From all indications, both personal and private, on the record and off the record, Angels first baseman Albert Pujols is the real deal: devout in his Christianity, a mensch, and a workout beast. Even in this steroids era, Pujols was never seriously suspected because of his personality and work ethic--name never found in reports, name never bandied around. So when former St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Jack Clark claimed that he knew that Pujols had taken steroids, everyone knew Pujols would file a defamation lawsuit, which is what happened yesterday in St. Louis. But, given Pujols' piety, it's pretty shocking to see how full of himself Pujols is
"Pujols is a preeminent baseball player on and off the field whose character and reputation are impeccable and beyond reproach," the lawsuit begins, and what's that saying about how we know Moses didn't write Numbers because it describes him as the humblest man around? But the lawsuit goes on like that: Pujols has a "deep personal commitment to serving as a positive role model," has an "outstanding personal character" is a "great ballplayer whose integrity and character are beyond repute" and "one of the best professional baseball players to ever play the game"--and then spends nearly a full page listing his accomplishments. Nothing about his Halos run, though...
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Clark? Dismissed as a "struggling radio talk show host" who dropped the steroids bomb to "generate ratings"
Wethinks Pujols will clear out Clark in the case, just like he used to clear baseball diamonds with his mighty, steroids-free swing before he joined the Angels. But there's a saying in journalism, Albert: show, don't tell. You've shown us the caliber of your character over the years; you don't have to tell us in exacting detail. That's a side of you we've never known before, and now we got to wonder...