Moisés Rojas Alou (usually Template:PronEng in English, and /moiˈses alˈou/ in Spanish; born July 3, 1966 in Atlanta, Georgia) is an outfielder in Major League Baseball, who plays for the New York Mets. He comes from a Dominican family in which baseball is a way of life. His father Felipe, who managed Moises with the Expos from 1992 to 1996 and the Giants in 2005 and 2006, as well as uncles Matty and Jesús, and cousin Mel Rojas, all had long careers in the Major Leagues. As of 2006, he was one of six active Major Leaguers (along with David Bell, Barry Bonds, Prince Fielder, Ken Griffey, Jr., and Daryle Ward) to hit 20 home runs in a season whose fathers had also hit 20 home runs in an MLB season. Alou is married to Austria Alou; they have three sons: Percio, Kirby and Moisés Jr.
At the age of 18, Alou was more interested in playing basketball during his youth, and did not play organized baseball until he attended Cañada College in Redwood City, California. It was there that baseball scouts noticed his tremendous bat speed and speed on the basepaths. In 1986, Alou was the second overall pick in the amateur draft, chosen by the Pittsburgh Pirates. In 1990, he was traded to the Montreal Expos where he would later play under his father while he managed the Expos.
Alou suffered a severe ankle injury in 1993 that would rob him of his speed and force him to become strictly a corner outfielder. He recovered though, and by 1994 was one of the best hitters in baseball, hitting .339. In 1994, he returned to get the game-winning hit in the All-Star Game. For the next two seasons, he would enjoy stellar seasons at the plate in Montreal, however losing a number of games due to injury.
Prior to the 1997 season Alou signed as a free agent with the Florida Marlins, where he led the team with 23 home runs and 115 RBIs. The Marlins made the playoffs as a wild card team where they defeated first the Giants and then the Atlanta Braves, and advanced to the World Series. Florida ended up winning their first World Series in a nail-biting seventh game which ended on an Edgar Rentería base hit. In the end, Alou led the team by hitting .321 with three home runs and nine RBIs in the World Series.
Before the 1998 season, the Marlins traded Alou to the Houston Astros. In Houston, Alou played the best baseball of his career. In his first season with the team, he hit a career high 38 home runs and drove in 124 runs while leading the Astros to a franchise record 102 wins. However, during the offseason, he would be bitten by the injury bug once more when he tore his ACL in a freak treadmill accident. Alou ended up missing the entire 1999 season. Once recovered, he returned to the Astros lineup to hit .355 in 2000 and .331 in 2001, while driving in at least 108 runs in each season. After the 2001 season, the Astros did not offer Alou a new contract so he in effect became a free agent. In December 2001, he inked a 3-year, $27 million dollar contract with the Chicago Cubs.
In 2002, Alou once again ended up on the disabled list at the start of the season, and once healthy, he could never really get into a groove as he did in Houston. He finished up with a disappointing season in his own accounts when he hit only .275 and 15 home runs.
After the disappointing 2002 season, Alou, hired a personal trainer and dedicated himself to return to his old form. In the 2003 season, as a member of the Chicago Cubs, he showed flashes of his old self when he batted over .300 for most of the season while driving in runs as he used to. But a late season slump caused Alou's average to drop to .280. He ended up with 22 home runs and 91 RBIs. However, during the post season, he showed no signs of a slump. Alou lead the team in average in their two series against the Atlanta Braves and Florida Marlins. In the end, he would make history in the playoffs, but some he would like to forget.
It was the 8th inning of Game 6 of the NLCS, with the Cubs leading and needing only five outs to clinch a World Series berth for the first time since 1945, a Cubs fan named Steve Bartman caught a foul ball landing one row into the stands, preventing Alou, who reached into the stands, from catching the ball for an out. Alou angrily gestured toward him, but later forgave Bartman. Video replays did not show conclusively whether the ball was in play when Bartman touched it. Fan interference was not called on the play, and it was very unlikely that Alou could have made the catch. The Florida Marlins, Alou's former team, eventually tied the game, took the lead, and won, assisted by remarkably poor fielding by the Cubs. The Cubs lost Game 7 to the Marlins, who went on to beat the New York Yankees in the World Series.
After a comeback season in 2003, Alou had a career year in 2004. He set new career highs in home runs (39), doubles (36), and runs (106), while driving in 106 runs. However, after high expectations, the Chicago Cubs fell short of a playoff berth when they lost seven of their last nine games. Alou, who was a free agent, said he would love to stay in Chicago. Nevertheless, many experts and reporters doubted the Cubs would pick up his option. Alou and Cubs reliever Kent Mercker reportedly had confrontation with Cubs announcer Steve Stone on a team flight. The Cubs refused to offer arbitration and let him go, citing numerous fights with umpires whom he claimed had a vendetta against him. In October 2004 Moises announced to the public that he had talked to his father, Felipe, about possibly playing for him and the Giants next season. In December 2004, he signed a one year deal with the Giants worth $13.5 million, with a player option for a second year. Alou was expected to regularly play in right field for the first time since 2001, but due to injuries to left fielder Barry Bonds, he started most games in left field. Alou had stated that he would retire if the Giants won the World Series in 2005. Since they didn't, Alou exercised his option and played in the 2006 season, collecting 22 HRs and 74 RBI.
On November 20, 2006, the New York Mets signed Alou to a one-year contract worth $7.5 million with a club option for 2008. After a good opening month (BA .318) as the regular left fielder, Alou sustained yet another injury, and was sidelined with a torn quadriceps muscle until August. Since his return, Alou has picked up where he left off, and, as of September 18, is leading the Mets with a .345 batting average and riding a 30 (as of September 26) game hitting streak. The streak is notable for three reasons: it was the longest streak of the 2007, it's the longest hitting streak ever achieved by someone over 40, and it has broken the Mets' overall and single-season hitting streak records.
On October 31, 2007, the Mets exercised its option on Alou's contract for the 2008 season. "Last year, Moises showed us what type of hitter he was," said General Manager Omar Minaya.
On March 5, 2008 Alou underwent hernia surgery and missed the start of the 2008 season. On 9 July, Alou suffered a torn right hamstring playing in the outfield for AA Binghamton in Norwich, Connecticut. Mets general manager Omar Minaya stated in a press conference the following day that Alou will likely need surgery and miss the remainder of the 2008 season, and possibly end his career. He remains, as of March, 2008, the oldest position player currently under contract for an MLB team.
- NL All Star 1994
- NL All Star 1997
- NL All Star 1998
- NL All Star 2001
- NL All Star 2004
- NL All Star 2005
- 1994 Silver Slugger Award
- 1998 Silver Slugger Award
- Top 500 home run hitters of all time
- List of players from Dominican Republic in Major League Baseball
- List of second generation Major League Baseball players
- List of major league players with 2,000 hits
- List of Major League Baseball players with 400 doubles
- List of Major League Baseball players with 1000 runs
- List of Major League Baseball players with 1000 RBI
- Major League Baseball hitters with three home runs in one game
- Notes: Fallout from Alou's anger | Cubs.com: News
- Mets bring back two veterans | Mets.com: News
- Mets Blog
- Mets Unveil Their Own Health Plan: Keep Alou on the Field - New York Times
- Can peeing on your hands make them tough? - By Dan Kois - Slate Magazine
- ESPN.com: Page 2 : Pee is only a wee bit gross
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube
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