With the way NBC Sports Joe Posnanski painted the demise of Albert Pujols, you’d swear the Los Angeles Angels first baseman was six feet under.
Posnanski published his column titled “Albert Pujols doesn’t matter anymore” this past weekend, which read like an obituary, pointing to the decline in interest in a player that should be touted as the greatest talent of the post-steroid era.
"And he was thrilling to watch hit. He stood at the plate with that wide stance – he looked so sturdy and immovable, like he was magnetically connected with the batters’ box. He was like a marble statue up there.
The pitcher would throw a ball just off the plate, and Pujols would not only refuse to swing, he would look down and kick at the dirt as if the pitch had never happened, as if it was not even worthy of his disdain. Then, when the right pitch came, his pitch, he would unleash with such ferocity you could almost see the cartoon exclamation points dancing around the collision of bat and ball. Everyone has a Pujols example. He was always one swing away from inspiring awe.
That made him exciting, riveting, one of those athletes who could stop time … and now it’s just gone."
Pujols has been a bust since taking the money and running to Los Angeles in 2012 and is nowhere near the draw he was while winning MVP honors in St. Louis. He’s no longer a must-see at-bat each game and has also fallen in value when it comes to the MLB odds.
According to Michael Stewart, an oddsmaker for CarbonSports.ag, Pujols’ worth to the Angels’ moneyline odds is estimated between two and three cents. His drastic decline in production and chronic health issues have made Pujols – a player once ranked the most valuable to the moneyline (15-20 cents in his prime) – just an OK option at first for the Halos.
Pujols is hitting .253 with 29 RBIs and eight home runs. Names like Brandon Belt, Anthony Rizzo, and Lyle Overbay currently sit above his among the most productive first basemen this season. But those guys will earn a combined $1,879,500 this year. Pujols earns that in 19 games. That's the most expensive two cents in baseball.