Let me just tell you something, I think this whole story on Albert Pujols…people have lost their minds! Now, the first thing to know…this is St. Louis, it’s like Boston, they sell their games out, no matter who is hitting in the 4th spot. This is not like Seattle, where one guy drives you in and if he leaves, you’re not as interesting, nor is it San Diego. It is – in my opinion, St Louis is the best baseball city in the U.S. Chicago and Boston are also up there. They don’t need Stan Musial to draw people, he left…they still sold out! McGuire left, they still sold out. Pujols leaves…they will still sell out.
From a business and economics stand point, you don’t need Albert Pujols – I mean, I’m not saying he doesn’t hurt merchandise sales, I’m not saying he’s not popular. But St. Louis is the best baseball city, in my opinion, in the U.S. They don’t need one guy….that’s what I said about Derek Jeter “bye bye Derek” What? Nobody is going to go to a Yankee game? He’s the 4th best player in the infield…where is he going to go?
I got an email from someone, who was asking me to start ranting about baseball and he says “I cannot believe that every team wouldn’t pony up $30 million dollars for Pujols” Dude, sabermetrics says… your wrong!! And I’m not a sabermetrics guy as I use to be, but it still has some value. You know what Albert Pujols is? To some degree, he’s a boat or a hot-tub. Looks great in the driveway, looks great on the deck…adds nothing to your net worth! It’s something you brag about, but doesn’t translate to anything.
Edgar Renteria, a situational hitter and clutch hitter, is more valuable in the post-season than Albert Pujols. Think I’m wrong? In 3 World Series, he’s hitting .333 with 5 doubles, 2 homers, 10 RBI’s and a World Series MVP….he’s a great situational hitter. And when you face elite pitching, that’s more important than power hitters.
Let me give you an example of all the great power hitters of our time. Barry Bonds “oh my god, that guys unbelievable” ohh really? In 9 series in the playoffs, he won 2 series…both in the same year and he played for 20 years. How about Sammy Sosa “he’s unbelievable” ohh really? 18 years and only has 1 playoff series win. Mark McGuire, A-rod…where are all the big playoff wins?
Albert Pujols has been in 2 playoffs series and 2 World Series in his life. In one, 3 for 15 and batted .200. In the other, 3 singles, 2 doubles…no homers! He’s collectively batted .267 in 2 World Series. Edgar Renteria, So Taguchi…they got hits. Pujols is to some degree a boat, looks great in the driveway, but what does it do to your net worth? You brag to your buddies…it can be really fun for an afternoon, but it’s not worth what everybody thinks it’s worth.
You would be out of your mind to give him $300 million dollars, or even $200 million. I don’t know what it is about baseball people, but they tend to be kind of romantics with their sport. How can you look at his numbers and not acknowledge that he’s declining? Not rapidly, not overnight. But his strikeouts have gone up 3 straight years. What does that tell you? His bat speed has probably gone down a little. His average has gone down 3 straight years.
Now you can argue, whether or not you think he’s losing something. You have to acknowledge that he’s not getting better. So I’m going to pay him for the last 8 years of his performance? You’re paying him retroactively!!! It’s like you’re paying him on his prior elite years! You’re not going to get anything out of this from his last 3 years of this contract, if you give him a 7 year deal. You’re just burning money.
There was a study done a couple of years ago, I don’t recall who did it, I think it was someone over at ESPN or Fox Sports like a Keith Law or Ken Rosenthal. The study asked the question “How many wins is a player worth?” and the results out of that study were shocking, on how few they were worth. I think it was when Carlos Delgado went from Toronto to the Mets. The study found him to be worth 1 ½ wins a year for a replacement player.
So what is Pujols worth to the Cardinals’ line-up along with having the best pitching staff in the NL Central? They still finished 5 games back of the young Reds. That’s with Albert Pujols and with the best starting pitchin,g in a garbage division…they still finish 5 games back!!! With the best baseball manager, best starting pitching in the Central, with Albert Pujols….they couldn’t beat the Reds. Who by the way, embarrassed themselves and were a fraud against the Phillies, who themselves were beaten by San Francisco.
So this idea that St. Louis is going to fall a part…it’s like Duke in college basketball. You think Duke Basketball – when two guys leave early, it’s gonna fall apart? It’s Duke!!! I mean, when USC recruits a football player, they are not getting 4 years out of him….their getting 3 and then he’s going to the NFL.
Think about this, based on 400 at-bats, the difference between Pujols – who hits like .308 and a .283 hitter, is 10 hits….over the course of a 162 games. That’s like a hit in every 16 games. That’s worth $25- 30 million a year? At 400 at-bats, the difference between a .283 hitter and a .308 hitter is 10 hits!! We are honestly over-valuing power hitters. Like heck, who are the 2 favourites to win the World Series this coming season? The Phillies and the Red Soxs why? Speed, pitching and defence…especially speed and pitching.