Albert Pujols has been put in the awkward spot of clearing up retirement chatter fueled largely by his wife.
The Los Angeles Angels designated hitter clarified Saturday that he has not yet made a decision about his playing career beyond 2021, and no announcement would come until after the season.
“I think our organization, my friends, people that follow my career for 21 years deserve better than just me or her posting something on Instagram,” Pujols said Saturday, via Greg Beacham of the Associated Press. “This thing just got blown out of proportion. My mind is not even there. My mind is on staying focused, healthy, and hopefully trying to help this ballclub win this year, and that’s it. If I feel at the end of the year that that’s it, I’ll announce it (and) go home. But I’m not even there yet.”
Pujols added that he was taking a nap when his wife made the Instagram post that resulted in him waking up to hundreds of missed calls and messages on his phone.
Since the start of the 2017 season, Pujols has hit only .242 and is averaging a modest 18 home runs per season. He turned 41 in January, and his contract expires at the end of the season, and he probably wouldn’t find a ton of demand as a free agent.