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Friday, February 28, 2020

Albert Pujols called Royals to deny ‘bush league’ allegation

Albert Pujols arrowAlbert Pujols called Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost to clarify that he did not call the team “bush league.”

The Royals had a tumultuous series with the Oakland A’s over the weekend that started with a takeout slide by Brett Lawrie on Friday night that injured Alcides Escobar. The Royals responded by having pitchers Kelvin Herrera and Yordano Ventura throw at him the next two days, leading to suspensions for the pitchers.

After the pitchers were suspended Tuesday, Lawrie commented on the Royals, called out the team’s fans, and labeled the players bush league. Two media outlets including the San Francisco Chronicle interpreted Lawrie’s comments to mean that Albert Pujols said he thought the Royals were playing bush league, when that was not what the Angels first baseman said.

Via the Chronicle:

Two media outlets, including The Chronicle, thought Lawrie said that Pujols had told him the Royals do “bush-league stuff,” when in fact by that point, Lawrie was discussing himself – he was saying that’s how the Royals behave, rather than Pujols, two distinct sentences rather than one.

Here is what Lawrie said: “I talked to Albert Pujols at first base. This guy has been in the game forever, he’s one of the best players in the game. And for him to say that, ‘Hey man, you’re playing the game hard.’ And for them (the Royals) to do that, it’s bush league stuff.”

Pujols has lived in Kansas City and didn’t like having his name thrown into the controversy, so he personally reached out to the Royals to smooth things over. Pujols spoke with Yost over the phone.

“He was concerned,” Yost said Thursday via the Kansas City Star. “He lived in Kansas City. And he’s got a lot of friends in Kansas City. He said he’s got far too much respect for our team and our players to say anything like that. He said he just wanted us to know that that didn’t come from him.”

Got all that? So Lawrie still thinks the Royals are bush league, but Pujols never said it. Still, if Pujols does think it, he would have a lot of reason based on this.

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