No, you are not reading my thoughts. You are reading a quote from the great Albert Pujols, who was defending his decision to play manager in Game 5. Maybe Pujols thinks it’s the 1920’s and he’s player/manager Ty Cobb. Actually, the last team to try this was the Cincinnati Reds with Pete Rose in the 80’s, and like Cobb, neither led their team to the playoffs. I have just one question here. Why in hell do the Cardinals make Tony LaRussa one of the highest paid managers in the game? I want to give thanks here to TLR and AP, for giving me another reason to hope for the day when I get to watch Cardinal baseball without either of them.
Let me ask you all honestly here. Have any of you ever heard of a player being able to put on his own hit and run? And no, I’m not talking about Tim McCarver and the one instance of him hearing about it in the 60’s. The answer is no Focker, no you haven’t. The only time I have ever seen it was when Tom Berenger played Jake Taylor in the movie “Major League”. Berenger might have also called his own hit and run, but he also did something Pujols doesn’t do, hustle.
I did cut off the quote a bit, but only because I’m not buying the last part of it. The full quote on the question about the hit and run is “Part of that is knowing I deserve special treatment. It’s the trust the manager has given to me, much like he has to so many players here”. Here’s the link to the article from Joe Strauss:
That last part is funny, don’t you think? It’s funny because it’s become clear for a number of years now that Pujols gets to play the game with a second set of rules. Anybody else is run out of town. There’s one way to play for TLR, his way. There’s one player who gets his own set of rules, Albert Pujols. If you don’t believe that, just ask Mitchell Boggs, Brendan Ryan, Scott Rolen, etc. Boggs has struggled some this year, but I don’t blame him for that, I blame TLR. Boggs was demoted from the closers role after blowing one save in Houston in May, eventually sent back to the minors, and rarely pitched in September. However, it was OK for Ryan Franklin to come out of gate to start the season and blow game after game. Tony went out of his way to keep Franklin on the roster, when it was clear that he was done. The same can be said for Miguel Batista. Has anyone noticed that the most of the relievers in the bullpen are the ones that weren’t good enough to beat out the likes of has beens like Franklin and Batista in spring training?
I’m getting off point here a bit, but only because of the nonsense that is TLR and AP. If the Cards don’t win the WS, we can look back at both of them as the reason why in Game 2 and 5. Pujols and his alligator arm in Game 2, when Ian Kinsler made a mistake rounding third too far, and should have been nailed by Pujols, but he let the ball get by him because he’s lazy. The play also allowed Elvis Andrus to move to 2nd base, and score the winning run. We can blame TLR and AP for game 5, for allowing one of the great performances by Chris Carpenter go to shit. Albert Pujols came to the plate twice with Allen Craig at 1st base and no one out, and the first time he puts on a hit and run that fails and Craig is nailed at second base. The next time, Tony calls the same thing on a 3-2 count and Pujols swings at ball 4 way out of the zone, and again Craig is nailed at second. Why was Craig nailed, because he has to look back in at the ball on a hit and run, and because he had to listen to his two managers.
When you put on a hit and run, you better make contact with the ball. At least Yadier Molina will throw the bat to make contact. I don’t care if the ball was high, you better come up with a way to make contact somehow. Maybe you haven’t noticed Albert, but you’ve only hit in one game of the World Series. If you want to be the highest paid player in the game, then start playing like it. If you want to be the manager, then retire and do so. It’s time for both TLR and AP to quit making excuses. I’m tired of hearing about “Phonegate”, along with the other nonsense about Albert. For those who think we are in the World Series because of TLR and AP, think again. This team was going nowhere until Rafael Furcal reminded fans how important defense from the shortstop position was, along with addressing the bullpen and rotation.
For one final thought, I want to extend another congratulations to TLR for Jon Jay. It only took a 2 for 30 slump in the postseason before you removed him from the lineup. Tony left him in because of his obsession that Jay is a better player than Colby Rasmus, and he has to prove it to the fans. Well, it’s not going to happen. Yes, the Colby trade is paying dividends for the team, but I sure will be happy when John Mozeliak recognizes that we need a CF who can be something other than a product of BABIP. So far, he’s not. He has a weak arm, and is average to below average at best at everything else. Again, Jon Jay is nothing more than product of the BABIP. Jay’s BABIP was .350 in 2010, and .340 in 2011, which were both way above the league average of .293 in 2010 and .292 in 2011. The law of averages will catch up to him soon enough in the regular season just like we’re seeing in the postseason. I hope Mozeliak addresses the need in the offseason, and puts Jon Jay back on the bench as the 4th OF’er, where he belongs.