No wonder Albert Pujols struggled after leaving St. Louis Cardinals

After leaving the St. Louis Cardinals, Albert Pujols wasn't the same player. The Los Angeles Angels might have something to do with that.
Los Angeles Angels v Seattle Mariners
Los Angeles Angels v Seattle Mariners / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

Albert Pujols made just one All-Star team after leaving the St. Louis Cardinals for the Los Angeles Angels in the 2011 offseason. While Pujols will go down as a Cardinals legend, his time in LA serves as a giant 'what if'.

For a glimpse into what went wrong with the Angels, former Halos pitcher C.J. Wilson provided just a small tidbit of what players were up against when they signed in Anaheim.

Per Wilson, who himself signed with the Angels after a successful tenure with the Texas Rangers, the Halos failed to provide players with the necessary training or weight rooms until 2013 or so. As for Pujols, they wouldn't pay for a specific treadmill so he could stay in playing shape during the offseason. While these may seem like strange requests from those who don't play professional sports, they're staples in today's game, and were so back in the early 2010's as well. LAA was just a step or two (or five) behind.

Albert Pujols struggles were an indictment of the Angels, not himself

While the lack of a training regimen is just one of many reasons why Pujols struggled -- perhaps living up to his contract and leaving the familiarity of St. Louis played a role, too -- Wilson's revelations are an indictment of Arte Moreno and the Angels organization as a whole. What were they thinking, and has anything changed?

When Pujols eventually left the Angels for the rival Dodgers and then a swan song back in St. Louis, he became a much better hitter, even in the twilight of his career. While certainly not his 2010 form, Pujols did look far more capable with -- you guessed it -- proven winners, rather than the Halos.

That has to say something, doesn't it? Just look at how the Angels have consistently fallen short with two of the best players in baseball (Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani), one of whom tore his UCL and could leave in free agency. Anaheim has a habit of wasting talent. Here's to hoping that trend ends sooner rather than later.

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