Asked Tuesday afternoon if he has thought about his future [contract] since suffering a fracture in a bone near his left wrist, Pujols answered, “That’s a stupid question, come on.”
Really? “Ridiculous,” he said, and walked away from reporters gathered around his locker.
-Albert Pujols via TSN
Albert Pujols has taken a lot of heat from fans in his own city about calling Joe Strauss’ inquiry about his future “stupid.” The complaints range to a reporter just doing his job to Pujols just being a spoiled brat. Maybe–maybe–someone on the outside who didn’t know much about who Pujols is could misunderstand the context of his walking out on the press. But people who call themselves Cardinals fans? Come on.
Albert is being painted as the jerk and the bad guy here. But what we need to clarify the situation is context–something most of his critics on this issue lack. Why would he snap at reporters in a press conference specifically held to talk about his injury? Because the conversation deviated from his season-denting injury. The focus shifted to something Pujols hates to talk about: his contract.
Some will say “So what? It’s a free country and Albert should have to face the media.” True, there shouldn’t be anything stopping a reporter (who is doing his job) from asking what everyone was thinking. But the same goes for Pujols in that he doesn’t have to answer.
And really, Strauss should have never asked. He writes for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch covering the Cardinals every day. Are you telling me he didn’t know about Albert’s constant, numerous statements to the media saying that this would be a distraction and he didn’t want to mention it until the season was over? Yeah, he knew. And he asked anyways. So why isn’t Pujols intitled to call a stupid question stupid without any brush-back from the fans?
I have aspirations of doing something very similar to Strauss’ job when I’m out of school; so I usually take the side of the media man in conflicts such as Armando Galarraga’s demotion outburst and Tony LaRussa wanting to talk about Skip Schumaker’s walk-off homer after the team’s best player just went down for the count. But there are times when the media is in the wrong, such as LaRussa’s “It’s the first week of the season!” press conference (which was also started by a bait question). This is one of those times.
Although, maybe Strauss got what he wanted. Pujols’ refusal to answer his question stemmed from both ignorance of his previous statements and that he’s thinking the same thing we are: How will this affect his future? What will it do to the amount he’s getting at the end of the year?
Will the injury linger?
He’s thinking about this too. He knows what’s potentially at stake. Let’s not drill the guy with repetitive reminders.
I got your back, mang.