Sunday State of Mind: May 10th-May 16th

Photo: IUCN

A great week of sports is coming to an end. We reminisce in this week’s SSM.

The Aaron Rodgers saga continues to drag
Waiting for someone to waive the white flag
The Packers keep adding new quarterbacks
This is one high stakes game of QB blackjack

A short unemployment for Albert Pujols
He signed with the Dodgers, shut down the trolls
Will he be a great role player the defending champs want?
A huge pool of talent, the Dodgers can flaunt

The Basketball Hall added branches to their tree
Highlighted by Kobe, Tim Duncan, and KG
The 2021 members have also been named
Another stellar group joining the Naismith Hall of Fame

An Albert Pujols Appreciation Blog

Shocking, though not terribly surprising news dropped on Thursday. The Los Angeles Angels announced that they would be releasing Albert Pujols. Pujols had been with the team since 2012, signing an at the time 10 year, $240 million mega deal.

Pujols, a missed nomination for the funniest names in sports, continued a completely understandable late career downtrend this season. Through 24 games in 2021, he is hitting .198 with a .622 OPS. For reference, his first year in LA he hit .285 and .859, respectively.

However, we are not here to kick Pujols while he’s down. Father Time is undefeated (unless you’re Tom Brady), so the declining numbers we’ve seen from Pujols is nothing short of expected.

We’re here to celebrate what may be the end of one of the most spectacular baseball players in the modern era. Hand up; I’m a Cubs fan. I think enough time has passed that myself and fellow North Siders can appreciate Pujols for what he was, an absolute tank who refused to not rip your heart out at any given moment.

Let’s just break this down. In his 11 years in St. Louis, Pujols hit 445 home runs, knocked in 1,329 RBI, maintained an 1.037 OPS, and was an unearthly 86.6 WAR. I’m not a math guy, but we’re looking at averages of about 40 HRs, 121 RBI, and 7.9 WAR. That’s an average year. Just bananas numbers.

Now, the numbers did dip once he left The Cardinals for the West Coast. Even so, the numbers are still pretty impressive for a guy entering the back half of his career. During his 10 seasons with The Halos, Pujols racked up 222 HRs, 783 RBI, a .758 OPS, and a 12.8 WAR. I won’t bore you with averages here, but you can see the production was still there.

A sure fire Hall of Famer, and seemingly a pretty good guy off the field. Albert Pujols deserves the appreciation from any baseball fan lucky enough to watch him in the past 21 years. If this is it, here’s to an incredible career.