Padres lose out on another free agent, who ends up right where he belongs
The Padres really could have used Albert Pujols in their clubhouse
The San Diego Padres really could have used Albert Pujols’ hitting prowess and veteran leadership in their clubhouse.
Instead, baseball gets another storybook ending; news broke late Sunday evening that Pujols is going home to the St. Louis, and by Monday afternoon, he was back where it all began.
Pujols’ stellar career included three MVPs and three Major-League Player of the Year awards, 10 All-Star seasons (including eight consecutively), six Silver Sluggers, two Gold Gloves, a batting title, NLCS MVP, and a pair of World Series rings. Almost all of that was accomplished with the Cards.
But the signing is less of a last hurrah and more of a fond farewell. It will be Pujols’ 22nd year and final season in the majors, and he confirmed on Monday that this will be his last dance, a grand retirement tour around the game with the team that brought him into it all those years ago.
It would have been great to have Pujols in the Padres dugout, helping hitters with their swings, and galvanizing them with stories of his postseason heroics. The Padres will have to make do with Manny Machado, Wil Myers, Luke Voit, Eric Hosmer, and when he returns from injury in three months or so, Fernando Tatis Jr.
Any team would have benefitted from Pujols’ vast knowledge of the game, and whatever home runs he has left in his powerful swing, but
He was always meant to finish his career as a redbird.