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SAN DIEGO — The race grounds are still the talk of Major League Baseball as the regular season winds down.
In New York yesterday, Yankees player Aaron Judge became the sixth player in history to score 60 home runs in a single season.
Meanwhile, Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals is ashamed to join the 700 . team career path career path home runs. Only three others did – they are all legends. Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron and Barry Bonds.
As of Wednesday, the Cardinal has 13 regular season games left for the Pujols to join the 700 baseball club.
It doesn’t mean he really cares.
Do not chase the number
Want to overcome the bad side of Albert Pujols?
Remind him, as sportsbooks do constantly, that he is Chase 700.
“I’m not chasing anything, my friend,” Pujols said at a packed news conference before Tuesday’s game against the San Diego Padres. “I mean, this is something you guys play with. I just, I haven’t chased any numbers and I’ve accomplished a lot. So, 22 years later, I definitely [am not] I’m going to chase anything.”
In fact, Pujols uses his least favorite words at the moment when he talks about chasing another world championship title. He helped St. Louis win championships in 2006 and 2011. He wants another, before retiring after that season and ending a career spanning more than two decades that would easily land him in the Hall of Fame.
Resin case turns into electric
This finish has always been a flirty but somewhat demure affair, with teams on the way to honor the Pujols. Padres played their part with San Diego Surfboard gift About Pujols and his retired colleague, St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina.
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But the Pujols turned an easy retirement ride into an electric thing, thanks to the barrage of home runs that lulled the last season somewhat asleep.
He’s infected dozens since August 10The tenthand the reporters were asked to use another phrase Pujols disliked (- We can’t get it right!! -) “power surge.”
“Increase my strength?” “Well, I guess I didn’t have any strength—I had to increase for some,” Pujols asked in the dugout with a wry smile.
The assembled journalists laughed.
“Just taking the same swing that started in spring practice for a week I was there, and carrying that into the season,” Pujols continued, “I hope to know that if I trust my process like I’ve always been like a pro, sooner or later, it will happen.” And I think it took that long, and I don’t know why. I believe God has his ways to change things. But for me it was just [trying to] Repeat the same swing I’ve been doing for the past 21 years in my career.”
Pujols admits that his swing speed is better now than in years past. He also fed left-handed pitchers, who abandoned nine of his last twelve mates. On Tuesday, Padres offered right-handed shooters only. They held Pujols in front of two singles and a walk that elicited boos from avid Homer fans at Petco Park.
No lucky ones in the bleachers stumble upon Pujols’ house.
But high above the first baseline, 36-year-old San Diego Chris Wooldridge found himself in the perfect position to catch the closest thing to history on Tuesday night – the Albert Pujols ball.
Wooldridge laughed, “I saw it pop up and it looked like it was coming straight at me, and it was so cool. I didn’t have to move or anything.”
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Wooldridge said he hasn’t attended a league game in 15 years. He’ll remember this, and a chance memento from a 42-year-old who finished the match with a blast.
“It’s impressive,” he said. “I mean, it’s not supposed to be, you can hit a lot of runs on your turf and play at that level at that age. It’s really, really special.”
And the absence of doubt
There was a time, not so long ago, when a barrage of housekeeping by a 42-year-old man raised questions.
There are no nonsensical questions to ask in San Diego, where Padres star Fernando Tates Jr. is currently serving a lengthy suspension after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug.
“Pujols has never had a problem throughout his career with anything,” Wooldridge said.[he’s] You were a stand-up player and a role model and that is something to be commended.”
There were no credible allegations against Pujols and he didn’t have the extreme performances – he didn’t score 50 times on home soil in one season. His major league career began in 2001, during the so-called steroid era and in the same year Barry Bonds set the home record for one season 73 times, but cast doubt on that and other records.
But Pujols has played most of his baseball since the game became the sport’s anti-doping banner.
“The light switch started in baseball,” said Travis Tygart, CEO of the US Anti-Doping Agency. They have put in place a policy that protects clean athletes.
Indeed, it is surprising to note the lack of skepticism, among fans and sports journalists, about the Pujols’ run towards 700, and Judge’s exploits per season.
Tygart says baseball has gained people’s trust through its extensive anti-doping efforts.
He said, “Testing is very important, whether in competition, out of competition, blood, urine. Having a good list [of prohibited substances]Or do research to make sure science stays ahead, or at least [in] Lock the move with those who may wish to gain an advantage, then investigations and intelligence – using the information that comes to them.”
Tygart believes that baseball has put a “high profile policy that really eliminates them outside the park” on the elements that he says creates the “effectiveness matrix.”
According to the MLB, there were more than 1,400 major league substance abuse tests in 2003 and about 12,000 tests. this year. All players are now randomly tested.
Unburdened by doubt, San Diego fans all cheered the Pujols’ four bats on Tuesday. Many stood up, their cell phones recording the hoped-for date.
It didn’t happen, but fans on the road, and certainly in St. Louis, will continue to come out to watch one of baseball’s biggest chases late in the season.
Or whatever Albert Pujols wants people to call it.
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