The New York Times’ Joe LaPointe declared the Cards’ Albert Pujols to be “Untainted and Unfazed”, while the Washington Times’ Dan Daly solemnly states “Numbers Bring Only Suspicion for Pujols.”

The Cardinals’ media guide lists Pujols at 6 feet 3 inches and 225 pounds. When he spoke Monday, he wore a sleeveless shirt that exposed muscular arms. But Pujols does not have the large head and oversized physique often associated with steroid use. – LaPointe

Our “national pastime” has become the Game That Can’t Be Trusted. Fans have a hard time deciding what’s real anymore. The media guide says Pujols was born Jan. 16, 1980, in the Dominican Republic, but we’ve all heard the jokes about Dominican birth certificates. He could just as easily have been born Jan. 19, 1680. (Which would really be a story.)

So when someone says Pujols has more home runs at this age (223) than Hank Aaron (219 by his 27th birthday) — and nearly twice as many as Barry Bonds (117) — we say, “What age would that be? Does even Albert know for sure? – Daly

Pujols said baseball’s policy of testing for steroids was a good thing.

“If you get tested positive, you’re not innocent,” Pujols said. “My testing is proving a lot. It’s working really good. They have a great program.” – LaPointe

The owners must think we’re dummies. They must think we’ll see all these balls landing in the seats — deposited there by players who have passed drug inspection — and say, “Maybe steroids weren’t the match that set off the home run explosion. Maybe it would have happened anyway.” Sorry, gents, but it’s too late for such revisionism. – Daly

Calling Alex Rodriguez’ two run HR off Keith Foulke last night, “the embodiment of a garbage time HR,” Newsday’s Ken Davidoff has a column today entitled “If It Doesn’t Count, Count On A-Rod.” On a slightly different tip, ESPN Radio’s Colin Cowherd declared this morning that A-Rod was “the only person in American whose salary anyone complains about.” That should come as great relief to Carlos Beltran and Ken Lay.