Mike Trout acknowledged on Friday that he struggled with Albert Pujols’ release by the Los Angeles Angels.
The Angels on Thursday surprised the sports world by announcing they had cut Pujols, who was in the final year of his contract. The team benched Pujols on Wednesday night, and the 41-year-old was not happy. The two sides eventually agreed to part ways to give Pujols the chance to play elsewhere.
Pujols’ first season with the Angels was Trout’s first full year playing in the big leagues. Pujols served as a mentor to Trout.
It’s no surprise that Trout said Friday he had a hard time with the news.
“It was tough,” Trout said, via USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. “I think we were all in shock when the news broke and when we found out about it.
It was reported in the past that the close relationship between the two factored into the Angels’ decision to keep Pujols the last few years despite his poor performance.
Trout acknowledged the mentor relationship he had with Pujols.
“It hit me a little bit. It hit me a lot. Ever since I’ve been up here, he’s been my guy.”
The reality is despite his nice looking home run and RBI totals of the past few years, the Angels should have cut Pujols long ago. He was holding them back on the field. That didn’t keep many players from being upset with the way Pujols was let go, though.