October 21, 2011

Pujols Blasted For Ignoring Reporters

By - Todd Stepp

After last night's heartbreaking loss to the Texas Rangers, in which the Rangers plated 2 runs in the top of the 9th inning to steal a victory, Albert Pujols hit the showers and ditched the postgame reporters.

In the top of the 9th inning with his team trailing 1-0, Ian Kinsler singled off of Jason Motte to provide the Rangers with the potential tying run on 1st. Kinsler then stole 2nd base when Elvis Andrus came to the plate and Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina's throw was just a bit too late. Andrus then connected on a hit to right field, sending Kinsler to 3rd.

In the process of Kinsler rounding 3rd base, and subsequently being stopped by 3rd base coach Dave Anderson, Cardinals right fielder Jon Jay fielded the ball and threw home. While Pujols tried to cut off the throw to keep Andrus from advancing to 2nd base, the ball, which was thrown to the 3rd base side of the plate, hit the end of his glove and traveled even further up the 3rd base line. This gave Andrus the opportunity to advance from 1st to 2nd.

Photo by: Eric Gay
Jason Motte was pulled for Arthur Rhodes who gave up a sacrifice fly to Josh Hamilton, which plated Kinsler. Then Cardinals reliever Lance Lynn gave up a sacrifice fly to Michael Young, which plated Andrus. The Cardinals then failed to score in the bottom of the 9th and the Rangers came away with the 2-0 win. Lost in the madness of the 9th inning fireworks is the superb pitching by both the Rangers Colby Lewis and the Cardinals Jaime Garcia.

After the game is when the fun started for reporters. Jeff Passan wrote an article about how the Cardinals leader, Pujols, ditched his leadership efforts and hit the showers without acknowledging his mistake. Passan said: "St. Louis manager Tony La Russa empowers Pujols to do what he pleases, right or wrong, even if it's the equivalent of ordering the lobster-stuffed filet and sticking the minimum-wage worker with the bill. He will face no discipline. He never does. This is life with Pujols, and the other players know nobody calls him on it."

This is also the same Albert Pujols who was first to the field today in Arlington for practice.

While I fully appreciate that Pujols is the leader of the St Louis club, it's worth noting that also not present for the postgame reporters, but barely mentioned in Passan's article, were Yadier Molina, Matt Holliday or Lance Berkman. But hey, who cares about those guys, they only represent 28 years of success in the big leagues and about a dozen All-Star Games.

While Pujols should've answered questions, it's arguable that the media would've gotten the same dull, aggravated response from any of the veterans. Something along the lines of, "we had the opportunity to put them away but just didn't execute," or "I take responsibility for the runner advancing, but we have to move on to Game 3." Since they got no response, all the blame goes on Albert and his lack of leadership.

Jason Motte, who has allowed only 3 hits and 2 earned runs facing 31 batters so far this postseason, should have been the one answering questions along with any other player on the field. Motte also let Kinsler get a great jump when he stole 2nd, adding to his mistakes of the night.

Photo by: Getty Images
So, while Albert will get the blame for ditching reporters in the clubhouse, it's pretty ignorant to think he's a poor sport simply for not wanting to talk. After all, if Elvis Andrus wouldn't have scored on Michael Young's sacrifice fly, the ball Lance Lynn threw in the dirt AFTER Andrus scored surely would have plated Andrus anyway.

But go ahead. Blame it on Pujols. His shoulders have carried this team for years, and I'm sure he can carry this loss too.


  1. Maybe Molina, Holliday, and Berkman weren't present for the postgame reporters, but they aren't the ones who made the 9th inning mistake. Nor are any of them the biggest superstar on the team. If ANYONE, Pujols should have been there front and center.

  2. I disagree Scotty. Not even so much with the Pujols being front and center part, but with athletes having to speak to the media afterwards in general. Why should they? Sports are very emotional at times. The last thing any athlete wants to do is have to talk about a tough loss, and thats what this was for St. Louis. Plenty of star players have skipped postgame press conferences in the past and not gotten ripped for it, so why is Pujols?

  3. Everyone (especially Cards fans) always talks about what a great guy Pujols is, but there have been a number of instances this season where he's looked anything but. As the leader of the team, he should have stood up and taken his medicine, not run and hide like a coward. Makes him look like a jerk, just like he looked in Milwaukee a while back when he taunted a fan with a foul ball he caught. It'll be interesting to see how St. Louis fans react to him if he decides to walk following the season. Bet he won't be such a "great guy" then.

  4. Rob you're a moron. That thing with the Brewers was all in good fun. It doesn't make Pujols a bad guy. And that has nothing to do with him not wanting to meet the media after the Cardinals lost. It probably was a mistake on his part, but it doesn't make him jerk. It makes him a player that was bothered by losing and didn't want to talk about it afterwards.

  5. I expect Pujols to come back with a vengeance the remainder of the series. Hopefully that will shut all his haters up. Nice post btw. You guys do good work.

  6. Pujols with a HUGE game tonight. THATS what leaders do.