Joe Maddon Speaks On Reported Rift With Albert Pujols Prior To The Release

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Joe Madden ALbert Pujols rift Los Angeles Angels

A lot of reports have been circling about what transpired that resulted in Albert Pujols being released by the Los Angeles Angels. While Pujols has been on a steady decline for a few years now, he was reportedly unhappy with his playing time with the Angels.

Apparently, the night Pujols was released, he was scratched from the lineup late by manager Joe Maddon. Pujols then went into Maddon’s office and chewed him out for how he’s been treated by the team recently.

“By the time the day was over, Pujols was yelling at manager Joe Maddon, telling president John Carpino and GM Perry Minasian that he wasn’t going to retire, insisting he did not want to spend the rest of the season on the bench and blasting Maddon’s managerial skills,” USA Today’s Bob Nightengale wrote.

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When trying to clear up the media firestorm, Maddon revealed that he scratched Pujols from the lineup because he was aware that the front office made up their minds that he would be released that night. Maddon didn’t want to tell Pujols just yet, but figured it would be inappropriate to play him during the game.

“No, he came to speak with me about not playing that particular night. And I knew what was going on after the game that night, so we felt it was best to not play him. So I couldn’t reveal everything to him. He had good numbers against that particular pitcher historically. So he came in, and he was kind of upset as to why he wasn’t playing. And I assured him that it wasn’t a disrespectful moment on my part, because I’m not that person.

“So that’s what he was upset about – that he did not play against the particular pitcher that he had a great history with. But just knowing what was going to happen after the game, it would have been irresponsible to have played him that night.”

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Joe Maddon would also share an interesting thought about how things could have gone ‘differently’ if Albert Pujols just decided to retire last season.

“It could have been done differently, had it happened in spring training, or even in the last offseason,” Maddon said on the “Starkville” podcast. “There’s different ways to go about it.

I mean, yeah Joe. A lot of things would have made this easier. However, Albert Pujols has showed no desire to retire, and still hasn’t. The guy wants to play baseball still. And who are we to tell him he can’t anymore?

I hope Albert Pujols get another chance somewhere else.

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