Blog Entry

Fair or not, Albert just doesn't get it

Posted on: October 21, 2011 7:14 pm
Edited on: October 21, 2011 7:16 pm
 
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Albert Pujols says it's not fair.

I'm saying he still doesn't get it.

Not the way Michael Young does. Not the way Derek Jeter does.

Not the way Hideki Matsui does.

"I'm not trying to help the media," Matsui tells the huge contingent of Japanese reporters who he talks to before and after every game. "I'm helping the fans."

He's helping you understand what happened in the game you just watched, just as Pujols did Friday, when he finally gave the answers he should have given Thursday night.

Yes, he said, he should have caught center fielder Jon Jay's throw in the ninth inning of Game 2. Yes, he said, it was right that he was charged with an error on the play.

"It hit my glove," he said. "As soon as I saw [Ian] Kinsler take a big turn at third base, I thought I had a chance at him. I took my eyes off the ball, and I missed it. It was a good throw. I maybe make that catch 99 times out of 100."

And that's the best -- and most accurate part -- of what Pujols said Friday.

The worst part was when he claimed that he had no idea any reporters had wanted to talk to him. The worst part was when he said his only responsibilities were "with God and my family" . . . and not, apparently, with his team.

"C'mon guys, I don't think it's fair," he complained. "To rip someone's reputation for something like that, it's not fair."

To twist the truth, as Pujols did Friday, that's what is not fair.

Pujols claimed he was in lunch room after Game 2, claimed that the only reason he didn't talk to reporters was that no one told him that anyone wanted to talk to him.

I wasn't in the Cardinals clubhouse Thursday night. I didn't need to or care to talk to Albert Pujols. But I've been in the Cardinals clubhouse many times this postseason. When Pujols wants to talk, as he has on most nights, he is waiting at his locker when reporters are allowed in the clubhouse, or shortly thereafter.

He knows the deal. He knew that the ninth-inning throw that he didn't catch was a huge play in the game, which the Cardinals lost 2-1 to the Rangers.

He chose not to be there.

You can say that's his choice, and that you don't care. That's basically the Cardinals' position.

"I don't feel he did anything in the wrong," general manager John Mozeliak said.

Technically, maybe he didn't. I think he did, but if you want to say he didn't, fine.

But the reality is that there's a separate responsibility for a team's most prominent player. Young, the face of the Rangers team, understands that and is at his locker after every game.

Jeter does the same with the Yankees. Lance Berkman did the same when he played for the Astros. Heck, when I filled in covering the Detroit Pistons years ago, first Joe Dumars and then Grant Hill did it.

"For one thing, I think you guys would follow me home," Young joked Friday, when I asked him about it. "But it's just a matter of trying to be respectful."

It's being respectful to reporters, and it's being respectful to fans. It's also about being respectful to teammates.

Every question that Young or Jeter or Pujols answers is one that doesn't get thrown at his teammates. Not every player believes this is a big issue, but some of them sure do.

It's enough of an issue that when Rafael Soriano ducked out of the Yankees clubhouse after a bad game in April, Yankees president Randy Levine and general manager Brian Cashman were on the phone next day with Scott Boras, Soriano's agent.

"He's new to this market, so, like everything else, you live and you learn," Cashman told the New York Times.

Pujols isn't in that market, and maybe it's best if he never thinks about going there. Maybe it's best that he stays in St. Louis, which is a fine but also very forgiving baseball town.

Maybe it's best that he stays with the Cardinals, a team that has never been willing to confront him about anything.

Mozeliak said he did speak with one Cardinals player Friday. He talked to Berkman, clarifying a point about whether Pujols could have been requested to go to the interview room. Berkman had gotten it wrong when he phoned a national radio show Friday morning to try to defend Pujols.

But Berkman is one who almost always gets it right. He's one who gets it.

He was the most prominent player when he was an Astro, and he accepted the responsibilities that come with it.

"That's part of being that guy," Berkman said Friday. "Different players embrace that to different levels."

Some get it, some don't.

Thursday, when he didn't talk, Albert Pujols showed he doesn't get it.

Friday, when he did talk, Pujols showed it again.

Comments

Since: Dec 20, 2009
Posted on: October 21, 2011 10:51 pm
 

Fair or not, Albert just doesn't get it

So let me get this straight - you all have been making money off of Albert the last 10 years by writing article after article knowing he's one of the most fan friendly and media friendly players in the game, and the one time he decides to take a night off or wasn't told to come out you rip him the first chance you get.  What's sad is the media is more interested in negative stories to sell articles than writing true human interest stories about the great things about the Rangers and Cardinals - so in my opinion the Media "Doesn't Get it".   



Since: Dec 15, 2007
Posted on: October 21, 2011 10:20 pm
 

Fair or not, Albert just doesn't get it

Is it just me or is this another example of a desperate attempt by the media to get some attention by basically slandering an athlete?  This guy has done so many positive things over the years and this nobody web writer is trying to take him down in one swing because he didn't talk to the media.  Big deal. Skipping a media event is hardly bad behavior. 



Since: Aug 27, 2006
Posted on: October 21, 2011 10:01 pm
 

Fair or not, Albert just doesn't get it

Well, while I don't think too much should be made of this "incident", I do think Pujols is probably playing in the right place. A top five star can NEVER say "It's not fair!". That's just unacceptable. He's a first ballot HOFer (as long as no PEDs are found I guess), but he most certainly is NOT as one poster put it "one of the finest human beings on the planet". That is athlete here worship gone overboard.
 



Since: Aug 27, 2006
Posted on: October 21, 2011 10:00 pm
 

Fair or not, Albert just doesn't get it

Well, while I don't think too much should be made of this "incident", I do think Pujols is probably playing in the right place. A top five star can NEVER say "It's not fair!". That's just unacceptable. He's a first ballot HOFer (as long as no PEDs are found I guess), but he most certainly is NOT as one poster put it "one of the finest human beings on the planet". That is athlete here worship gone overboard.
 



Since: Feb 16, 2007
Posted on: October 21, 2011 9:48 pm
 

Fair or not, Albert just doesn't get it

Wow, a bad game and a bad play and now Pujols, one of the classiest and best human beings not in MLB, but on the planet is a bad guy?  Sure in a perfect world Pujols would have shown up and said "My miscue prevented us from going into extra innings", but c'mon, the guy has been walking on water throughout the playoffs as a player.  He's one of the kindest guys around, and now it's time to Pujols bash after 10 years in the league of pure dominance?  I sure hope the Cardinals win and he hits .500 the rest of the way just to shut reporters like this down. 



Since: Feb 1, 2011
Posted on: October 21, 2011 9:38 pm
 

Fair or not, Albert just doesn't get it

Nyjer Morgan was correct all this time.................ALBERTA!



Since: Aug 12, 2007
Posted on: October 21, 2011 9:26 pm
 

Fair or not, Albert just doesn't get it

To quote from Billy Madison, I am now dumber for having read Knobler's article.  So Albert blew off a postgame interview that the author didn't even attend because the author wasn't even the Cards clubhouse, and the author is disgusted that "Albert doesn't get it".  Here is what I get...I could be a better sports writer than Knobler starting tomorrow, and I am currently an Controls Engineer.  What absolute garbage.    Please find a new career.



Since: Dec 3, 2007
Posted on: October 21, 2011 9:23 pm
 

Fair or not, Albert just doesn't get it

Pujols is a troll. Just like Game 1 when he hit the ground ball and the throw was high but caught, Pujols had stopped running before it got there. He is all about himself and he has become a jerk. I honestly think his better days are behind him. Cardinal fans you have a changed man playing first base and he will be leaving you this winter. So embrace him now as he is ready to bolt. He has shown how much he pouts and I dont think he is even giving 50 %. Say what you want, but you will be better off without his big ego and big checkbook.



Since: Feb 4, 2010
Posted on: October 21, 2011 9:05 pm
 

Fair or not, Albert just doesn't get it

The media is the one's who don't get it. The story is the game, not their making up stuff to give themselves a story! Just like in game one with the second-guessing of the Rangers manager. When they make one of you a GM then we will be impressed with your knowledge of the nuances of the game. Washington has his team in the world series for a second straight year and Pujols is a hall of famer. Give us a break!



Since: Nov 24, 2008
Posted on: October 21, 2011 9:03 pm
 

Fair or not, Albert just doesn't get it

He tolerates the media at best and he's really grouchy when things don't go well.  On one hand he seems a bit touchy as a slugging star like McGwire was, but on the other hand you know he cares.  Berkman's demeanor says, "It's just a game."  Pujols' says "It's much more than that."  Both have good and bad aspects.


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