The ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH reports today that Albert Pujols is not happy.
The P-D: “The Cardinals first baseman and a Most Valuable Player award winner was calm, pointed and clearly irritated as he spoke publicly Monday for the first time about an erroneous news report in December that linked him to an investigation on the use of performance-enhancing drugs in professional baseball.”
Pujols: “I know we’re in a dark cloud of steroids, (but) now people are going to second-guess my numbers because of some guy starting something that wasn’t the truth. … They ruined my image.”
Pujols was so upset by the report, and more specifically, a St. Louis media outlet’s follow-up, that he ordered that local station “out of the room” for his press conference yesterday.
WNBC-TV in New York, just before the Mitchell report was released on Dec. 13., circulated a list of players that it said we named in the report. As it turns out, the list was wildly inaccurate. And it included Pujols.
WNBC eventually retracted the story and list. But the damage was done.
KTVI in St. Louis then followed up the story , and “spun WNBC’s report into the focus of an hour newscast.”
The P-D notes, “Before talking with the local media Monday, Pujols asked the Cardinals’ media relations staff to have the station, KTVI (Channel 2), leave the room. The station removed its camera, and Pujols explained that ‘they’re going to have to pay for that.’”
The thought of Pujols’ ordering a TV cameraman and reporter out of the room is pretty amusing, so long as it isn’t us. We’re guessing that Pujols could be doing heroin and so long as he hits 50 for the Redbirds, nobody in St. Loo is going to much care. And Pujols, at least to our knowledge, has no national endorsements of an import. But his reaction is understandable.