Saturday, January 28 2023

Krukow believes Pujols can inspire Longo’s future decision originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

As Giants third baseman Evan Longoria ponders what his baseball future holds, there is a player he should watch if he wants to keep playing: Albert Pujols.

Speaking on KNBR’s “Murph & Mac” show Friday, Giants broadcaster Mike Krukow explained how watching the Cardinals legend turn back the clock could provide inspiration to Longoria.

“I think it does,” Krukow responded when asked if watching Pujols could cause Longoria to re-evaluate his future.

Krukow adds that as a professional athlete, it is very difficult for players to leave their careers behind because that was their entire identity.

Longoria has to recognize that he is no longer the player he was and that he has to come to terms with who is now.

“You have to be able to go onto the next stage of your life and you have to be able to leave it because you can’t walk in there and still be the guy,” Krukow said. “You have to redefine yourself.”

Lastly, Krukow added some insight into what the 36-year-old Longoria could be thinking about.

“I think his mentality is either ‘I come back here as a Giant,’ which is a possibility, or I’m done.’ I think that’s his scenario,” Krukow concluded.

It makes sense why Longoria ought to look at what Pujols has done the last few seasons if he were to extend his career.

An incredible slugger against any pitcher early in his career, Pujols’ age began to show toward the latter end of his stint with the Los Angeles Angels. However, once he signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2021, he became a deadly weapon off the bench against lefties.

The 42-year-old Pujols has continued to punish lefties this year with the St. Louis Cardinals, slashing .389/.427/.789 with 10 homers and 24 RBI. Despite those gaudy numbers, Pujols has maintained that this will be his final season.

With how dominant Pujols has been against lefties and finding his niche as a veteran presence, perhaps the same can happen with Longoria. Against left-handed pitchers, Longoria is slashing .308/.356./.577 with six home runs and 19 RBI, per Baseball Reference.

There is still some spark left in Longoria’s bat, as his series against the Colorado Rockies showed. But moving forward, he has to adjust.

RELATED: Longo turns back clock, takes over Giants’ much-needed win

If Longoria wants to keep his playing career going, Pujols is the perfect player to emulate. If all goes well, Longoria could keep playing for the foreseeable future.

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Source: Yahoo Sports

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