Checking the Celtics' score on ESPN - I am again dipping my toe into following Boston sports - I saw a headline about "slumping Pujols."
I am sorry, but is this surprising to anyone in any way? How is it that everyone knows that after age 30 baseball players decline, but prefer to believe, against all reason, that this time it will be different? If you are signing a guy to a long-term contract at outrageous prices because the fans will think you are a fool to let him "get away," shouldn't you at least count up on your fingers how old he is, and what happens 9 out of 10 times after age thirty?
I don't know Pujol's stats this year. I don't need to. He may come around and finish creditably. Power hitters who also hit for average have a bit better record. But the interest in him now is going to be career stats. His injuries will now dominate the stories about him. He has moved into David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez territory, where still being dangerous is considered a positive, rather than a risk.
The name Joe Mauer may come to mind. And look, I love Joe Mauer. But his value was predicated on hitting like that as a catcher. If he's not the catcher, his numbers aren't so exciting.
I write that having no idea what his numbers are this year. Don't need to. He is turning 30 (or 31?), he's not a full-time catcher, he's not worth the money.