Monday, November 17, 2008

Putting The Pu Into Pujols


It’s truly the gift that keeps on giving. Pitchers and catchers report in February, the season goes through October and, now, with Christmas upon us, they’re still stringing us along, doling out the awards. (Yes, Christmas officially starts the day after Halloween. It’s a policy that was implemented around 2005.)

Last week, of course, brought with it the naming of 2008’s Cy Young awards winners. This week? The National League MVP award, which went to Albert Pujols by a wide margin, despite the fact that people thought Ryan Howard might be a contender. However, not everyone was particularly surprised by the ease with which Pujols won his victory. Take for example Pujols, who said, “I wasn't surprised at all."

Holy mother of Krypton. Where’s Joe Torre when you need him?

Does the Midwest that I envision when I think about those great plains in all their friendly, well-mannered glory only exist in myth? First Lee, now this? I mean, I get that Lee and Pujols aren’t actually from the Midwest, but doesn’t something happen to you when you live there? Like don’t the niceness and sense of decency rub off on you or something? I mean, good God, Pujols. It’s like you have Renteria of the mouth.

But this isn’t the first time that Pujols has been—what’s the words I’m looking for?—oh, right, a totally ungracious piece of pu about the whole MVP thing. Back in 2006, the year after Pujols won his first MVP and a year when Howard actually did beat him out for the award, Pujols commented, “I see it this way: Someone who doesn’t take his team to the playoffs doesn’t deserve to win the MVP.”

And the Midwest keeps getting less Midwest-y by the second.

Fortunately for Pujols, who did not see his team to the playoffs this year, he clarified his remarks shortly after making them. He assured people that what he had meant was that this was the case unless one day he should happen to win the MVP without having led his team to the playoffs, in which case it was probably deserved.

I can’t wait until the announcement of the AL MVP award. Maybe Mauer or Morneau will take it and, in an effort to outdo their fellow Midwesterners say, “Yeah, well what did you expect? Those other guys got hands like tits.”

Here’s the thing—Lee and Pujols don’t not deserve their awards. But it makes me not like them when they act so ungraciously. And when I don’t like them, it’s hard for me to be happy for them. And I want to be happy for them. Not to mention the fact that all this obnoxious behavior makes me want to make fun of Pujols for his name. Granted, he bears quite a burden in that he would have to be an exceptional human to avoid having me want to make fun of him for that name. But it’s like he’s not even trying.

Meanwhile, breaking news: Manny Ramirez was suspended. Almost. Four months ago. Why, you ask, bother reporting on this news given the last two addenda to this statement? I’m not sure, but so many other news outlets were doing it I was worried I was missing something. So I figured I should mention it just in case. This may be the first and only time you hear me agree with Scott Boras (who I affectionately like to refer to as the Creature from the Black Lagoon), who said, "The fact is the intent to suspend is not a suspension." My gut feeling about something that didn’t actually happen a long time ago is that nobody cares. But must know a little more about what is interesting to people since more people are visiting their site than mine, so I humbly defer to their collective wisdom on all matters relating to everything.

Finally, I guess it can’t go unsaid that it looks like there may be some justice in the world. Mark Cuban is finally getting his comeuppance. Technically, it isn’t a crime to be a media-whoring, self-obsessed, unmitigated pain in the pujols. So they—the people—had to bring slightly more boring charges against him for insider trading. Though, presumably it’s some kind of cosmic punishment for the non-crime crimes listed above. (I said separation of church and sports—not separation of church and finance. I want someone regulating that shit.) Anyway, I’m not going to bother to compare him to Martha Stewart. Enough people have done that already, and I like to do my own thing. (Except for when I am stealing stories that I think are stupid about Manny Ramirez from I also think that it’s not a particularly apt comparison because, while their crimes maybe similar in nature, I don’t think Mark Cuban has done anything for society but badger and annoy us. Martha, on the other hand, taught us how to make pear-lychee tartlets and cut tomatoes in the shape of unicorns. I’m sure that the people who don’t order takeout every night for dinner are extremely appreciative.

Oh, and while we’re not on the subject, you suck Coco Crisp.

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