The deadline for first baseman Albert Pujols and the St. Louis Cardinals to negotiate a contract extension has passed without a new deal in place. The three-time MVP has made clear that he will not continue talks during the season, leaving it likely for him to test the free-agent market when his current deal expires. The Cardinals most recent offer would place Pujols in the league’s top 10 in salary. The nine-year veteran is expected to collect $16 million this season in his contract’s final year.
“The expiration of today’s deadline does not eliminate the possibility of Albert returning to the Cardinals in 2012, but simply delays negotiations until the conclusion of the Cardinals’ season,” said Pujols’ agent Dan Lozano in a prepared statement. “He feels as strongly as ever that this team has the potential to win the World Series. That alone is why he will not permit his contractual situation to become a distraction or take away from his ability to reach that goal.” Pujols has produced a .331 career batting average and averaged 41 homers and 123 RBIs. He’s won six Silver Slugger Awards and two Gold Gloves.
Check back for more MLB off-season updates right here at Ace!
Veteran first basement Albert Pujols belted his 400th career home run as the Washington Nationals rallied past his St Louis Cardinals 11-10 in extra innings yesterday in Washington DC. The 9x All-Star is one five players in MLB history to have 400 homers, 1,200 RBIs and a .330 average, sharing the mark with Stan Musial, Ted Williams, Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth. Despite his most recent career accomplishment, Pujols seemed more concerned with the loss, saying “It’s a special milestone, but I don’t play for numbers.” The Cardinals are now four games behind the Cincinnati Reds in the NL Central with a 68-57 record. The Wild Card race is also tight between the Cards, Phillies and Giants.
The Nationals are now battling for pride in light of their 54-74 record with 34 games left to play this regular season. Even with rookie ace Stephen Strasburg out with a torn ligament in his right elbow, the young lineup will look to prove themselves as contenders in the years to come. “I don’t really know what big league playoff baseball feels like — I’m sure the atmosphere is a little bit more hectic,” shortstop Ian Desmond said after he produced the game winning single in the 13th. “That was a great-played game by both sides.” The offensive contest featured 30 hits, 15 pitchers and six lead changes. Washington and St Louis are set to matchup for three more games at Nationals Park starting tonight at 7:05 PM.
All-Star outfielder Matt Holliday just recently signed back with his St Louis Cardinals earlier this week. The seven year deal presents a salary between $119-120 million with a team option at the end of the contract. Holliday is very happy to remain with the Cardinals, saying “I think first of all going into free agency I had in the back of my mind that I really liked my time in St. Louis and felt it was a good fit for me and my family.”
In 2009 Holliday produced a .313 batting average with 24 home runs and 109 RBI’s. The five year veteran was certainly relieved to officially put contract negotiations to rest following months of discussion. “This has been a bit of a long process and there were some emotional ups and downs that go with it,” he said. “It hasn’t exactly been a walk in the park. It’s relief.” The Cardinals are scheduled to open their regular season against the Cincinnati Reds for a three game series starting Monday, April 5th.
The highly anticipated Phillies Dodgers NLCS rematch will start up at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, October 15th. In 2008 the World Champion Philadelphia Phillies dominated Los Angeles in just five games, but this season the Dodgers certainly believe they have done enough to give themselves a better chance. LA now has left hander’s Clayton Kershaw and Randy Wolf (former Phillie) to counter Philadelphia’s strong offense.
The Phillies have been playing some great baseball themselves, taking four games to knock out the Colorado Rockies in their division series. Wolf looking ahead goes into how the Phillies starting rotation will be quite the challenge. “With Philly, they have a relentless lineup, and even though Cole Hamels isn’t having a typical season, he can dominate. Cliff Lee is a big acquisition, and going against lefties has been a little tough for us.” Wolf continued to speak on behalf of predictions, saying “we were supposed to be swept by the Cardinals. If nobody picks us, that’s fine.” Here he is referring to the Dodgers quick three game ALDS sweep on St Louis.
NLCS Series Schedule – Starting Rotations and Game Times TBDGame 1 – Thursday, October 15th – Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, CA
Game 2 – Friday, October 16th – Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, CA
Game 3 – Sunday, October 18th – Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, PA
Game 4 – Monday, October 19th – Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, PA
Game 5 – Wednesday, October 21st – Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, PA
Game 6 – Friday, October 23rd – Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, CA
Game 7 – Saturday, October 24th – Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, CA
NLCS tickets are available now!
In the bottom of the ninth inning in yesterday’s NLDS Game matchup, the St Louis Cardinals held the 2-1 advantage over the Los Angeles Dodgers with just one out to go. Left fielder Matt Holliday was given the opportunity to catch a routine fly to even up the series heading back to St Louis. “I didn’t see the ball,” Holliday said. “Obviously, I can catch a ball that’s hit right at me. It’s very difficult to swallow. We had a chance to win the game. It was unfortunate that it happened when it did.” The crucial E-7 was followed by two singles from Ex-Cardinal Ronnie Belliard and pinch-hitter Mark Loretta for the Dodgers to win 3-2.
Loretta, former Red Sox second basemen, really felt the momentum shift their way with a second chance. “Unfortunately, I did know the numbers,” said Loretta. “I really didn’t have a lot of nerves. I felt like all the pressure was on them at that point. I was fortunate to find a little bit of fairway out there.” Game 3 is scheduled for tomorrow at 6:07 PM in St Louis.
NLDS tickets are available now!
Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp homered in the 1st inning to deep center field, setting the tone for Los Angeles as the bullpen worked together to harness the Cardinals lineup to just one run from the 4th inning on last night at Dodger Stadium. Jeff Weaver picked up the Game 1 NLDS win in relief, shutting down the St Louis offense in his one inning pitched. Shortstop Rafael Furcal led the Dodgers from the plate with three hits and a bonus RBI in the 5th.
The Cardinals scattered 11 hits throughout the game despite putting only three runs on the board. “We had too many chances, too many chances,” said third basemen Mark DeRosa, who left two runners on base in the third inning. “Their bullpen came in, and inning after inning, we didn’t get the big hit we needed.” Game 2 is scheduled for today at 3:07 pm.
NLDS tickets can be found right here at AceTicket.com!
The NL West Champion Los Angeles Dodgers are on a mission to travel right back to the NLCS where they left last season: defeated by the Philadelphia Phillies. With new additions in place along with their solid core of offensive talent, LA is looking for their first World Series appearance since 1988. For their NLDS matchup they will either face the Phillies or the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Cardinals have already clinched the NL Central Division and Philadelphia is well on their way to earn NL East Division rights with 91 wins. Whichever team comes out on top over the other (based on record) will likely face the Colorado Rockies, who are on the verge to completely hold on to their Wild Card lead. The other will have to travel further west to Dodger Stadium for Games 1 and 2.
The Cardinals and Dodgers last squared off at the NLDS in 2004, where St. Louis beat them out in four games and continued on to appear at the World Series. The Rockies and Phillies last NLDS meeting resulted in a sweep courtesy of Colorado. Philadelphia made last year’s NLCS against LA a short one, lasting just five games. The National League will definitely provide some sensational competition however the matchups play out. Don’t miss the action!
National League Division Series tickets can be found right here with us at AceTicket.com!
With much anticipation, the Home Run Derby ended with a familiar face winning. Previous contestant Prince Fielder outslugged Nelson Cruz 6-5 in the final roundto win the derby. Brandon Inge, Joe Mauer, Carlos Pena, and Adrian Gonzalez all failed to make it to the second round, leaving Ryan Howard, Fielder, Cruz, and hometown favorite Albert Pujols in the semifinals. Howard and Pujols, both fan favorites, failed to outlast Fielder and Cruz. Cruz batted first in the finals, hitting 5 homers. Fielder hit a bomb into the center field grass hill to end the contest.
2009 MLB Baseball tickets are available now for all teams and all games!
Bud Selig has confirmed that Busch Stadium in St Louis will be the site of the 2009 MLB All-Star Game on July 14th. This will be St Louis’ first since 1966, and the 80th in the history of the MLB. Rays coach Joe Maddon will be in charge of the American League team, who haven’t lost an All-Star game since 1996. Phillies skipper Charlie Manuel will try to break the NL’s losing streak. The National League leads the all-time record at 40-37-2, but the AL’s recent streak has nearly tipped the scales.
2009 MLB All-Star Game tickets are available now, so reserve your seat early!