I know we're only about a fifth of a way into the season, but check it out, people: Albert Pujols is leading two triple crown categories. Yes, he's 10th in average, and Adam Dunn (11 homers to Pujols' 12) and Jay Bruce (him and three other guys have 10) are right behind him in homers.
Yeah, the chances of him actually winning the triple crown are pretty low, but he's already a lock for the "decade" triple crown (whatever that is), and we really don't have anybody else with a shot of triple crowning it anytime soon. It's fun to speculate.
It's even more fun to read John Kruk's piece on Albert Pujols on ESPN.com and speculate what kind of daze -- probably not drugs, I'm speculating hunger -- Kruk was in while writing it.
What, then, is stopping him from winning the Triple Crown this season? Home runs. He is a great hitter, but he's also one who believes in getting the win. He could easily lead the league in home runs every season, but that would probably mean that his strikeout numbers would increase and his value to his club would decrease. This is a Cardinals team that relies on moving runners over to score runs, and Pujols is a big part of that. His selflessness puts this team in the hunt for the playoffs every season, but also takes him out of the running for the Triple Crown.
Really? Albert Pujols could easily lead the league in homers every season? Wouldn't that help his team more than, say, hitting a few points higher in average, grounding out instead of striking out with nobody on and moving over Skip Schumaker once in a while. Hell, by "easily" leading the league in homers every season, he'd be hitting in the 60s every year. That would revitalize baseball (until he's caught taking sheep growth hormone or whatever). Why is Albert Pujols so selfish, caring about his team over the game of baseball as a whole?!
I'll admit I really don't know how this works; I've never played anything above "stickball in the street"-level ball. I've read that, say, Ichiro sacrifices power for average since he's the leadoff man. I've also read, though, that Pujols doesn't sacrifice power for average.
I don't really know how to say this, guys, but I think John Kruk might not be right. I don't know if this has ever happened before.