Albert Pujols is back with the St. Louis Cardinals? Well, isn't that a nice story.
There wasn't much else to say about the situation when Pujols and the Cardinals reunited in March after 10 years apart. As cool as it was that the future first-ballot Hall of Famer was returning to the place where he won three MVPs and two World Series between 2001 and 2011, the odds of him making it a fruitful reunion were surely low.
Several months later, however, this nice story has morphed into a serious question: Is the 42-year-old Pujols actually going to make it to 700 home runs?
After hitting .198 with four home runs in 47 games through July 9, Pujols has come alive to club 10 homers in 27 games since then. His career total stands at 693, putting him just seven long balls away from the big 7-0-0.
The most recent of Pujols' blasts was of the "You gotta see this" variety. On Monday at Wrigley Field, he took a 93 mph fastball from Chicago Cubs left-hander Drew Smyly that was darn near eye-level and launched it 373 feet.
In a flash, Pujols has thus gone from needing 17 homers in 75 games to just seven in 39 games in order to join Barry Bonds, Henry Aaron and Babe Ruth in the 700 Home Run Club. This is obviously assuming the Dominican Republic native doesn't come back for another season in 2023, for which we'll take his word.
“Where I’ll be in 2023 is here...watching some of these guys play from the stands,” Pujols told reporters, referring to Busch Stadium. “I really don’t think about [coming back]. This is it for me...I’m going to take a little break.”