Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Gerrit Cole caught an earful from Albert Pujols during Sunday’s game, but the Los Angeles Angels slugger would not say what it was about after his team’s 5-4 win.
As Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com notes, Angels right fielder Kole Calhoun worked a full count in the sixth inning before lining out to first. For whatever reason, Cole stared Calhoun down after the at-bat and had some choice words for him. After Cole singled and reached first in the bottom of the same inning, Pujols clearly expressed his displeasure.
“I don’t want to talk about that,” Pujols told reporters. “I said what I had to say to him, and that’s it. Whatever I had to say, I said it to him. And that stays between me and him.”
Cole was also unwilling to discuss the conversation.
“That conversation will stay on the field,” the pitcher said.
You can see a video of the exchange here.
With the Angels trailing by a run in the eighth, Pujols jacked a two-run homer that proved to be the game-winner.
This isn’t the first time Pujols had a dustup with an opponent, but it appears he was sticking up for a teammate in this situation. It’s unclear what Cole was angry with Calhoun over. Whatever it was, Pujols seemed to think it was unwarranted.
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We knew that Albert Pujols and Mike Trout were close buddies in addition to being teammates on the Los Angeles Angels, but we didn’t realize they were this close.
Pujols is selling his Irvine, Calif. mansion for $7.75 million, and the listing was publicized in an article on OCRegister.com Friday. The home has five bedrooms, 6.5 bathrooms and features a movie theater, massive pool, and wine cellar among other amenities. Oh yeah, some also noticed that in one of the bathrooms there is a poster of Trout on a mirror (photo 40 in the listing):
OC Register says Albert Pujols is selling his Irvine home (for $7.75M). One of the bathrooms has this … pic.twitter.com/avscb1y535
— Alden Gonzalez (@Alden_Gonzalez) February 20, 2016
Do you think the agency listing the sale put that in there for some sort of odd staging reason, or was that already there? We’re guessing someone in the Pujols household is a big fan of the former AL MVP. Though, based on these comments, we’re guessing that Albert isn’t the one who put that up.
Albert Pujols is a surefire Hall of Famer when his playing days are over, having piled up numerous accolades and accomplishments along the way. However, on Saturday, he requested a baseball as a memento for a dubious distinction.
Heading into the fourth inning the Angels’ game against the Twins, Pujols had gone hitless in 25 consecutive at-bats, the longest such streak of his career. The drought came to an end when Pujols hit a ground ball to center field for a base hit.
After reaching first base, Pujols indicated to pitcher Mike Pelfrey he would like to have the baseball. It’s not uncommon to see this for a player’s first hit or other milestone. However, in this instance, Pelfrey was caught off guard and wasn’t sure if Pujols was being serious or not. Pujols and Mauer shared a laugh at first base. Pelfrey couldn’t help but smile himself before tossing the ball to the Angels dugout.
Unfortunately, Pujols was unable to extend his hitting streak to two games as he went 0-4 at the plate on Sunday. For the season, the 35-year-old is hitting .238 with 35 home runs and 85 RBI.
H/T Eye On Baseball
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- Albert Pujols
The Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Cardinals are division rivals, which is why fans at Great American Ballpark booed loudly every time a Cardinals player was introduced at the MLB All-Star Game on Tuesday night.
Albert Pujols, who now plays for the Los Angeles Angels, was treated as an “honorary” Cardinal. By that we mean Reds fans gave him the same reception.
Loud boos for Albert Pujols in Cincinnati. He brushes his hand across his chest to let them know he no longer plays for the Cardinals.
— Alden Gonzalez (@Alden_Gonzalez) July 15, 2015
When the NL roster was being announced, however, Pujols had some fun by getting in on the booing.
GIF: Albert Pujols joins the crowd in booing the Cardinals pic.twitter.com/QQrrsdclEY
— The Cauldron (@TheCauldron) July 15, 2015
Pujols was directing his boos toward Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina, who is his close friend. He later gave Molina a big hug before the two players headed to their respective dugouts.
If Pujols wants to boo someone, he should boo that college basketball coach who sent this tweet about him during the Home Run Derby.
Xavier men’s basketball coach Chris Mack is known for having a great sense of humor, but even he realized he may have crossed the line with a joke he made about Albert Pujols during the Home Run Derby Monday night.
At one point in the semifinals, Pujols hit a cold streak and couldn’t stop topping the ball. It looked like his bottom hand was slipping off the bat, but the new format (racing the clock) didn’t allow him to stop for pine tar. Mack offered a suggestion on Twitter, which was preserved by Big League Stew before the coach deleted it.
“Pujols needs an oxygen tank or (photos of needles),” Mack wrote. “I’m sorry, did I tweet that?”
Pujols has been accused of taking steroids by at least one radio show host, but there has never been proof. There is only speculation because he’s one of the best power hitters to ever play the game.
Some of you may know Mack — who attended the Home Run Derby with his father — as the guy who put a heckler in his place at Arby’s or has this insane Shaq tattoo on his leg. We can now add “the guy who did Albert Pujols dirty during the Home Run Derby” to his resume.
Photo via Chris Mack/Twitter
The Los Angeles Angels won their fifth game in a row on Monday night, and Albert Pujols led the way offensively with a pair of home runs. Mike Trout also homered, so he was a topic of discussion during postgame interviews once again.
Did that annoy Pujols?
With the Angels leading 5-3 in the bottom of the sixth, the Tampa Bay Rays decided to intentionally walk Trout to get to Pujols. Albert validated the decision by flying out, and a reporter asked him about that after the game.
“I don’t think about that, dude,” he said, per Pedro Moura of the Orange County Register. “It’s part of the game. They can do that 100 more times. That doesn’t matter to me. … Whether I’m hitting .500, you don’t want the best player on the team (Trout) to beat you. That happened (to me) early in my career. … Most of the time, I’m going to make them pay. Other times, I don’t get the hits that I should.”
Pujols was then asked how much he enjoys watching Trout play.
“I have fun watching all 25 guys on this ballclub,” he said. “This is not the Mike Trout show. This is the Angels’ organization, 25 guys, and our mission is to try to win.”
Pujols then went on to shower Trout in praise, calling him “one of the best players in the game” and lauding his eagerness to learn and improve. Still, you can’t help but wonder if there is a little jealousy at play when Pujols — once considered by many to be the best hitter in the game — has to answer questions about a young teammate amid a stretch where Albert has five homers in his past five games.
If not for the comments Pujols made about Trout last year, we wouldn’t read into this as much. While I don’t doubt that Pujols is a big Trout fan and loves playing with him, it seems like there is some bitterness there.
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.