Shaun Marcum and Edwin Jackson struggled in their starts on Sunday night in the 2011 National League Championship Series. That was no surprise considering their previous track records. The eighteen total runs scored made the over betters elated in Las Vegas. Albert Pujols had a home run and two runs batted in for the Cardinals.
Pujols has an average of over four hundred in the postseason with an on base percentage of over .550. He is widely seen as the top hitter in the National League and is a quality teammate-citizen in the Midwest. His prowess at first base has really improved over the years due to his diligence. There is nothing negative that I can write about the man besides his age. The player on the wrong side of thirty probably has the best years behind him…if he is not taking supplements.
The Texas Rangers will be the media darlings heading into the World Series due to the Josh Hamilton-fan incident. Having Nolan Ryan consistently behind the plate will not take the attention away from them either. St. Louis does, however, have a bigger and more fervent fan base. They were elated when slugger Lance Berkman attained the Comeback Player of the Year Award in the National League. Tony LaRussa’s genius has been on full display this season because the roster certainly does not put the fear of God into opposing players and coaches.
With that synopsis stated, the Cardinals should retain the services for Albert Pujols for the right price. His previous statements indicating something in the ballpark of a quarter billion dollars are not in the discussion for the organization’s brass. There are too many contracts that teams have regretted lately to seriously discuss these type of numbers. Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Alfonso Soriano, Carlos Zambrano, Adam Dunn, Alex Rios, Jake Peavy and Alex Rodriguez are simply a few of the culprits in the Major Leagues that have owners sweating bullets.
Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard has one hundred twenty five million dollars coming to him over the next five years. He and Pujols obviously play in the same league at first base. I don’t think anyone outside of the keystone state would argue that Howard is superior to Pujols as a total package. He is in the prime of his career though and does potentially have more power. With that said, a similar amount of money and years would be fair to Pujols.
There are readers out there right now cringing and saying how off base I am in my analysis. This is due to the prejudices that you already harbor. The video game numbers that were put up by elderly men in the past are no longer possible in today’s game. In addition, as Pujols nears forty, his value would be higher in the American League where he could serve as a designated hitter more often. The infrastructure is there in Missouri for success in the future no matter who is wearing the jerseys from the financial standpoint. The brass should be prudent in the decision-making process.