain't happening THAT much.

Red Satan also ignores the Blue also has Matt Beaty to play first.

And, it ignores in passing that the Dodgers are an NL team with no DH except in interleague play.

So, what gives?

Per the rest of the header, some sort of revenge signing? I mean, this IS a cross-town issue.

If Albert were honest and said "I hate losing and I'm ditching this Coke stand," some people might say, OK. But, he said (per the Angels and he's not denied it) that he wants to play more, and that ain't happening.

And, the Dodgers do NOT need a "veteran presence." They've got plenty of that in the field and on the mound both, with Mookie Betts, Trevor Bauer, Clayton Kershaw, David Price et al. And, shit, they won the World Series last year!

So now, The Machine actually looks worse than A-Rod in the twilight of his career. Now, there could be some unknown story in Anaheim. Maybe, like Aaron Rodgers seeing the Pack draft his replacement Jordan Love and being pissed, he thinks it could have been handled better. (If that's the case, Albert: here's the handwriting on the wall; please read.) 

And, at least he's lucky he just plays 1B. I am old enough to remember Willie Mays, whom Albert passed last year on the HR race, falling down rounding second in the 1973 World Series. It was a sad moment.

Oh, and Albert? Your range factor per game and per 9 innings? WORSE than Miguel Cabrera, for doorknob's sake. You've arguably been about as bad as him for 3-4 years.

Per my notes above, whether this is revenge porn over Haloes issues or just self-delusion? Either case, it's sad. I mean, as I said in my tribute piece last week, I'm pretty sure the man is 42, not 41, and I'm open to him being 43 years old.


From the Dodgers' POV, I guess it's better than promoting somebody from the minors. But, when Cody Bellinger comes back, the roster will be even more crowded. Plus, will Albert really accept not playing much, especially when Bellinger DOES come back? Yeah, the Angels talked about his mentorship and such, but ... we'll see. 

And, weirder yet? And further undercutting Pujols getting playing time? A week ago, I suggested the Rays were a good candidate for Pujols because DH Yoshi Tsutsugo sucked. Well, the Rays released him ... and the Dodgers signed him.


Now, a request to top baseball reporters.

1. A fairly serious grilling of Pujols on "why the Dodgers," since it contradicts his playing time claims. Since MLBTR was dumb enough to bite on rumors by Jon Heyman and Fansided, when few others were pushing the narrative of "3-4 teams are interested," get some confirmation. Off the records are accepted. (MLBTR, don't say you were "just reporting," even if you did offer a later update from Heyman. You could have had some "couching in skepticism" with the links from the start.) AND, there's no nostalgia involved, unlike this person on baseball Twitter claiming Pujols WOULD ride pine to come back to St. Louis. (And, before DeJong's injury opening playing time for Carpenter at second with Edman moving to short, that would be PLENTY of pine.) And, with all this added news, getting close to doing a new update.

2. Ditto on the Angels. Ask GM Perry Minasian and prez John Carpino (as well as off the records, all being fine) if there was some tension we've not been previously told about. As noted, had Dex not been hurt, he wouldn't have been playing that much in the first place with the Angels, unless Joe Maddon is a sentimental idiot when he makes out lineup cards.


Tim Dierkes said...

It's no secret that Albert Pujols is a staunch Republican, as evidenced in 2010 when he attended a Tea Party rally. Rumors are that with the increasingly left-leaning Angels clubhouse that he wasn't a very popular teammate, especially with Mike Trout! Trout reportedly told Arte Moreno and whoever the GM is that it's either Pujols or Trout's team and that Trout would demand a trade to the Phillies or Yankees, so even though the customary thing would have been to let Pujols ride out his contract, they released him to appease Trout.

Gadfly said...

This IS a great Poe by Dierkes who, for the unknowing, runs MLBTR. That said, Tim, wouldn't he have begged harder for reunion with MAGA Tony the Pony La Russa?

That said, Tim, while MLBTR is an aggregator and not really an original reporting site, surely you've got connections enough to prod somebody to ask those questions I list at the end?