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Pujols not so jolly after the ASG


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If you watched last night's game, you would know that La Russa never put Pujols into the game. I really thought he was going to let Pujols pinch hit for Orlando Hudson but he did not. And then Rowand came up and I was really suprised. No Pujols, not even a glimpse of the field. Well, Pujols had some words to say about that:

"It's the All-Star Game. He can do what he wants," Pujols said. "He does whatever he wants. If I wasn't expecting to play, I wouldn't have come up here."

Sounds a little hard-toned if you ask me. I wonder if this "minor" incident, in my opinion, will hurt La Russa in St. Louis.

Edit: Source: http://www.nypost.com/seven/07112007/sports/la_russa_snub_has_pujols_riled_up_sports_kevin_kernan.htm

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If you watched last night's game, you would know that La Russa never put Pujols into the game. I really thought he was going to let Pujols pinch hit for Orlando Hudson but he did not. And then Rowand came up and I was really suprised. No Pujols, not even a glimpse of the field. Well, Pujols had some words to say about that:

Sounds a little hard-toned if you ask me. I wonder if this "minor" incident, in my opinion, will hurt La Russa in St. Louis.

Edit: Source: http://www.nypost.com/seven/07112007/sports/la_russa_snub_has_pujols_riled_up_sports_kevin_kernan.htm

Very strange indeed, no offense to Orlando Hudson or Aaron Rowand, but why not give Pujols a shot to hit for one of them. They had both had at bats before hand.

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FWIW, LaRussa's explanation was that he didn't want to empty his bench of his last position player with the prospects of extra innings looming.

According to him, he was holding Pujols back as his "utility" guy in case someone had to come out.

Whatever, Tony.

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There is no doubt in my mind that La Russa wanted to win this game, I just think he made a poor decision. If I needed a clutch hit, I chose Pujols over Hudson/Rowand combo almost any day / any year. Even thoough Pujols is not having a great year he is still hitting .310 with 16 HRs.

If La Russa wanted the versatility, I guess I undestand, but not enough to NOT put Pujols out there in that situation. It is a fan's game, I mean, do the fans want to see O-Hudson or Pujols? Based on ASG votes, we all know this answer.

This is like the equivalent of if Torre was managing and not putting Derek Jeter in.

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There is no doubt in my mind that La Russa wanted to win this game, I just think he made a poor decision. If I needed a clutch hit, I chose Pujols over Hudson/Rowand combo almost any day / any year. Even thoough Pujols is not having a great year he is still hitting .310 with 16 HRs.

If La Russa wanted the versatility, I guess I undestand, but not enough to NOT put Pujols out there in that situation. It is a fan's game, I mean, do the fans want to see O-Hudson or Pujols? Based on ASG votes, we all know this answer.

This is like the equivalent of if Torre was managing and not putting Derek Jeter in.

And LaRussa had said earlier that he'd play Pujols anywhere, even second base, which would've been for Hudson had he come in and they'd have tied it.

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FWIW, LaRussa's explanation was that he didn't want to empty his bench of his last position player with the prospects of extra innings looming.

According to him, he was holding Pujols back as his "utility" guy in case someone had to come out.

Whatever, Tony.

Well, I was in Snoozeland by the time the end of the game rolled around, so I missed all this drama. But, La Russa's explanation sounds like he was playing for the tie? La Russa = Sam Perlozzo? :cool:

Witchy

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Well, I was in Snoozeland by the time the end of the game rolled around, so I missed all this drama. But, La Russa's explanation sounds like he was playing for the tie? La Russa = Sam Perlozzo? :cool:

Witchy

I think LaRussa was thinking too much. "Play for the tie at home, but wait this is the All Star game and THIS TIME IT COUNTS, and we might go to the World Series this year even if we only win 79 games and I want to have home field advantage, but the fans want to see Albert hit dingers, BUT people are ragging on me for taking Albert instead of Howard, and AHHH the game is over!!! What happened??!"

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FWIW, LaRussa's explanation was that he didn't want to empty his bench of his last position player with the prospects of extra innings looming.

According to him, he was holding Pujols back as his "utility" guy in case someone had to come out.

Whatever, Tony.

That sounds like a Perlozzo-esque excuse. You've got to GET to extra innings before your extra innings strategy becomes meaningful, Tony :rolleyes:

Pujols has every right to be pissed. Not only was he, quite possibly the best hitter in the game right now (at least in the NL), snubbed when there were two opportunities to pinch hit him for someone else and drive in the winning runs, but he was snubbed by his own manager! Maybe there's something going on in the St. Louis clubhouse that we don't know about, but that's pretty f'd up in my opinion.

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That sounds like a Perlozzo-esque excuse. You've got to GET to extra innings before your extra innings strategy becomes meaningful, Tony :rolleyes:

Pujols has every right to be pissed. Not only was he, quite possibly the best hitter in the game right now (at least in the NL), snubbed when there were two opportunities to pinch hit him for someone else and drive in the winning runs, but he was snubbed by his own manager! Maybe there's something going on in the St. Louis clubhouse that we don't know about, but that's pretty f'd up in my opinion.

My guess is LaRussa chose Pujols as the last guy on the bench on purpose to avoid being criticized by fans of another team whose player didn't get into the game. I think LaRussa wanted to show he wasn't playing favorites and he just took it too far by not realizing that the 9th was the perfect spot to bring him in.

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I heard SOMEWHERE on TV today, and don't ask me where because I can't recall, but another reason Larussa gave was that Pujols was not selected by the fans or the players, but by the manager and thats why (added to the possibility of extra innings) he put Hardy in before Pujols.

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Pujols needs to shut up. He was the emergency player, held back in case of injury. Michael Young played the same role for the AL (though Young isn't whining to the world about it). Since the tie game in 2002, managers have held players out for just the same reason, very possibly under instruction from the commish's office.

Aside, pulling Rowand back in favor of Pujols would have been a direct insult to Rowand. Yeah, we all know Pujols is the better hitter. But it might be seen as showing Rowand up to pull him back off the on-deck circle.

By the end of his career, people will realize that Pujols is something of a jerk.

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Pujols needs to shut up.

He didn't. Pujols says, 'It's not a big deal'

“Of course I was disappointed I didn’t get in the game, but it’s not a big deal,” Pujols said after listening to various accounts alleging decay in his relationship with La Russa. “People are making a big deal about it, saying I don’t respect Tony or that he disrespected me. Are you kidding? ... My disappointment was more about wanting to do something to win the game,”

Which is something that I pointed out after the game at a Cardinals forum.

Tony's An IDIOT

I don't particularly like the comments attributed to Albert following the game, but I wonder to what extent they might have been taken out of context. La Russa gave everyone a televised pep talk in the NL clubhouse about how important the game was and Pujols -- still arguably the best player in the game after A-Rod -- had a right to expect that he'd have an opportunity to contribute, especially being the only Cardinals rep with his manager being the NL skipper. What the reporters interpreted as Albert being unhappy with La Russa may be primarily unhappiness at losing the game.

It's just another example of the media taking comments out of the emotional context in which they were made and blowing things up out of proportion.

La Russa also admitted afterwards that he made a mistake. La Russa Admits Error

A day after leaving his own slugger, Albert Pujols, on the bench in the ninth inning of the National League's loss to the AL in the All-Star Game, Tony La Russa reiterated his previously expressed concern — that if he had used Pujols, his last position player, and somebody got hurt if the game went into extra innings, he would have had to employ a pitcher in the outfield.

"If that would have happened, without question, I would have pulled my team off the field," La Russa told the Post-Dispatch.

But, "upon further review," as he put it, La Russa said he should have had Pujols hit with the bases loaded and two out against hard-throwing Los Angeles reliever Francisco Rodriguez.

"I would have sent up Pujols (to hit for Aaron Rowand, who made the last out) just for the drama of the All-Star Game," La Russa said. "It's one of the marquee events. It would have been great theater. People would have been talking about it forever."

This has been one of my complaints about La Russa as a manager; I think that he gets too caught up with the complexities of managing ahead and loses touch with what's going on with the game in real time. He's thinking about what he'll need to do in extra innings, ignoring the high probability that there's not going to be any extra innings anyhow if he can't make something happen in the 9th. I've seen him in the past worry about who he's going to have pitch in playoff games that ended up never getting played because he was saving Cards that he had in his hand for later. Back in the final game of the 2000 NLCS, La Russa saved McGwire (who couldn't play due to knee tendonitis) for a late inning matchup and ended up seeing McGwire draw an intentional walk in the 8th inning with a runner on 2nd and 1st base open, when he had passed up an opportunity to pinch hit McGwire earlier in the game with runners on 1st and 3rd and the pitcher at the plate with 2 out and the Cards trailing. La Russa's decision to let his pitcher bat is defensible, but the fans who pointed out that McGwire ended up being wasted as a pinch hitter in the 8th had a valid point.

By the end of his career, people will realize that Pujols is something of a jerk.

No, he's not. Pujols Family Foundation Fan I know who live in the St. Louis area tell me that Pujols is very active in visiting children with devastating illnesses who are in the hospital and that he has a great deal of patience with them. Sometimes Pujols lacks patience with the media and with the fans who hound him for autographs, but I can forgive that. I don't know if I'd be able to deal with them as well as he has.

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No, he's not. Pujols Family Foundation Fan I know who live in the St. Louis area tell me that Pujols is very active in visiting children with devastating illnesses who are in the hospital and that he has a great deal of patience with them. Sometimes Pujols lacks patience with the media and with the fans who hound him for autographs, but I can forgive that. I don't know if I'd be able to deal with them as well as he has.

I can't refute his involvement with the charity and he deserves pats on the back for that. Alas, I've heard several first-hand accounts of Pujols being a petulant jerk with media and teammates.

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