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|
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|
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.