Monday, July 13

Pujols Has The Numbers Within Reach At The Break

There are few, if any, hallowed baseball records that still exist in the game. The fans will simply not be fooled again into another summer of cheering for a false hero that turns out to be more shadow and smoke then grit and brawn. Then it must be taken into account attainable records relative to the game today. Cal Ripken's streak is in all likelihood unbreakable. This year when Ryan Howard sat out a start he had the longest current streak and it was only just over 300. The Joe DiMaggio 56 hitting streak is another that seems unlikely to be touched. Now that Joe Mauer is no longer flirting with .400, that record once again fades out of sight.

If there has been one ballplayer who has the talent and the willingness to put himself into the national spotlight it is Albert Pujols. He has had a tremendous first portion of the season and here at the All-Star break leads the NL in both Homers (32), RBI (87), and trails Hanley Ramirez by 12 points in average (.337). He would be the first player since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967 to accomplish the feat and the first NL player since Joe Medwick in 1937. There are still many miles to go, but for a player who has asked the fans to believe him when it comes to performance-enhancing drugs, it would be a great point for baseball to move forward on for him to achieve this success.

Another number I will be watching of Pujols the remainder of the season will be his home run total. He is on pace for about 57 this year. His highest total ever is 49 in 2006. Even though he would need to pick up the pace he could realistically get to 62. If he does, he will have passed by Roger Maris and the only players in front of him would be Sosa, McGwire, and Bonds. Should we not think of Albert as the single season king if he gets there? While the history books will not be altered from the era of juice nor an asterisk placed beside the inflated numbers, a 62 home run total from Pujols will resound with many baseball fans that have taken the plunge with Albert yet again are willing to have faith.

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