Found July 02, 2013 on Fox Sports Midwest:
ST. LOUIS - I'm guessing there are about as many St. Louisans who feel sorry for Albert Pujols as there are New Yorkers who sympathize with Alex Rodriguez. My empathy for A-Rod is nonexistent but I do feel sorry for Pujols. That is, as sorry as one can feel for someone making 240 million. While Pujols and his new team have struggled since he landed in California last year, the Cardinals have emerged as strong as ever. They certainly are in a better place than they would have been if Pujols had not turned down their 200-plus million. Still, while much of St. Louis tuning into the Cardinals' series at Anaheim this week will be hissing at their TVs when Pujols enters the picture, I will be hoping he doesn't go 0 for 4. An 0-fer by Pujols, of course, wouldn't be anything he's not used to these days. He enters the series 4 for his past 34 and his batting average down to a Pete Kozma-like .249. The Angels believe Pujols' struggles are due mostly to feet and knee ailments that have turned him into a gimpy DH and sapped his power. "His production has been definitely influenced by what's going on with his body," Angels manager Mike Scioscia told last weekend. "Is he the same player of three, four, five years ago? He's not in that neighborhood right now but he's still tremendously effective." Uh, tremendously effective might be a reach. Thirteen homers and 49 RBIs at the halfway point hardly are tremendous by Pujols' standards. And a .752 OPS that ranks 47th in the A.L. barely is effective. Scioscia needs to check Pujols' numbers in St. Louis to see what "tremendously effective" really is. Pujols didn't win a Triple Crown for any one season in St. Louis but he claimed the N.L. Triple Crown for an entire decade. From 2000-2009, he led the N.L. in homers (336), RBIs (1,112) and batting average (.334) even though he didn't play his first game until 2001. Pujols also put up single-season numbers as impressive as those turned in by Miguel Cabrera's historic 2012. Pujols hit .331 with 49 homers and 137 RBIs in '07; Cabrera went .33044139 to win his Triple Crown. As celebrated as Pujols was in St. Louis, whenever I look at his numbers, I think he might have been underappreciated. He won three MVPs and should have had at least five. He led the Cardinals to seven postseason appearances, three World Series and two championships. His impact off the field was just as great if not greater, considering the work his foundation did (and is still doing). I also believe that Pujols' decline over these past few years has been due partly to his team-first approach in St. Louis. For a guy who is one day younger than Matt Holliday, he sure seems older than 33. We don't know how often Pujols played with an injury with the Cardinals but we do know that each of the three times he went on the disabled list, he returned well ahead of schedule. Don't forget, he played an entire season knowing that his right elbow could blow with one wrong throw. One of the memories I carry of Pujols' time with the Cardinals is from late June, 2011, after he broke his left wrist making a play at first. A few days after the injury, I asked him if he would attend the All-Star Game if named to the N.L. team even though he wouldn't be able to play. His answer: Who says I won't be back by the All-Star break? Well, I said, you're supposed to be out as long as six weeks. Sure enough, he was right. Pujols returned in 17 days and played in five more games before the break, then hit .319 with 19 homers and 49 RBIs in the second half. So, yes, knowing what Pujols did for the Cardinals and St. Louis, I would rather not see him looking old and washed up, especially against his former team. You can follow Stan McNeal on Twitter at @stanmcneal or email him at

McNeal: Lower body issues disrupting Pujols at the plate

ST. LOUIS - Watch Albert Pujols run and you don't need to be a podiatrist to see that his legs aren't right. His discomfort is that noticeable. But watch him hit and his foot ailments aren't so obvious -- unless you're a veteran scout who has been watching Pujols for the past 13 years. Then you can begin to see why Pujols is hitting only .247, 74 points below his...

Preview: Cardinals battling bullpen struggles in AL swing

While Albert Pujols will seek to shake out of his slump, the Los Angeles Angels will try to keep rolling with another win over his former club.Pujols and the Angels hope to take advantage of a matchup with struggling St. Louis Cardinals rookie Shelby Miller and earn a season high-tying eighth straight win Wednesday night.Pujols went 0 for 3 with two strikeouts and a walk in his first...

Pujols Still Won't Say It

571 days ago Albert Pujols rocked Cardinals Nation and the city of St. Louis by signing a free-agent contract with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for 10 years and $254 million dollars.  Tonight, for the first time, Mr. Pujols will face the team that drafted, developed and paid him over $100 million dollars for 11 years of MLB service. 1. The stance on Pujols has softened...

Past comes to Anaheim: Pujols and a tricky legacy

ANAHEIM, Calif. It would be easier if it weren't so red. It would be easier if I couldn't squint my eyes and blur out the Angels logo, leaving in focus only the fabric patch to its left, surrounded by what looks to be Cardinal red. It's a Stan Musial patch -- No. 6, with the signature across the middle, the one that's been plastered all over St. Louis since the...

Halo Headlines: Pujols ready to turn the page on Cardinals, the value of J.B.Shuck

The July 3rd, 2013 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels including Pujols ready to turn the page on Cardinals, the value of J.B.Shuck and much more... The Story: Albert Pujols is ready to turn the page on his time in St. Louis. The Monkey Says: Good for him, but he should probably know that the St. Louis fans aren't ready to turn the page on him and probably...

Why The Albert Pujols Contract Is Already Worse Than The Alex Rodriguez Contract

    It’s no secret that the Yankees took their place in ‘all time sports blunders’ history by signing Alex Rodriguez on for an additional ten years, at the hefty price of $275 million. But the contact the Angels offered Albert Pujols is proving to be even more of a disaster than the one bestowed upon Arod. The warning signs were there, the Angels simply chose to avoid them...

Live Blog: Albert Pujols' First Game Against Cardinals

Why?  Because Albert Pujols' first at bats against the Cardinals are never happening again. It's the date that Pujols saw on the schedule when it was released this winter and highlighted. Whatever is ailing him feels better tonight. He knows we're watching.  We kind of forget that the Angels paid him $254 million dollars because he's the best player...

Recap: Cards lose to Angels, Pujols in first trip to 'Big A'

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Jered Weaver earned his second win of an injury-plagued season with help from a five-run second inning, and the Los Angeles Angels extended their winning streak to seven games Tuesday night with a 5-1 victory over St. Louis in the Cardinals' first game at Angel Stadium. St. Louis was the only National League club that had never played at the "Big A...

Cardinals-Angels Preview

It doesn't sound like Albert Pujols wants to discuss his departure from the St. Louis Cardinals as he prepares to face them for the first time. The three-time NL MVP is posting career lows in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage for the Los Angeles Angels, who have floundered most of the season but enter Tuesday night's opener of a three-game home...

Albert's reunion not really about Albert; Angels beat the Cardinals 5-1

  It was becoming quite nauseating. National baseball writer after national baseball writer had written puff piece after puff piece about how Albert Pujols missed his old team. The gist of the story lines ran a little like "Albert Pujols is bitter towards the Cardinals. But Albert Pujols also loves his old teammates, so it's all nice and rosy." Toss in the token...

Series Preview: Cardinals face Angels squad riding hot streak

ST. LOUIS -- For the fourth time in their past six series, the Cardinals will face a losing team. But like the previous three such meetings, that losing team meets the Cardinals on a decided upswing. The Angels enter the Albert Pujols reunion series on a six-game winning streak after sweeping the Tigers and Astros on the road last week. Still nine games out in the A.L. West, the...

Angels' win streak a sign of things to come?

The Los Angeles Angels continued their recent climb towards American League relevance on Sunday night with a 3-1 win over the Houston Astros in the finale of their three-game weekend series. CJ Wilson (8-5) won his fourth straight outing and struck out 10 for the Angels who concluded there six-game road trip with a series sweep in Houston. More 

Series Preview: Cards face Angels squad riding hot streak

ST. LOUIS -- For the fourth time in their past six series, the Cardinals will face a losing team. But like the previous three such meetings, that losing team meets the Cardinals on a decided upswing. The Angels enter the Albert Pujols reunion series on a six-game winning streak after sweeping the Tigers and Astros on the road last week. Still nine games out in the A.L. West, the...
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