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Elvis Andrus Wants Rangers to Walk Albert Pujols Every Time He’s Up

If the Texas Rangers are going to win the World Series, they will have to shake off an ugly, ugly Game 3 loss.  Thanks in part to a missed call by the umpires in the fourth inning, St. Louis went on to win by a video game score of 16-7.  A pretty good Cardinals hitter named Albert Pujols had a little something to do with it as well.

Pujols went deep three times to lead the Cardinals to victory and give them a 2-1 series lead.  If Albert continues to look even close to that good at the plate for the remainder of the series, it will be enough to put St. Louis on his back and take home the trophy.  Unless, of course, the Rangers just walk him from now on.  Texas shortstop Elvis Andrus thinks that would be a pretty good idea.

“We cannot take chances on Pujols,” Andrus said after Game 3 according to the Dallas Morning News. “Everybody knows how good he is. We’ve got to execute pitches. If he doesn’t chase, give him first base. We’d rather seeMatt Holliday beat us than Pujols. You never want to see the best hitter beat you.”

We agree.  In fact, we challenge you to disagree.  There comes a time when you no longer attack a hitter like Pujols — especially in the World Series.  Albert is arguably the best hitter in all of baseball.  The Rangers are better off assuming he’s going to hit a home run every time he steps to the plate.  If the bases aren’t loaded, don’t throw him a strike.

Fist pound to Hardball Talk for the story.

Albert Pujols Ties Record with Three Home Runs in World Series Game

After being criticized by the media for not speaking to reporters following Thursday’s game, Albert Pujols channeled his frustration into crushing the baseball Saturday night. The St. Louis stud tied a World Series record by hitting three home runs in the same game. Only Babe Ruth and Reggie Jackson have also done it. That company seems befitting for Albert.

Pujols also had two singles, went 5-for-6, and set a World Series record with 14 total bases in one game. He drove in six of St. Louis’ 16 runs.

His first homer was an absolute bomb that hit the second deck in left field. It came off Alexi Ogando who yielded a run for only the second time in his 10 postseason outings. His next homer was a two-run shot off Mike Gonzalez that went more towards center. His last homer came in the 9th off Darren Oliver.

Pitching around him may be a good idea for Texas the rest of the series.

The best part about Pujols is that he isn’t ready to marvel at his accomplishments yet — he wants to win the World Series first. If he keeps crushing the ball like this, they will.

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.”

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Why Albert Pujols Is in a Difficult Spot with His Contract Negotiations

Albert Pujols is the best player in baseball, and it’s been that way for the past 10 years. The Cardinals first baseman signed a 7-year $100 million contract prior to the 2004 season, exchanging three years of arbitration and four free agency years for the security of a significant financial commitment from the club. All the while Albert has continued to destroy opposing pitching like a mad man, run the bases well, and play good defense. He’s also vastly outproduced his $16 million annual salary the past three seasons and hasn’t complained when other inferior players signed contracts for more money.

Pujols has easily been one of the biggest bargains in baseball, playing for around half of what he’s been worth. Even his new teammate, Matt Holliday, signed for more money from the Cardinals. Michael Young and Adrian Beltre have matched his $16 million annual salary. Andruw Jones has surpassed it.

It’s time for Albert to get paid fairly, but can the Cardinals afford him?

In order for St. Louis to pay him what he’s worth, Pujols would have to make more than Alex Rodriguez’s 10-year $275 million contract. There’s little doubt that Albert deserves that sort of money — particularly after giving St. Louis a discount for five years — but such a deal would severely hamper the Cardinals’ ability to build a competitive team around him.

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Matt Holliday Willing to Rework Contract to Keep Albert Pujols

Albert Pujols has been very clear about his contract situation with the St. Louis Cardinals. One of the best all-around players in the history of the game, Pujols has given the Cards and his agent a deadline of Feb. 16 to work out a contract extension. By that time, he wants to focus on training camp and get ready for the season. According to SI’s Jon Heyman, the two sides are worlds apart just five days shy of the deadline.

Fear not, Cardinals fans.  Matt Holliday wants to help.  Well, maybe you should still be afraid if Pujols is seriously asking for 10 years at $300 million, but at least there are people trying to make it work.  According to MLB.com writer Matthew Leach via Hardball Talk, Holliday is willing to defer some of his salary if it would help retain Pujols.

I deferred $2 million a year for the whole contract and I would be willing, if they came to me and said, “Hey, this is what it’s going to take to get Albert done, would you do it again or do more?” Scott [Boras] probably wouldn’t like me to stay that, but if that’s what it took, I would be willing to do that.”

Pujols is going to be seeking the largest contract in MLB history, and deservedly so.  For that reason, I don’t know how much $2 million per year over the next six years — or $12 million — will help the situation.  What I will say is that the gesture is nice and it’s something you rarely see in an era where professional athletes look to squeeze out every penny they can with their contracts.

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No Way Albert Pujols Leaves St. Louis Despite Contract Extension Deadline

St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols reportedly has set a Spring Training deadline for contract extension negotiations, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Without an extension, Pujols will become a free agent after this season. In either case, Pujols has the chance to become one of the highest paid players in baseball history — right up there with Alex Rodriguez.

Even if a deal isn’t done by the time Spring Training starts and Pujols ends up becoming a free agent, it seems likely that he will stay in St. Louis after this year. The most obvious teams — those willing to spend that kind of money — already have talented, high-paid first baseman. The Yankees and Red Sox have Mark Teixeira and Adrian Gonzalez respectively; the Phillies have Ryan Howard, and the Tigers have Miguel Cabrera. Just a few years ago the Mets would have been a possibility, but their owners lost money in the Bernie Madoff scandal and have tried to cut spending as a result.

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Albert Pujols Personifies a Team Leader

There was major news over the weekend in St. Louis when it was reported that center fielder Colby Rasmus had requested a trade earlier in the year. Rasmus has been unhappy with his role in the organization for a few years now and wants to go somewhere he can play consistently.

When he was told about the trade request, Albert Pujols did not respond politely. In fact, the St. Louis first baseman and eventual Hall of Famer spoke sternly and more passionately about his team than almost any player I’ve ever heard. Even though it’s old news, you have to see Albert’s quotes in case you missed it. Here’s what he said:

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