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When Cardinals designated hitter Albert Pujols announced Monday that he was filing for divorce from his wife, Deidre, the timing seemed quite peculiar.
Just days prior, Deidre had undergone successful surgery to remove a brain tumor, and with Opening Day right around the corner, Albert’s return to St. Louis was no longer the main story.
New details have since emerged and TMZ Sports is now reporting that the couple split back in February because of “irreconcilable differences.”
“I realize this is not the most opportune time with Opening Day approaching and other family events that have recently taken place,” Pujols said in a statement, via his agent Dan Lozano. “These situations are never easy and isn’t something that just happened overnight.”
Married for 22 years, the couple has five kids together, and Pujols, 42, is reportedly requesting joint custody of their three minor children.
“I am thankful for the five beautiful children that we brought into this world and remain committed to raising them in a loving and safe environment,” Pujols said.
Pujols didn’t go into specifics about the divorce, but said he has leaned on the Lord through the process.
“As a devout Christian, this is an outcome that I never wanted to see happen,” Pujols said. “For many long days and nights, I prayed, asking the Lord for His guidance.”
Pujols is set to enter his 22nd season in the big leagues and his 12th overall with the Cardinals. However, Pujols, one of the greatest hitters of his generation, has said that the 2022 season will be his last in MLB.
The three-time National League MVP sits at 679 career home runs, needing 21 to join the exclusive 700-career home run club. Only Babe Ruth (714), Hank Aaron (755) and Barry Bonds (762) have been able to reach that milestone.
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