Did Leaving St. Louis Pay off for Slugger Albert Pujols?

CBS Sports Radio

(CBS Sports Radio) -- Albert Pujols made his emotional return to St. Louis this past weekend, playing in Busch Stadium for the first time in almost eight years. And he, justifiably, received a hero's welcome.

"I guess in my career I watched Vladimir Guerrero, Miguel Cabrera up close, and then you think about Manny Ramirez and Albert Pujols," David Samson said on Reiter Than You. "To me, those are the ultimate right-handed hitters. And you talk about Ken Griffey Jr. and you think about the beautiful swing from the left side."

Pujols, 39, played for the Cardinals from 2001 to 2011, during which he was a nine-time All-Star and led St. Louis to a pair of World Series championships. He signed a 10-year, $254 million deal with the Angels in December 2011.

"When I think about Pujols, though, is what the Cardinals did by letting him go," Samson said, "and the risk they took by letting a franchise player go knowing they didn't want to go the full 10 years and how it's actually not really paid off for Albert in terms of more wins and more victories out in Anaheim. So it's just an interesting thing. I'm so glad he got the resect that he deserves going home to St. Louis because he's really done well in that community."

Click below to listen to Samson's interview in its entirety.