WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Minutes after Albert Pujols first hit in the second act against the St. Louis Cardinals, he received a text message that his wife’s brain surgery had been successful.
As Pujols prepares to debut in spring training, his wife, Deidre, posted on social media late Tuesday that she was preparing for surgery to remove a brain tumor discovered in October.
Pujols signed with St. Louis and arrived at the camp on Monday when he learned his wife was preparing for what doctors told them was relatively routine surgery.
“But any time you open your scalp and your head, you’re always worried about it,” he said Wednesday. “You trust the doctors that they have that intelligence and that gift. When we swing in the cage, they’ll do the surgery.”
Noting that Deidre’s mother and family were there to support her, Pujols has no plans to leave camp anytime soon and return to California to be with his wife. He can come see her during the holidays from the end of camp to the beginning of the season.
The Cardinals and Pujols have agreed to a $2.5 million, one-year deal, giving him the chance to end his career where it began. After a decade in Los Angeles, he returned to St. Louis with 679 home runs in his career.
Pujols said he has always been able to distinguish baseball from life.
“I think about it, but when it’s time to start, I’ll focus on what I need to do,” said Pujols. “Yes, my thoughts and my prayers are with Didi and my family.”
Pujols played the first 11 years of his career in St. 10 seasons with the Cardinals.
He signed a 10-year, $240 million deal in 2012 with the Angels, who let go of him last May when he was hitting .198. He signed with the Dodgers, with whom he hit 12 home and drove for 38 runs in 85 games.
The Pujols’ first game since returning to St. Louis arrived with fully loaded facilities and failed to make it past the top of his first game against Washington pitcher Anibal Sanchez.
“No pressure, right?” Pujols said.
With the stage set for a storybook return, Pujols did what he did more than any other player in baseball history: He started playing doubles. Along with being one of the most feared giants in history, Pujols committed 413 murders during his career.
A foul came on Tuesday followed one inning after that.
Pujols eventually broke the ice in the fourth installment, hitting a driveway to the right through a hole made by a teleported schoolyard for him to pull.
“It’s great to be back in a real game,” said Pujols. “I feel competitive in the face of the big leagues.”
Pujols doesn’t expect to feature in the Cardinals’ lineup on Thursday, but if all goes well, he will play Friday against the New York Mets.
Coach Oliver Marmol said at some point before St.
Pujols believes he will be able to tune his shot in the batting cage – something he would do in a normal spring practice session.
“He wanted a few bats before we broke in here, but playing every day was probably not appropriate or necessary for him to feel ready,” Marmol said.
https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/33632251/albert-pujols-makes-spring-training-debut-st-louis-cardinals-mind-wife-brain-surgery Albert Pujols launches spring training for St. Louis Cardinals with his wife’s brain surgery in mind