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Albert Pujols’ Agent, Dan Lozano, Reportedly Negotiated Team-Friendly Deal in 2004 Because He was Broke

Anyone who is familiar with sports knows about the stereotypes associated with sports agents. They lie, they back-stab, and they tell a player anything he or she wants to hear. An agent will give off the appearance that he is a player’s best friend, but at the end of the day we all know it’s about nothing more than money. Since it is usually strictly about money for the player, the relationship works out nicely. For someone like Dan Lozano, recent accusations could complicate things a bit.

On Tuesday, Deadspin released a lengthy report about Lozano that highlights all the sleaze ball tactics he has used to build his list of All-Star clients that includes Alex Rodriguez and Albert Pujols. Among the entertaining recollections of running a prostitution ring, sexually harassing employees, and drinking excessively was some information that could be particularly disturbing to Pujols.

The sources who fueled the Deadspin story claim Lozano is a a brilliant chameleon — one who has played the rowdy party animal for guys like Mike Piazza and the Christian church-goer for Pujols and his wife.  In addition to pretending to be someone he is not, Lozano also may have screwed Pujols out of millions of dollars because he was in such serious financial trouble.

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Curt Schilling Questions if Albert Pujols is Worth $25-30 Million a Year

Albert Pujols is scheduled to be a free agent for the first time after completing his existing contract with the Cardinals. The sides were unable to agree on an extension before the season, putting Albert in a difficult spot. He’s worth a lot of money, and he wants to remain with the Cardinals, but it will be hard for St. Louis to keep him if he wants to be paid more than any player in baseball. Former pitcher and current analyst Curt Schilling isn’t sure Pujols is even worth that.

“I’m not sure if eight years … you’re talking about a $200-$250 million deal if the numbers are to be believed. They’re some questions in my mind if this is a 25 or 30 million dollar [player],” Schilling said after the World Series ended. “[He's the] best offensive player in the game — not for a second do I question that. But if I’m going to pay a guy $25-$30 million, I need everything.

“I need that clubhouse presence. I need that guy who stands in front of the media win or lose and doesn’t shirk that stuff off to his teammates. I was a little disappointed after the Game 2 situation. Regardless of what happened, you’re a leader. I don’t want my teammates to have to field questions about me.

“The Alex Rodriguez contract, I don’t think is coming out to be a very good thing for the Yankees and the future of that organization. He’s going to hamstring somebody by signing a contract. If [Pujols] does it [in St. Louis] he’s got the surrounding cast. He goes somewhere else, that might not be the case.”

The A-Rod contract is an argument against paying big money for a slugger in his thirties, but Pujols has always been more consistent than Rodriguez. Still it’s hard to argue with Schilling; when it comes to big-money, long-term contracts, it’s difficult to say a player will be worth the money every year. As good as Pujols is (and I’d love to have him on the Angels), it’s hard to envision him being worth $25 or $30 million in 2018 or 2019 when he’s 38 and 39 years old. That’s what St. Louis has to evaluate when they negotiate with him.

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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