Though part of me suspects that further Prince Albert baiting will result in horrible payback (much like my Vulcan Video rental copy of “Roadhouse 2”, Pujols is way overdue), here goes nuthin’. Not only does the Cards’ franchise player have a sore hamstring, he’s got a sore head to match, according to the Post-Dispatch’s Bryan Burwell.

It was another day and another night of watching the best player in baseball behave like the bright glare of baseball’s postseason was burning a hole in the back of his neck as if he was in an interrogation room.

It was another day and another night of trying to understand why he wasn’t basking in the warm glow of his own celebrity, why he couldn’t quite comprehend why this should be the best of times of his baseball life, not the most unpleasant.

For some odd reason, Pujols has once again turned the NLCS into a joyless pursuit of excellence rather than an extraordinary opportunity to display his singular greatness, and I just don’t get it.

He comes to the ballpark every day and treats people with a needless surly demeanor.

Instead of seizing on the chance to step onto baseball’s big postseason stage and impress the nation’s baseball press with his athletic brilliance, he instead has made quite the impression in the worst kind of way.

“Get out of my freakin’ locker ” you people are a pain in the (butt), you know that?” he snarled last week inside the crowded Shea Stadium visitors’ clubhouse after Game 1 was rained out.

The greatest hitter in baseball is turning into a mirror image of the man who so gruffly held that title before him. Pujols is turning into Barry Bonds, and believe me, this is not a compliment.

For those who care about this sort of thing, today is the one year anniversary of the Begining Of The End Of Brad Lidge’s Career As A Closer.