Jim Edmonds criticizes Reds’ doctors, Brandon Phillips

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First, a little backstory here.

Jim Edmonds signed a minor league contract with the Cardinals in February, but was forced to retire weeks later due to a nagging right Achilles injury. It was an injury he dealt with prior to accepting a trade to the Reds last August, but he didn’t have another at-bat after September 21.

OK, now that you’re all caught up, check this out. According to Mark Sheldon of MLB.com, during a radio interview with KFNS in St. Louis that aired Thursday, Edmonds criticized the Reds for the way the injury was handled.

“It’s still awful. I still can’t do the things I want to do,” Edmonds said. “I’m really frustrated. I don’t know the right words to use towards the Cincinnati doctors. I’m in a situation now where I thought I’d never be in. I went so far in my career without really having a huge injury and had a bunch of surgeries. I thought ‘Gosh, I’m going to be able to get out of this with my health, my kids will be happy and I’m hoping to be able to walk out of this.’ Now I can’t walk and chase my kids around. Surgery is the option right now. That would be a year rehab. I’m not looking forward to that.

“The worst thing I did was accept that trade for [Reds general manager] Walt Jocketty. I should have shut it down and went home. I would be healthy right now and probably playing.”

Ouch. Edmonds also had some choice words for Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips, who was front and center in the infamous benches-clearing brawl with the Cardinals last September. The brawl occurred just one day after Edmonds was acquired from the Brewers.

“Other than that one situation with that one player, they’re a young, talented, nice group of guys,” Edmonds said, referring to Phillips. “I think that one incident was very unfortunate and it put a black eye on the rest of the rivalry. … He says he wouldn’t take it back, but hopefully he learned from that and realizes that he was overboard there and causing another distraction that especially the Reds didn’t need.”

Meanwhile, Phillips took to his Twitter feed to respond yesterday, saying the following:

LOL. Awww! That’s so sweet! Trust me, there are so many things I can say about him [and] y’all would look at him different! “HATER IN DA HOUSE”

We’ll probably never know if Edmonds has a legitimate gripe with the Reds doctors — remember, this is a 40-year-old we’re not talking about, not someone who is 25 — but it’s safe to say that the rivalry between the Reds and Cardinals just got a little more juice. As if it needed it.

Cards’ Pujols hits 700th career home run, 4th to reach mark

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
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LOS ANGELES – St. Louis Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols hit his 700th career home run on Friday night, connecting for his second drive of the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers and becoming the fourth player to reach the milestone in major league history.

The 42-year-old Pujols hit No. 699 in the third inning, then launched No. 700 in the fourth at Dodger Stadium.

With the drive in the final days of his last big league season, Pujols joined Barry Bonds (762 homers), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714) in one of baseball’s most exclusive clubs.

It’s been a remarkable run for Pujols. This was his 14th home run since the start of August for the NL Central-leading Cardinals, and his 21st of the season.

Pujols’ historic homer was a three-run shot against Dodgers reliever Phil Bickford. The ball landed in the first few rows of the left-field pavilion, the same location his two-run shot touched down the previous inning off left-hander Andrew Heaney.

Pujols received a prolonged standing ovation from the crowd – he finished out last season while playing for the Dodgers. He took a curtain call, raising his cap in acknowledgment.

The fans chanted “Pujols! Pujols!” They finally sat down after being on their feet in anticipation of seeing history.

Pujols snapped a tie with Alex Rodriguez for fourth on the list when he hit career homer No. 697 against Pittsburgh on Sept. 11.

Reaching 700 homers seemed like a long shot for Pujols when he was batting .189 on July 4. But the three-time NL MVP started to find his stroke in August, swatting seven homers in one 10-game stretch that helped St. Louis pull away in the division race.

“I know that early in the year … I obviously wanted better results,” Pujols said after he homered in a 1-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Aug. 22. “But I felt like I was hitting the ball hard. Sometimes this game is going to take more away from you than the game (is) giving you back.

“So I think at the end of the day you have to be positive and just stay focused and trust your work. That’s something that I’ve done all the time.”

Pujols has enjoyed a resurgent season after returning to St. Louis in March for a $2.5 million, one-year contract. It’s his highest total since he hit 23 homers for the Angels in 2019.

He plans to retire when the season ends.

Pujols also began his career in St. Louis. He was selected by the Cardinals in the 13th round of the 1999 amateur draft and won the 2001 NL Rookie of the Year award.

The Dominican Republic native hit at least .300 with at least 30 homers and 100 RBIs in each of his first 10 seasons. He helped the Cardinals to World Series titles in 2006 and 2011.

He set a career high with 49 homers in 2006 – one of seven seasons with at least 40 homers. He led the majors with 47 homers in 2009 and topped the NL with 42 in 2010.

Pujols left St. Louis in free agency in December 2011, signing a $240 million, 10-year contract with the Angels. He was waived by the Angels in May 2021, and then joined the Dodgers and hit 12 homers and drove in 38 runs in 85 games.