Wait, Albert Pujols is allowed to call his own hit and run plays?
The baseball season is coming to an end. The World Series is about to conclude. If only his weather control device would stop malfunctioning! Can’t have a game six rain-out. He tinkered with it as best he could but it was out of his hands now. Pushing his specs up the bridge of his nose, bubble pipe in one hand, the other adjusting the collar of his Braves Bathrobe, he sat on his high chair and pressed a button that would sift through the morning baseball news and present a digest on his 70″ LED screen. Somewhere there was a picture of C.C. Sabathia wearing a Red Sox uniform which produced a lighthearted chuckle.
That’s when he noticed a bobble head figure on his side table. Albert Pujols with a wolfish grin and a tag declaring: I can hit AND run baby! Craig rolled his eyes and started lecturing the doll.
“Albert, you are a power hitter, your strength is pitch selection and driving the ball for extra base hits, not this small ball technique that is beneath you. Why on Earth LaRussa allows you to call for an H&R is beyond my ken. What’s next? Bunting? You pompous Jackass!”
I was watching the action on TV that night and boy Albert really looked ugly trying to hit for contact when Ogando (and later Feliz) had no intention of giving him anything he could put some good wood on. Albert should have just been Albert; wait for his pitch or let the opposing pitcher walk him. While Pujols can hit for high average, that ability comes into play generally when there is no one on base to drive home, he’s an elite hitter who should play to his strengths. Calling a hit and run with No. 5 at the plate makes as much sense as giving him the sign for a sacrifice bunt. Ryan Howard once said: “I don’t get paid to bunt!”. Al is looking to get paid top dollar this off-season, and whoever employs him (if not the Cardinals) are certainly not going to tell him to small ball his way around a baseball diamond.