Please bear with me as I’m in a major battle with the awful yucky flu and even though I’m able to watch the games, surrounded by mounds of tissues and left-over tea bags, I don’t have my wits about me enough to write. Also, I was so focused on Prince Albert I’m sure my blog would have been more about gushing and oohhing over him and not really being very objective. Hardball Talk to the rescue! Here’s a great little clip from “Drew Silva” that gives us another slant on the complicated Mr. Pujols and pretty much says it all:
“Drew Silva Oct 23, 2011, 12:53 AM EDT Reuters
Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols drew heavy amounts of criticism for leaving the Busch Stadium clubhouse before talking to the media following Thursday’s Game 2 loss. A few national baseball writers even questioned his leadership, given that younger players like Jason Motte, Jon Jay and Allen Craig were left to handle all of the heat.
Let’s go ahead and toss that narrative aside. It never really made much sense in the first place.
Pujols put together one of the greatest single-game performances in World Series history during Saturday night’s 16-7 Game 3 trouncing of the Rangers, finishing 5-for-6 with three home runs, six RBI and four runs scored. He tallied 14 total bases, breaking a longstanding Fall Classic record and vaulting himself into the elite rung of postseason performers.
Babe Ruth. Reggie Jackson. Albert Pujols.
Those are the only three men in the history of baseball to launch three home runs in a World Series game.
Leadership — true leadership — is something that has to be built and then cultivated through consistent, physical examples. It’s never been established through words alone, nor has it ever been betrayed by a single, rare mistake. What Pujols did Thursday night in St. Louis was wrong. Answering questions is part of being a professional. But to suggest that the other players in the Cardinals’ dugout somehow lost faith or respect in baseball’s greatest right-handed slugger was a stretch from the start. A failed assumption.
Pujols left no doubt on Saturday night in Arlington,Texas, with those scribes who questioned him looking on in awe. He answered the call and then some. And now his Cardinals hold an improbable 2-1 lead in the seven-game Fall Classic. Have we mentioned, already, that this series has the feel of an instant classic?”
- Danny Groner: Albert Pujols’ Game 3 Performance Was One for the Ages (huffingtonpost.com)
- Albert Pujols’ Three Home Runs Do the Talking (bleacherreport.com)