Albert Unplugged. Again.
One of my colleagues in the press box tonight basically said that we should all take a pay cut tonight, because Albert Pujols did our work for us. Actually, this scribe said that he himself did the work, by asking the questions that sent Pujols on his way, but either way. I respectfully disagree — especially since my game story was about So Taguchi, and I just cranked out a little sidebar on Pujols.
Anyway. For those who are interested, here are Pujols’ comments, in their entirety, on Oliver Perez and the bat-flip issue. Some great stuff in here. If Pujols is really turning into a quote machine, life on the beat is going to be a lot better this year.
"If you look at it, he struck me out last year and he did
all his dancing and all that stuff, and I remembered that. That’s what happened
in Pittsburgh. I hit that groundball back at him and he did his little dance
again, and I got really upset. I went to the video room and I told my guy Chad,
‘I’m going to hit the next ball and I’m going to hit it a long way. But don’t
look at the ball. Look at where the bat is going to land.’
"Because I respect
this game just like everybody else. And when I see a guy like that, with the
talent that he has, disrespecting the game — that might be the way that he
pitches, but I don’t care. I don’t care what you do out there. But when you
start pointing and looking at the guys at the plate when you strike somebody
out, that’s disrespecting the player. I probably shouldn’t have taken it to
that level, where I threw my bat like that. But at that moment I was pretty
"I don’t care what the media or whoever said something in Pittsburgh
last week. I don’t care because they don’t know why I did that. Now I’m glad
that I got the opportunity to say it. That’s what I say. I think that he got a
little cocky out there, and so am I. I think anytime, you have it 50-50. You
have it 50 percent that you can take somebody deep, and he can strike you out. But
if he does strike you out, he needs to respect the game and not try to show
"Same thing happened with Jerome Williams, two weeks ago,
Opening Day in Chicago. He struck me out on that Sunday night baseball game and
did a little dance, and I didn’t appreciate that. I almost did it over here and
threw the bat, but I didn’t want to take it to that level. I respect this game
so much. And I’m sorry if I disrespected the game that day, but that’s the way
(follow-up question: so were you making a point by being so matter-of-fact
about it tonight?) "He paid me back, and that was in Pittsburgh. I don’t think I
need to show him up again, if he doesn’t do it again. If anybody in the game
shows me up, be ready, because I always remember that. That happened last year,
it happened this year when I hit a groundball back to him, and that might be
the way that he pitches.
"But I don’t care what you do out there. I just believe
that if you do it, don’t try to look at the player, don’t try to look into the
dugout, just do your thing and be over with it. sometimes you take a guy deep
and everybody gets real mad, and that’s when trouble starts. You hit another
guy, you hit this guy. You don’t want things happening like that.
"I heard a couple of people say something yesterday about
the home run that I hit against him in Pittsburgh. They were talking about it. My wife was actually the one that brought it to my attention, and I told her
why I did it. I told her why I did it that day. And that’s it. I need to drop
it. I hit one tonight against him and I ran the bases like I always do. I
probably shouldn’t bring it down to that level like I did last week, but I
showed today that that’s not the way I play the game. At the same time, I need
to respect my teammates. Because I don’t want any of my guys to get hurt from
me doing something stupid like that.
(another follow-up — did anybody on the team say anything to you?) "Rolen mentioned something, but he knew why I did it. He
knew I was pretty upset the way the guy is, but he was one of the guys who told
me, ‘Hey, you’re a better player than that. You respect this game so much.
Don’t bring it down to that level, because you are the one that is going to
look stupid.’ Which I did. I looked stupid. That was my fault. I’m human. I
make mistakes. Drop it like it’s hot. That’s it."
Now playing on the iPod: The Cure, Acoustic Hits