"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

April is the Cruelest Month... for Albert Pujols

Albert Pujols, the erstwhile Cardinals first-baseman, signed over the offseason with the Los Angeles Angels for a whopping $250 million.   The Cardinals faithful were not pleased.   So there is some schadenfreude in the fact that Prince Albert has gotten off to by far his worst start ever.   Indeed, his month of April, with a .217 BA, O HRs, and only 4 RBIs, is easily his worst month ever.   Consider his worst months before this year:

1. In July 2001, his rookie season, Albert hit .241, with 4 HRs and 12 RBIs.

2.  In May 2002, his sophomore season, Albert hit .272, with 5 HRs and 11 RBIs.

3.  In May 2011, last year, Albert hit .288 with 2 HRs and 13 RBIs.

He has never had a month where he didn't get at least 11 RBIs.   He has never had a month where he didn't hit at least 2 HRs.   He has had only one month where his batting average ended up under .250.   He went whole years, and nearly a whole decade, without having what could even remotely be considered a bad month, only some months (like August 2006, with a .287 BA, 7 HRs and 16 RBIs) that were merely mortal.

What has happened?

Some people will say the weight of his huge contract and the pressure that comes with it.

Some people will say the transition to a new league and new pitchers.

I say:   he got old all of a sudden.   Happens to all of us.  

John Mozeliak, the GM of the Cardinals, is looking like a genius.  But, then, who didn't know that you couldn't spend $250 million over ten years on a 32-41 year old first-baseman?

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