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Tampa Bay Rays News and Links: Pujols released by Angels

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MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Texas Rangers Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Rays News

The Rays wept the Angels in a four game series. Hopefully they can bottle that mojo and keep it fresh as they travel up I-5 for their series in Oakland.

Austin Meadows looks to be bouncing back from a disappointing 2020, and baseball analysts are noticing.

From Fangraphs, a feature on Rays prospect Cole Wilcox (part of the Blake Snell deal) and his new sinker.

Rays coach/analyst Jonathan Erlichman gets recognized in his college alumni magazine.

Around the League

Albert Pujols released by the Los Angeles Angels. Not every great player gets to leave at his peak. Albert Pujols has been, sadly, a bit of an albatross for the Angels, who owe the aging first baseman $30 million for this, the last year of his 10 year contract. The 2001 Rookie of the Year has had an extraordinary twenty years in the majors. He’s been the NL MVP three times, and has 667 career home runs. He is also by all accounts a true “mensch” who has mentored many younger players. Here are some reactions to his departure:

Ken Rosenthal does a good job of capturing the mixed feelings among baseball people. We want a great player to have a more fitting farewell. But we also understand that teams need to roster the 26 players most likely to help their team win.($)

Some have wondered about the timing. Pujols has been pretty unproductive for a few years. In the last year of his contract, couldn’t the Angels just let him serve a limited role? Well, apparently that wasn’t working out so well. For a Rays-related angle:

Any chance Pujols has more in the tank? Would another team take a chance on him (given that the Angels will be paying most of his salary)? Eno Sarris says, maybe a little. ($)

There has been no shortage of no-hitters in 2021. Here is a look at the latest, from the Oriole’s John Means, via Fangraphs.

Tony LaRussa, you had one job! ($)

Tampa Bay area residents, last chance to see major league regular season baseball in Dunedin! The Blue Jays will decamp to Buffalo at the end of the month.

Players depend on batting practice to work on their swings, so let’s take moment to look at the people who throw to them.

I usually try to avoid Yankee/Red Sox content in these posts because let’s face it we see enough of that. But a shaking my head play like this one deserves a viewing: