Albert Pujols continued to build on his Hall of Fame case on Friday after launching a 430-foot home run off of the Royals’ Danny Duffy. The Angels slugger scored David Fletcher to put up a two-spot in the first inning and give the club an early advantage; it was just his fourth home run and 12th and 13th RBI of the season to date.
Adding those to his career totals, Pujols now boasts a cumulative 637 homers and 1,995 runs batted in, the latter of which Elias Sports considers good enough to land him a fourth-place spot on the all-time list behind Hank Aaron (2,297), Álex Rodríguez (2,086), and Barry Bonds (1,996).
After he passes Bonds up, he’ll have a ways to go in order to overtake A-Rod for the no. 3 spot.
The Angels currently lead the Royals 3-0 in the sixth.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have hired Ben Cherington as the team’s new general manager. They do so after the general manager meetings ended, but better late than never.
Cherington served as GM of the Boston Red Sox for four years, winning the World Series in 2013, but resigned during the 2015 season after Dave Dombrowski was named Boston’s new president of baseball operations. Which was a defacto demotionn for Cherington who, until then, had the final say in baseball decisions. Dombrowski, of course, was fired late in the season this year. Cherington went on to work for the Toronto Blue Jays as a vice president, but was seen as biding his time for another GM position. Now he has one.
Cherington takes over in Pittsburgh for executive vice president and general manager Neal Huntington, who was fired after a 12 years at the helm. Also fired was team president Frank Coonelly. Travis Williams replaced Coonelly recently. While the Pirates experienced a few years of contention under Huntington and Coonelly, they have slid out of contention in recent years as the club has traded away promising players for little return, all while cutting payroll. There’s a very big rebuilding job ahead of Cherington.
The first move he’ll have to make: hire a manager, as the team still hasn’t replaced Clint Hurdle since he was dismissed in the final weekend of the regular season.