On the day the Mitchell Report was released last month, New York’s WNBC.com initially issued a list of players said to be implicated. A number of news organizations (and this very blog) took WNBC’s report to be accurate, only for said list to be removed a few hours later.
Cards 1B Albert Puljols was amongst those fingered, and he’s not quite over it. From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch :
Before participating in a question-and-answer session Monday at the Cardinals’ Winter Warm-Up event at the Millennium Hotel, Pujols requested that any cameramen or reporters from KTVI be asked to leave the session.
“When my name comes up, when my name was dropped, I deal with that,” Pujols said Monday. “I don™t care about anything else. I care about my name, that some idiot says was on the (Mitchell Report) list when I wasn™t. That™s not right.
“Things started here in St. Louis, and that™s not right. That™s why I made sure before I came out here that nobody from (KTVI) was here.
“They™re going to have to pay for that.”
MLB.com’s Mike Leach collected a few more expansive quotes from Pujols.
“It’s a good thing that it happened so that the people out there in the United States and here in St. Louis, they can look at it and say 50 percent of the things that you guys write are not true,” he said.
“I’m really disappointed about the media in St. Louis, whoever from Channel 2 or FOX that started that thing here in the city of St. Louis. I didn’t appreciate that. If it was New York or somewhere else, I wouldn’t care. But here in St. Louis? My people? It hurt. It hurt.”
“Just like [you’re] excited to write something negative about you, be that excited and apologize to everybody that day or that hour — not two days later,” he said. “That’s not right, two days later. No matter what he says, I know I’m forgiving whoever did it, I forgive them. But there is nothing they can do to clean this up. They ruined that image.”
Asked if he felt any need to prove himself all over again in light of the report, Pujols didn’t hesitate.
“I don’t have to prove myself,” he said. “Since 2001, I’ve been proving myself with the numbers. I’ve been proving myself every year. How much better can I get? Only God knows how much better [I can] get. But do I need to cheat in this game to get better? This is nothing for me.
“Baseball is just a hobby, man. God has blessed me. And I fear God too much for me to do a stupid thing. I fear him. If I do some stupid things to help me out, to hit .400 or three-something or hit 30 home runs, he’s going to take that away from me. So why not be the natural guy like I’ve been since I was in the Minor Leagues? To cheat in this game, that’s not right.”
St. Louis signed C Yadier Molina to a 4 year extension Monday reportedly worth $15.5 million. It’s kind of amazing to consider Johnny Estrada is a year removed from driving in 71 runs, he’s only 31 and still unsigned. Apparently, there’s something to be said for getting along with your colleagues.