A former executive for an MLB franchise claims that Albert Pujols is not as old as he claims to be. Former Miami Marlins president David Samson claimed that when Albert Pujols signed a 10-year, $240 million contract with the Los Angeles Angels after the 2011 season, no one in baseball believed he was speaking the truth about his age.
These remarks were made by Samson during an episode of “The Dan Le Batard Show.” In a conversation with Le Batard, Samson said, “There is not one person in baseball, not one executive, who believes Albert Pujols is the age that he says he is.” The degree of fraud that occurred in the Dominican in the past, with people changing their names and even their birthdays, is mind-boggling.
When the Marlins tried to sign the three-time NL MVP in free agency in December 2011, Samson said he knew Pujols wasn’t the age he said he was. “We knew when we did the calculations for that deal that we didn’t care about 2019, ’20, or ’21. It was so far in the future that it didn’t matter,” Samsom stated, recalling his negotiations with Pujols.
“We knew he’d be unproductive. We knew that he was not the age that he said he was. We had all the information.” There is a bit of a history of birthday fraud among baseball players from Pujols’ native Dominican Republic, a country with a great history of baseball talent. In 1999, former pitcher Wandy Rodriguez was caught lying about his age, making him the first Dominican player to do so.
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Rodriguez, who was 19 at the time, threw in the mid-80s, which wasn’t very good but was still good for young Dominican prospects. Jose De Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle said that Rodriguez had lied about his age and assumed a new identity to increase his profile among MLB scouts.
The identity of his friend Eny Cabrera, who was two years younger than Rodriguez, was “borrowed” by Rodriguez. The Houston Astros signed him after he showed that he could throw a fastball in the mid-80s at the age of 17.
Rodriguez eventually told the team his real name, and he pitched in the majors for a decade, from 2005 to 2015. Former shortstop Miguel Tejada, according to ESPN, was also caught lying about his age to get a deal with the Oakland Athletics in 1993.
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