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Category Archives: Albert Pujols

Misunderstood: Scott Rolen Left a Lasting Impression On Philadelphia

Scott Rolen in his days with the Phillies. (AP Photo)

Perhaps it was the clashing of personalities with manager Larry Bowa. Or maybe it was the comment made by front office member Dallas Green. Or maybe it was the desire to win that ended it all in Philadelphia.

Whatever the reason was, Scott Rolen wanted out in 2002.

For the next decade, Philadelphia fans would boo their once-lauded All-Star, Gold-Glove third baseman, yell obscenities at him and watch him go on to hav a successful career without Philadelphia. Why? Because they were hurt.

But maybe the fans were booing the wrong guy.

Rolen turned down a massive contract extension during the 2002 season, saying that it wasn’t money but the Phillies front office didn’t have an aggressive approach to building a winning team.

Fans got scared that the best position player in their team history since Mike Schmidt, another third baseman, was about to jump ship for greener pastures.

And it happened.

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Five Teams to Watch In the Second Half

The second half is underway and there are a handful of teams looking to get back to the post season, some waiting longer than others.

The National League features a pair of teams who find themselves shockingly in first place. Meanwhile, the American League has an early three-team race for the Wild Card with one newcomer in the second half post season race.

Here are a list of five teams to watch heading into the second half of the season.

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Who makes more sense: Rollins or Ramirez?

2012 could see short stop Jimmy Rollins in a new jersey. Phils GM Ruben Amaro has a lot of work to do if he doesn't want that to happen.

With the MLB Winter Meetings underway, the free agent market could be starting to take shape for the Phillies.

They have already added closer Jonathan Papelbon and strong bench players Laynce Nix, Ty Wigginton and Jim Thome.

But their biggest question mark has always been whether or not they will bring back Jimmy Rollins.

Yesterday Ruben Amaro Jr. met with Rollins’ agent Dan Lozano and the meeting reportedly didn’t go well. Rollins still maintains his position of wanting five years.

Talks between Rollins and the Phillies haven’t went well so far.

The way it looks, this is going to take a while. Rollins doesn’t have many suitors but he could want the Albert Pujols situation to be settled as the St. Louis Cardinals could be a potential landing spot if they don’t lock up Pujols.

It’s also pretty apparent that the Phillies don’t want to go any more than four years with J-Roll.

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Five Big Free Agents and Where They Land

Prince Fielder – Milwaukee Brewers
Where he goes: Chicago Cubs
In the hunt: NY Yankees, Milwaukee, Washington

Fielder’s market is pretty wide open with Milwaukee seemingly unable to afford Fielder.

The Brewers must hope co-star Ryan Braun can convince the power-hitter first baseman that there is unfinished business left to be done in Milwaukee and they need each other to succeed. But it’s going to be tough with the Yankees always looking to make their offense seem invincible and the Cubs new GM Theo Epstein looking to get his hands on a top free agent.

I think a Wild Card team in this hunt will be Washington. The Nats shocked the baseball world when they overpaid for Jayson Werth last off season. With the right corps of players along with a handful of stars, they could convince Fielder that baseball’s new dynasty could very well be in the nation’s capitol.

Fielder is the absolute perfect move for Epstein to make. He is not under pressure to make a big move right away but he would be foolish to pass up on a top tier athlete like Fielder.

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Albert Pujols Wants All Your Money

Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols watches a solo homer in the 9th, his 3rd of the game, leave the park in Game 3 of the World Series on October 22, 2011 in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Bring it by the truck loads.

Whatever team wins the Albert Pujols sweepstakes this offseason, they are going to need a lot of cash to do it.

Pujols is looking at potentially his last big paycheck, one that will not only be the largest of his life but quite possibly the biggest in the history of baseball.

It has become almost a signature to see Pujols standing in the batter’s box, holding his bat in his left hand like a small twig; his hulking glare watching another baseball travel to an undiscovered solar system. And from Brad Lidge in 2005 all the way to last night’s mash-fest, Pujols has continued to do it in the most fitting of times.

Pujols made history. He did something that only Babe Ruth and Reggie Jackson have done in baseball: hit three home runs in a World Series game. But that historical feat was only a microcosm of Pujols ridiculous career.

For the past decade, Pujols has been the most dominant player in baseball. And his name is so synonymous with baseball that when you type in the name “Albert” in Google, only Einstein’s name stands higher in the auto-fill.

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The stage is set: Cardinals to face Rangers in World Series

One team has unfinished business to settle.

The other has destiny on it’s side.

On Wednesday, those two teams will meet in the 2011 Fall Classic. The St. Louis Cardinals, who capped off a miraculous September run to steal the Wild Card from the Atlanta Braves. They will host the Texas Rangers, who are playing in their second straight World Series.

St. Louis is the first Wild Card team since the 2006 Detroit Tigers to have home field advantage in the World Series. The 2004 Boston Red Sox are the last Wild Card team to host the World Series and win it. The latter knows a little bit about miracles, especially when the comeback against the New York Yankees in the ALCS and the end of an 86-year curse were complete with a sweeping of the Cardinals in the 2004 World Series.

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Howard will get surgery; What does this mean for Phils?

Phils Ryan Howard stumbles after injuring his left foot leaving the batter's box. He has a torn Achilles and will have surgery (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

Ryan Howard felt it as soon as he attempted to leave the batter’s box.

The sharp pain running through his body wasn’t just the end of the Phillies season dribbling to Cardinals second baseman Nick Punto. It was the pop Howard felt in his left foot that dropped Howard halfway down the first base line, leaving him in some of the worst pain during his 8-year career.

The injury was a tear to his left Achilles and it could potentially leave Howard out of the Phillies line up at least until May or June. He will have surgery this off season once the swelling goes down and there is, “no guarantee he will be ready for Spring Training.”

If the Phillies in fact lose Howard for a very long time, there needs to be some serious thought towards filling the 35+ homers and 120+ RBIs that Howard is good for every season.

There will come a handful of times where the Phils will need production from the four-spot in a late-game situation. Howard has provided that spark a handful of times during his career.

So how do you replace that? Howard’s time off could last only a couple months, making the Phillies decision a less drastic one. But there are also risks of set-backs.

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Francisco’s heroics put Cardinals on brink of elimination

Phils pinch-hitter Ben Francisco hits a three-run home run in the 7th inning. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

The Phillies put their right-handed outfielder into tonight’s line up in hopes to solve Jaime Garcia.

Except, that right-handed outfield wasn’t John Mayberry Jr., who was 0-for-3 through the first seven innings. Instead, it was little used Ben Francisco that came through in a big way against the Cardinals soft-throwing lefty.

Prior to the 7th, Garcia had allowed only three hits and a walk in six shut out innings. Things looked glum for the Phillies offense, who were giving Garcia short at-bats and preserving his chances at an eight or nine-inning outing.

Cole Hamels bought the Phillies as much time as possible. Though he lasted only six innings, throwing a grueling 118 pitches, not a single runner crossed the plate as Hamels surrendered only fives hits and three walks while striking out eight.

Unfortunately for Garcia, that bought time caught up to him.

After Garcia walked Carlos Ruiz to take his chances on the pinch-hitter, he was forced to pay dearly for the mistake. An 89-MPH fastball was left over the plate for Francisco, who blasted the pitch into the left field bull pen to give the Phils a 3-0 lead.

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The Hangover: Phils shut out 24 hours after clinch

Step one was completed last night: winning the division. Good thing step two doesn’t start for another two weeks.

The Phils, who get a free pass for being hungover the night before, were shut out by the Cardinals, 5-0, on Sunday Night Baseball.

Cole Hamels was rocked for a pair of two-run homers, the first to Albert Pujols in the 1st inning and to Allen Craig in the 6th. Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter pitched eight shut out innings and struck out five in the win.

WP: Carpenter (10-9). LP: Hamels (14-9).

Boxscore.

Series Preview: at St. Louis Cardinals

PHI: 45-28, 1st in NL East; STL: 40-33, 1st in NL Central

When: June 21-23
Where: Busch Stadium (St. Louis, MO)

Probable Pitchers
Tuesday: Roy Halladay (9-3, 2.56) vs Kyle McClellan (6-3, 3.96)
Wednesday: Cliff Lee (7-5, 3.12) vs Kyle Lohse (7-3, 2.88)
Thursday: Roy Oswalt (4-5, 3.38) vs Chris Carpenter (1-7, 4.47)

Broadcast Info
Tuesday, 8:15, PHL 17
Wednesday, 8:15, CSN
Thursday, 8:15, PHL 17
All Games on 1210 AM

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