(hey, that’s more like it!)
You might think after paying Albert Pujols more money than God, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim would run marketing ideas past their otherworldly first baseman for approval. And you might also suspect, that if said team erected billboards around Southern California that offended the recently acquired slugger, Pujols would have something to say about it a little sooner than weeks after they went up. But you and me are just naive like that, as the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Derick Gold outlines ;
It was with some surprise in the past month that the Angels — clearly tone deaf to Pujols’ past public comments — started advertising Pujols and the Angels on billboards around the Anaheim area with the back of his jersey and a simple over-sized phrase: “El Hombre.”
“I prefer not to use that,” Pujols said earlier today, according to ESPNLosAngeles.com. “I still have the same respect for Stan Musial as I had, not just for what he’s done in baseball but for what he did for his country. That’s something you have to appreciate.”
“El Hombre” is Spanish for “The Man,” and “The Man” is a nickname given Musial during his playing career by the fans in Brooklyn. It has stuck, and is now even part of the name for Musial’s business, Stan The Man, Inc.
It appears that the Angels constructed and implemented the campaign without discussing it with Pujols. The three-time MVP had warmed somewhat (or, at least accepted its inevitability) to the nickname at one point later in his career with the Cardinals, though as recently as early last season he reminded a reporter about his request not to go by “El Hombre.”
According to the ESPNLosAngeles.com report, the Angels consider “El Hombre” “one prong” of a larger campaign.