“The Machine” Albert Pujols mentioned previous to the beginning of the season that 2022 could be his remaining season in MLB. Pujols is a three-time MVP, former Rookie of the Yr, two-time World Collection Champion, and is fifth on MLB’s all-time house run leaderboard with 683. He’s a sure-fire first-ballot Corridor of Famer, and barring a number of baseball elitists with ballots of their arms, ought to be the second-ever participant to be unanimously despatched to Cooperstown. Pujols saved his arms clear all through each MLB scandal and deserves nothing lower than the utmost respect from the baseball world. So, why hasn’t he been given the identical respect that Derek Jeter and David Ortiz acquired throughout their remaining seasons?
A couple of days in the past, Padres’ third baseman Manny Machado introduced this level to consideration. Regardless of Pujols being arguably the very best participant of his technology, MLB is treating his remaining season like simply one other go-round for all 30 groups.
That wasn’t the case for folks like Jeter and Ortiz although. Jeter obtained his personal line of commercials with Jordan and Gatorade. That’s miles and miles greater than something Pujols has acquired. In the meantime, Ortiz obtained a sequence of tribute movies throughout his remaining appearances at virtually each ballpark. To this point, Pujols has acquired a pair good tweets and video tributes from the Tampa Bay Rays, San Francisco Giants, and New York Mets, and that Rays’ tribute got here after Machado’s feedback. Why so little?
Is it his private relationship drama? I imply, leaving his wife only a few days after she undergoes mind surgical procedure isn’t an excellent look, however that has been all however forgotten by baseball followers. To not point out, Jeter’s love life wasn’t precisely the cleanest both. He began relationship Mariah Carey when she was nonetheless married, and it was reported that Jeter would leave signed memorabilia for his sexual partners after they spent the evening collectively.
Might or not it’s that Pujols hasn’t been the identical participant he was in his youth for practically a decade now? That’s a greater cause, but it surely doesn’t change the influence he had on the sport between 2001 and 2014. The primary 14 years of his profession had been among the biggest in MLB historical past. There have been reputable ramblings that Pujols might need been on observe to be the best hitter of all-time. Yeah, that greatness fell off drastically when he obtained into his late 30s, however a 14-year prime is nothing to scoff at.
What makes the shortage of fanfare even worse is that Pujols isn’t retiring by himself. He’ll be retiring alongside longtime Cardinals’ catcher Yadier Molina. Collectively, the pair fashioned some of the formidable 2-3 pairs in baseball. Though Molina was by no means the offensive powerhouse that Pujols was, he has remained arguably extra related than Pujols for his defensive capabilities. Collectively, these two received a pair of championships and are among the biggest gamers ever at their respective positions, but neither is getting the popularity they deserve.
Props to Machado for calling out this hypocrisy. I perceive that Jeter could have been extra impactful on the outreach baseball had within the ’90s and ’00s — most likely as a result of he was in New York and dated celebrities — however apart from World Collection titles, his accolades pale compared to what Pujols has been capable of accomplish. Give The Machine his due!