Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Pujols Needs to Tone it Down

Albert Pujols is one of my favorites. He's the best hitter in the game today, and could be one of the all-time greats. But this is not how players should be talking:

Albert Pujols thinks he was snubbed.

The St. Louis Cardinals' slugger is upset he lost out to Philadelphia's Ryan Howard for the National League MVP award, saying Wednesday the honor should go to someone on a playoff team.

"I see it this way: Someone who doesn't take his team to the playoffs doesn't deserve to win the MVP," Pujols said in Spanish at a news conference organized by the Dominican Republic's sports ministry.


Pujols, the 2005 NL MVP, said he has bigger dreams -- a spot in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. The BBWAA also votes for the Hall of Fame.

"It is still early but it is a dream I have," Pujols said. "My hope is that in good time I will have sufficient numbers to get to Cooperstown."

First, there's no need to whine about losing to Ryan Howard. Pujols makes a valid point (although I disagree with him on it), but while it's fine to say that kind of thing to your friends in private, he should keep it out of the media. Phillies fans are going to let him hear it when he plays in Philly next year.

Second, don't talk about how your goal is to be in the Hall of Fame. We know it is, but you don't say that to everybody. It's a bit unseemly. Just say you're going to play your best and see what happens.

UPDATE: Pujols seems to have apologized:

"I feel so bad because I love Ryan Howard," Pujols told USA TODAY. "I never said he didn't deserve the MVP. He is deserving of that award. He earned it. That's why he got it. I'm not trying to defend myself; I just want to tell him that I'm sorry for all of this because he earned the MVP. The last thing I want to do is spoil this for him."
I'm not quite sure how this reconciles with his earlier statements, but it's good to hear.

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