Albert Pujols made history on Friday night, collecting his 3,000th career hit with a base hit off of Mike Leake in the fifth inning of the Angels’ contest against the Mariners. The Angels veteran first baseman had been hovering around No. 3,000 for several innings after logging his 2,999th hit during Thursday’s 12-3 win against the Orioles.
At 38 years old, Pujols is the 32nd major-league hitter (and second Dominican-born player) to produce at least 3,000 hits over the course of his career, though no one has crossed that particular threshold since Adrian Beltre did it with the Rangers in 2017. He’s currently tied with Roberto Clemente at exactly 3,000 hits; the next-highest on the all-time list is Al Kaline, with 3,007.
This the second big milestone the slugger has reached in the last calendar year, too, as he clubbed his 600th career home run — a grand slam — last June. His 3,000 hits and 600 homers put him in rare company: only Hank Aaron (3,771 hits, 755 home runs), Willie Mays (3,283 hits, 660 home runs) and Alex Rodriguez (3,115 hits, 696 home runs) have duplicated the feat.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Major League Baseball Players Association has submitted a proposal to the league concerning the 2020 season. The proposal includes a 114-game season with an end date on October 31, playoff expansion for two years, the right for players to opt out of the season, and a potential deferral of 2020 salaries if the postseason were to be canceled.
Passan clarifies that among the players who choose to opt out, only those that are considered “high risk” would still receive their salaries. The others would simply receive service time. The union also proposed that the players receive a non-refundable $100 million sum advance during what would essentially be Spring Training 2.
If the regular season were to begin in early July, as has often been mentioned as the target, that would give the league four months to cram in 114 games. There would have to be occasional double-headers, or the players would have to be okay with few off-days. Nothing has been mentioned about division realignment or a geographically-oriented schedule, but those could potentially ease some of the burden.
Last week, the owners made their proposal to the union, suggesting a “sliding scale” salary structure. The union did not like that suggestion. Players were very vocal about it, including on social media as Max Scherzer — one of eight players on the union’s executive subcommittee — made a public statement. The owners will soon respond to the union’s proposal. They almost certainly won’t be happy with many of the details, but the two sides can perhaps find a starting point and bridge the gap. As the calendar turns to June, time is running out for the two sides to hammer out an agreement on what a 2020 season will look like.