Mike Trout was surprised. Adrian Beltre called it “shameful.” David Ortiz said it shouldn’t have happened.
The Angels’ decision to designate Albert Pujols for assignment was not a popular move among current and former players. Trout, the sport’s best player and a teammate of Pujols, was caught off guard, finding out about the move when he saw Pujols hugging teammates.
“We were all surprised when it happened,” Trout said. “You know, it hit me a little bit. It hit me a lot. Ever since I’ve been up here, he’s been my guy. He mentored me throughout my career so far.
“I can’t thank him enough. He was an unbelievable person and unbelievable friend to me.”
Others weren’t as politically correct.
“What happened to him is shameful,’’ Beltre said, “and shows the ugly side of baseball. No matter what, he will always be a legend.”
On his Instagram account, Ortiz wrote: “I do not agree on the move that just happened. That was devastating for fans and player. I know this is a business, but I was expecting someone like you to walk away like you deserve. You have done so much for baseball that is hard to replace someone like you.”
Pujols is a first ballot Hall of Famer whose skills have eroded. He was batting just .198 at the time of the decision with a .622 OPS. Still, it didn’t sit right with several players.