Los Angeles Dodgers: Is Albert Pujols the Dave Roberts’ Successor?
Today the Los Angeles Dodgers shocked the MLB world by announcing they signed future hall of famer Albert Pujols to an a deal. I first want to begin by thanking those of you that actually clicked into the story rather than blowing your top at reading the headline. No I don’t think the seat is hot for Dave Roberts now that he won the World Series but it does make me wonder if there is more than meets the eye with this move.
Ahead of the Game
At the surface it looks like an easy deal for a veteran to sign to just sort of coast off into the sunset. Though if Albert Pujols was looking for that, wouldn’t he of just gone back to the team he’s probably gonna sign a one day contract with anyway right before retirement in the St Louis Cardinals? Why the Los Angeles Dodgers? Could it be to stick it to the region rival Los Angeles Angels? Possibly. Though I personally don’t think Albert is that petty. It’s worth looking into the possibility there is something deeper to this because of how forward thinking the Los Angeles Dodgers are as an organization.
One example of this happened in 2015 when the Dodgers began drafting a different type of prospect. Tech start ups. They looked to drive innovation in many different business areas by investing in these startups to help with fan experiences among other things according to the Los Angeles Times. Due to the success of this program the Dodgers anounced that they will be launching a “global sports innovation platform designed to enable and support strategic collaborations between forward-thinking organizations and emerging startups.” according to PR Newswire. What exactly does all this have to do with Albert Pujols signing? One might ask.
Answer to the Question
The answer to all this is simple. Innovative organizations do not pick and choose the areas that they want to innovate and ignore the others. They look to consistently innovate in all areas that business operates. So this is where Albert Pujols might come in. It’s blatantly obvious by all accounts that he loves this game dearly and wants to be around it as much as humanly possible. It’s reported that the whole reason this occurred was because the Angels were not giving him proper playing time due mainly to his dismal numbers.
Why the Dodgers?
It may be confusing looking at the Dodgers because if he went anywhere else to play he would maybe come in the lineup every few games against lefties and maybe turn into more of a utility player. Though as some MLB Analysts report, that’s what they have Max Muncy for. So why would he end up in Los Angeles?
I personally believe this innovative organization is grooming Pujols for something in management in the future. Would it be Dave Roberts job? Probably not with how the team is doing. In my eyes they are bringing him in as a sort of interview and introduction to the Dodger way. As a player on the Angels, Albert Pujols spent a lot of time coaching players such as Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, Mark Trumbo, and many others. One could often see him taking guys aside and showing batting stances and pitch anticipation and everything during broadcasts. So it’s possible that when his body doesn’t allow him to play anymore he may look into some sort of coaching position.
If I had to guess, he is being groomed to become a hitting coach for the team. This year he will be in the dugout and in some games. He will make appearances and everything but the main goal for the organization will be to teach him the “Dodger Way” so the transition between player and coach is almost seamless. This doesn’t mean that he can’t sign a quick and easy one day contract later in the season or off-season to officially retire a St. Louis Cardinal. But it does mean that chances are he is being groomed for the bigger picture within the Los Angeles Dodgers organization. This is not something I think they would make obvious until this off-season or next.
All in all, as an Angels fan writing this and someone who has absolutely adored Pujols, I wish him the absolute best in everything that he does. Albert is a class act and should be remembered as such. Also if you get the chance be sure to check out the Pujols Family Foundation on more of what they do to impact the world.
What do you think the Dodgers plan to do with Albert Pujols? Leave a comment below…
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