Many Red Sox fans were hoping for one more opportunity to see Albert Pujols play at Fenway Park with the Los Angeles Angels scheduled for a three-game set in Boston beginning next Friday.
Unfortunately, they might never get another chance.
Pujols has been designated for assignment by the Angels, the team announced Thursday. He was in the final year of a 10-year, $253 million contract he signed with the Angels in 2011, which followed a historic 11-year run with the St. Louis Cardinals.
Pujols, simply, is one of the greatest players in history.
It's unknown at this time whether Pujols will retire or try to join another team. One potential destination would be the Chicago White Sox, who are dealing with injuries to Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert. White Sox manager Tony La Russa knows Pujols well after managing the Cardinals for all of the slugger's career in St. Louis.
Either way, it's a good time to reflect on the moments Pujols has had against the Red Sox.
One of Pujols' nicknames is "The Machine" and he lived up to it against the Red Sox.
The future Hall of Famer played in 55 career games versus the Sox and batted .304 with 12 home runs, 48 RBI, 20 walks, 32 runs scored, 66 hits and a .367 on-base percentage.
Pujols also was productive in his 27 games (119 at-bats) played at Fenway Park. He batted .269 with five homers, 20 RBI, 12 walks, 28 hits and a .353 on-base percentage in those matchups.
2004 World Series
The one and only playoff series Pujols played against Boston was the historic 2004 World Series. The Red Sox had just pulled off a miraculous comeback against the New York Yankees after trailing the American League Championship Series 3-0.
The Cardinals had won 105 regular season games and Pujols was their best player. He finished third in NL MVP voting that year after hitting .331 with 46 homers and 123 RBI.
One of the reasons why the Red Sox swept the Cardinals to win their first World Series title in 86 years was they did a good job limiting Pujols' production. Pujols was batting .441 in the 2004 postseason entering the World Series, and he went 5-for-15 (.333) at the plate against Boston. He certainly didn't play horribly, but the Red Sox did a better job than the Astros and Dodgers at preventing him from taking over games.
Three of Pujols' six strikeouts in the playoffs came against the Red Sox, and he also didn't homer once versus Boston pitching after blasting six of them in the Cardinals' previous 11 games of that playoff run.
Here are some video highlights of Pujols' success against the Red Sox as a member of the Angels.