Albert Pujols was booed in his home park last Friday and benched on Saturday. Just 30 games into a 10-year, $240 million contract, the greatest hitter of our generation is batting .190 for the season.
It is the most stunning development in Major League Baseball this season.
Here’s how Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated describes Pujols performance:
“It’s the equivalent of Itzhak Perlman playing elementary school recital quality — for a month straight. It’s Leno bombing his monologue 27 consecutive nights, Kate Upton with a month’s worth of bad hair days and Meryl Streep with a four-week case of stage fright. There are slumps. There are slow starts. And there is this — a story unto itself. The Machine, broken.’’
Verducci finishes with this summation of how strange a year it is in baseball so far in 2012:
“Mariano Rivera is hurt, the Orioles and Nationals are winning, the Red Sox have no home field advantage, Jamie Moyer, 49, and Bryce Harper, 19, might face each other next month, the first complete game for Philip Humber was a perfect game, the Dodgers have stable ownership, and Ozzie Guillen and Delmon Young have been suspended over their spoken words. But strangest of all has been watching the greatest hitter of this generation slump so badly for so long.’’
Talking Points looked at four MLB power rankings this week and found the Mariners mired at Nos. 22, 24, 25 and 26.
The only players getting any love in the blogosphere are pitcher Felix Hernandez (imagine that) and third baseman Kyle Seager.
The top five are Texas, Tampa Bay, Atlanta, St. Louis and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Some rankings include the hot Baltimore Orioles, almost most believe the O’s will sink to the bottom of the AL East eventually.