As fans, sometimes we grow so accustomed to players being traded or released that we often forget that there are personal emotions involved in each transaction. We got a reminder of that when the Los Angeles Angels designated veteran slugger Albert Pujols this week.
Pujols, who was on the final season of his 10-year, $240 million mega-deal, just hasn't been good so far this season. At the end of the day, his production isn't worth the $24 million the Angels were paying him this season. The team designated him for assignment on May 6, which will ultimately lead to his release.
Angels outfielder Mike Trout was hit hard with this news. MLB reporter Fabian Ardaya said that Trout "broke down" when he heard what happened to Pujols.
Another reason why the news hit Trout as hard as it did was that he and Pujols have been teammates for the better part of the last decade. Trout came to Los Angeles in 2011 and Pujols arrived the very next season. Even though both players surely understand the business of baseball, it doesn't mean that it hurts any less.
Despite his dedication to the Angels organization, the writing was on the wall for Pujols this season. In 92 plate appearances, his batting average is a career-low .198. While he has managed to hit 5 home runs and 12 RBIs, that's not enough to make up for such a poor batting average.
Even if he wasn't performing like his old self, it's still sad seeing the Pujols era in Los Angeles coming to an end. Trout and the rest of his teammates, and Angels fans everywhere, surely won't forget what Pujols did for the organization.
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