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Friday, October 31, 2014

Tim McCarver Thinks Albert Pujols Has Taken the Heat off Prince Fielder

Anyone who watches FOX Saturday baseball on a regular basis knows that Tim McCarver provides some of the strangest commentary possible. The TV show Family Guy parodied him with this sad but hilarious clip that explains everything.

Even when McCarver isn’t providing analysis on games, he’s providing shoddy commentary on baseball.

In an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, McCarver said that the attention paid to Albert Pujols has helped Prince Fielder. Seriously. Can’t make this stuff up.

“There has been so much emphasis put on Pujols and the Cardinals, that this has allowed Prince to relax and have a terrific year this year, unlike Albert,” McCarver said during a telephone interview. “I think Albert has taken the heat for first basemen of his ilk, and Prince is the primary one.”

“I don’t think Prince feels it like Albert does,” McCarver said. “Players deny that, but from the way I see it, I think you certainly can make a case for it. That’s one of the reasons Prince has been allowed to play as well as he’s played. All the talk has been deflected from him. It’s allowed him to play the way he can play.”

I think we can all agree that Albert Pujols has had a sub-par year, but many reasons can be attributed to his struggles. Maybe he hasn’t been healthy. Maybe his skills are slightly diminishing. Maybe he even does feel extra pressure to perform during a contract year. Who knows why he’s had a tougher time than normal this year? It’s a debatable question for which Albert Pujols may not have the answer.

But here’s one thing I do know: What goes on with Albert Pujols is completely independent of Prince Fielder.

First off, unlike what the plugged-in McCarver believes, Fielder’s status as a free agent is discussed constantly. There’s frequent speculation regarding his future with the Brewers. When he visits big cities they talk about him potentially signing with their club. He’s been linked to the Cubs, to the Yankees, and he’s been included in the same conversations as Pujols. Someone, pray tell me, how is Pujols taking the pressure off of Prince?

Not only is McCarver factually incorrect, but the logic to his reasoning just doesn’t make sense. Matter of fact, there just isn’t any logic to it.

If Prince Fielder is crushing the ball, it’s because he’s an elite power hitter who has a track record of having monster seasons every other year since 2007. Add the motivation of scoring a monster contract (studies have shown players in contract years tend to perform well) and it’s no wonder why Prince is having an awesome year.

Pujols’ struggles could be related to his contract, but there doesn’t seem to be any more pressure on him to perform than all other years he’s been asked to carry the Cardinals’ offense. Matter of conjecture, after the team signed Lance Berkman in the offseason, he might feel less pressure to produce.

Tim McCarver couldn’t be more wrong with his analysis. It just lacks any sense or reasoning. McCarver, please think before you speak. It might just help us all. Including yourself.



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