Los Angeles Dodgers free agent Albert Pujols has suggested he will continue playing at the Major League level in 2022 rather than retire, but for now is playing in the Dominican Winter League for the first time in his career.
Leones del Escogido of the Dominican Republic Professional Baseball League (LIDOM) acquired his rights from the Gigantes del Cibao in exchange for Melky Mesa and former Dodgers relief pitcher Edward Paredes.
Pujols has just three hits in 18 at-bats over five games thus far, but one of those came in his Leones del Escogido debut and delivered a walk-off win.
After celebrating on the field, Pujols and his teammates continued in the clubhouse, where the WWE’s Undertaker theme song was played and more.
— Escogido Baseball (@EscogidoBBClub) November 1, 2021
2021-2022 LIDOM POSTGAME VICTORY CELEBRATION THREAD STARTS HERE@EscogidoBBClub checking in with the return of El Sonidito, featuring Wilkin Castillo, Jimmy Paredes, Albert Pujols, and of course, JUMBO DÍAZ
(via Jumbo on IG) pic.twitter.com/lZ9uNFyfwj
— Céspedes Family BBQ (@CespedesBBQ) November 6, 2021
The joy Pujols displayed while parading around the clubhouse is similar to the disposition he carried after signing with the Dodgers for the remainder of the 2021 season.
Despite coming off a bit of an unceremonious split with the L.A. Angels amid reports of wanting to regularly start, Pujols embraced any role the Dodgers asked of him and was regularly touted by players as being a positive impact in the clubhouse.
Roberts believes in Pujols
Prior to Pujols indicating he would not yet retire, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts had already said he would not be surprises if the future Hall of Famer continued his carer.
“I think Albert can do whatever he wants to do and if he wants to play next year he’s certainly going to be a really good contributor to whatever ballclub,” Roberts said during the postseason.
“You learn not to bet against Hall of Fame ballplayers because they understand what it takes to have success and they understand how their bodies, skillset might have changed or diminished a little bit because of age, which that happens to everyone, but how to still be productive and he’s a winning baseball player and he’s been huge for us.”
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