Things are turning sour quickly in St. Louis, and not just in the National League Central standings.
Prompted with the report that 24-year-old center fielder Colby Rasmus asked for a trade earlier this season, Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols told Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports on Sunday, “We need to figure out a way to get him out of here.”
show you right there a young player that doesn’t respect what he’s got,” Pujols continued.
“He needs to find out the talent and ability that he has and pretty much keep his mouth shut and play the game. Let the organization make those decisions, not himself.“
It’s not surprising whatsoever that Pujols is siding with Tony La Russa, who has served as his only major league manager. The two seem to have similar belief systems and Pujols, with his quiet and hard-working approach, isn’t the type of guy that is going to take kindly to a young player requesting a trade.
But Pujols lives in a bubble. He has no concept of Rasmus’ value to the future of the Cardinals and probably hasn’t thought about the fact that the Redbirds need low-salary players to cover his own looming extension, which may prove to be the richest contract in the history of baseball.
It’s upsetting that Pujols decided to go public with his thoughts, but it’s apparent that the Cardinals now must consider their superstar’s feelings when deciding how to best solve this suddenly volcanic matter. Would firing La Russa rub Pujols the wrong way and cause him to test free agency? Might it be time for the Cards to actually explore a deal for Rasmus?
Whatever the case, this won’t end well.
It was assumed already, but Mike Scioscia made it official during Monday’s press conference for new general manager Billy Eppler that he will return as Angels manager in 2016.
Scioscia, the longest-tenured manager in the majors, has been at the helm with the Angels since 2000. There was a clause in his contract which allowed him to opt out after the 2015 season, but he has decided to stay put. He still has three years and $15 million on his contract, which runs through 2018.
Jerry Dipoto resigned as Angels general manager in July amid tension with Scioscia, so there were naturally questions today about what to expect with first-time GM Eppler in the fold. According to David Adler of MLB.com, Scioscia isn’t concerned.
“I think we’re going to mesh very well,” Scioscia said. “If we adjust, or maybe he adjusts to some of the things, there’s going to be collaboration that’s going to make us better.”
Eppler is the fourth general manager during Scioscia’s tenure with the team.
After winning the AL West last season, the Angels finished 85-77 this season and narrowly missed the playoffs. The team hasn’t won a postseason game since 2009.
Astros center fielder Carlos Gomez sat out the final series of the regular season in order to rest a strained left intercostal muscle, but there was good news coming out of a workout today in advance of Tuesday’s Wild Card game vs. the Yankees.
This has been a lingering issue for Gomez, who missed 13 straight games with the injury last month. He aggravated the strain on a throw to home plate last Wednesday and was forced to sit while the Astros fought to keep their season alive. Astros manager A.J. Hinch told reporters last week that Gomez’s injury would typically take 45-50 days to recover from, so it’s fair to wonder how productive he can be during the postseason.
Gomez mostly struggled after coming over from the Brewers at the trade deadline, batting .242 with four home runs and a .670 OPS over 41 games.