Pujols to make managerial debut in LIDOM next winter

February 22nd, 2024

After a one-year hiatus upon his retirement as an active player at the end of the 2022 season, Albert Pujols will be back in uniform this year.

The Leones del Escogido of the Dominican Winter League (also known as LIDOM) announced Thursday in a press release that they have named Pujols their manager for 2024-25. Pujols had a 16-game stint playing for the club in the 2021-22 LIDOM season ahead of his final big league campaign with the Cardinals. This will be Pujols’ first managerial experience.

The Leones’ general manager is Luis Rojas, former Mets manager and current Yankees third-base coach.

“We’re more than thrilled that he’s taking the reigns of the Leones,” said Rojas, who himself led the Escogido club to a LIDOM championship as manager in 2015-16 – when the team’s GM was his brother, Moisés Alou – while also following in the footsteps of his father Felipe Alou, who captured four titles at the helm of the Leones in the 1980s and 90s. “His stature represents this organization well and his presence will have a great impact on our players and fanbase.

“He’s excited to start his managerial career with Escogido and we hope he’ll lead us to the championship.”

Pujols, currently a special assistant in the Angels organization, hit 703 home runs – one of only four players in the 700-home run club -- with 2,218 RBIs and a career .918 OPS in 22 big league seasons for the Cardinals, Angels and Dodgers. He’s fourth on the all-time home run list, as well as second in RBIs, fifth in doubles (686) and ninth in hits (3,384).

He'll be on the BBWAA Hall of Fame ballot for the first time in the 2028 voting cycle.

In the 2021-22 MLB offseason, Pujols hit .246/.292/.344 with one home run in his 16 contests with Escogido.

The Leones were 26-24 in LIDOM this past season while being managed by Brewers Minor League skipper Víctor Estévez, finishing in third place and qualifying for the round-robin semifinal round for the first time in three years, where they were eventually eliminated. In their history, the club has won 16 championships, third all-time in the league.

“We feel honored to have someone with the stature and quality of Pujols, with the purpose of raising the championship crown,” said José Miguel Bonetti Du-Breil, representing the team’s governing board. “He has all our confidence and support.”