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Albert Pujols tallies a record 14 total bases, Cardinals win 16-7 in World Series Game 3

Oct 23, 2011, 12:53 AM EST

pujols reuters Reuters

Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols drew heavy amounts of criticism for leaving the Busch Stadium clubhouse before talking to the media following Thursday’s Game 2 loss. A few national baseball writers even questioned his leadership, given that younger players like Jason Motte, Jon Jay and Allen Craig were left to handle all of the heat.

Let’s go ahead and toss that narrative aside. It never really made much sense in the first place.

Pujols put together one of the greatest single-game performances in World Series history during Saturday night’s 16-7 Game 3 trouncing of the Rangers, finishing 5-for-6 with three home runs, six RBI and four runs scored. He tallied 14 total bases, breaking a longstanding Fall Classic record and vaulting himself into the elite rung of postseason performers.

Babe Ruth. Reggie Jackson. Albert Pujols.

Those are the only three men in the history of baseball to launch three home runs in a World Series game.

Leadership — true leadership — is something that has to be built and then cultivated through consistent, physical examples. It’s never been established through words alone, nor has it ever been betrayed by a single, rare mistake. What Pujols did Thursday night in St. Louis was wrong. Answering questions is part of being a professional. But to suggest that the other players in the Cardinals’ dugout somehow lost faith or respect in baseball’s greatest right-handed slugger was a stretch from the start. A failed assumption.

Pujols left no doubt on Saturday night in Arlington, Texas, with those scribes who questioned him looking on in awe. He answered the call and then some. And now his Cardinals hold an improbable 2-1 lead in the seven-game Fall Classic. Have we mentioned, already, that this series has the feel of an instant classic?

  1. phillytalk215 - Oct 23, 2011 at 1:05 AM

    the man is a machine. come to philly Albert! sign and trade for Howard

    • paperlions - Oct 23, 2011 at 7:40 AM

      No one is going to trade for that Howard contract, the Phils would have to pay at least 2/3 of it to move him, meaning they would be paying about $40M/year for the 1B position….though, one could make the argument that paying $40M/year and having Pujols there is a better value than paying $25M/year and having Howard there.

    • ducksouped - Oct 23, 2011 at 9:50 AM

      Put down the pipe.

    • lardman10 - Oct 23, 2011 at 6:57 PM

      albert eating seeds http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jRnBSECUTA

  2. astrozac - Oct 23, 2011 at 1:17 AM

    That’s why he’s El Hombre…

    • Old Gator - Oct 23, 2011 at 2:20 AM

      He’s playing like it’s his walk year.

      • JBerardi - Oct 23, 2011 at 8:34 AM

        He’s playing like he’s Albert freaking Pujols. Which he is.

  3. dondada10 - Oct 23, 2011 at 1:24 AM

    You knew coming off the criticism he got from Game 2, Albert was gonna have a big game. But wow.

    • Old Gator - Oct 23, 2011 at 2:21 AM

      Reggie, Reggie, Reggie! / Albert! Albert! Albert!

  4. miketreedy - Oct 23, 2011 at 1:27 AM

    Would it make sense for Rangers to instead of resigning Hamilton (FA after 2012) and CJ Wilson give the money all to Pujols? King Albert to me is a much better long term investment.

  5. bigharold - Oct 23, 2011 at 1:28 AM

    If the Cards don’t lock him up he’s going to get a big ol’ contract offer from the Yankees.

    Pujols, A-Rod and Teixeira could share the 1B, 3B, DH slots. The Steinbrenner’s understand star power as a mechanism to put fannies in the seats. They can afford it. And they have a track record of signing high priced top echelon players for positions that they already have high paid top echelon players. Think A-Rod in 2004 and Soriano last year.

    In a perfect world the Cards and Pujols come to their senses and he finishes his career in St Louis but this isn’t a perfect world. He gets to FA then anything is possible.

    And, he’ll look good in pinstripes too!

    • wiggy8544 - Oct 23, 2011 at 10:26 AM

      Not a chance of him going to the Yankees! Pujols will never go anywhere to DH even part time! Fact is that he wants to play 1st and if you have ever listened to him talk about himself as a player he really prides himself on getting better as fielder! So no DH for Albert in the future!!

      • bigharold - Oct 23, 2011 at 7:02 PM

        “Not a chance of him going to the Yankees! … really prides himself on getting better as fielder!”

        Really? Is that the only component of his decision? Somehow I’m thinking it’s a bit more complicated than that.

        First, I’m not saying it’s a good idea for the Yankees, Pujols or baseball in general if he signs wit6h the Yankees. What I’m saying is it’s a distinct possibility if he gets as far as free agency.

        Secondly, if the Card’s or any other team, offer him 20-25 mil for say eight years any the Yankees offer the say 8yrs/30 mil there is a very good chance that he’ll go to the Yankees? Because to think otherwise would be delusional.

        Just because I believe something is probable or even likely does mean I recommend it. But, if Pujols gets as far as free agency the Yankees will be in it for the stated reasons. It will be a complex equation that will address MONEY, esteem, comfort level as well as what he preciives his place in baseball history might be. Will he stay with the Card’s or move on, I’m certaion he doesn’t even know yet. But, the ball is in the Card’s court for now.

  6. brad209 - Oct 23, 2011 at 1:30 AM

    Pay That Man His Money!!!!!!

    • aceshigh11 - Oct 23, 2011 at 5:57 AM

      Rounders reference…love that film!

  7. spytdi - Oct 23, 2011 at 1:36 AM

    Can you say “jugo”

  8. miketreedy - Oct 23, 2011 at 1:49 AM

    Not to take away from Albert’s great game or make excuses for the Rangers losing but can we please get INSTANT REPLAY! The missed call on Napoli’s tag on Holland had a huge impact on this game and series.

    • miketreedy - Oct 23, 2011 at 1:51 AM

      Oops obviously meant the tag on Holliday not Holland.

    • The Baseball Idiot - Oct 23, 2011 at 4:38 AM

      That has absolutely nothing to do with this post.

      • paperlions - Oct 23, 2011 at 7:36 AM

        You are an idiot. This post is about game 3. An umpire blew an easy call that led to 4 runs, a 5-0 and completely changed the game. Baseball is a contextual game, there is no way to know what happens if the game goes to the bottom of the 4th only 1-0.

        As an aside, your mis-guided defense of bad umpiring only serves to detract from your potentially legitimate and insightful defense of other umpire related issues….you might want to pick your battles more carefully.

      • paperlions - Oct 23, 2011 at 7:59 AM

        …and as to your comment in the other post that the ump couldn’t see the tag because he was blocked by Napoli’s body….obviously, you just made that up and were hoping it was true. You can see the umps shadow in this pic (http://l.yimg.com/a/p/sp/editorial_image/df/df6ba0807f6e80f905c1e71a21c84c28/hesaculpa_umpire_misses_call_on_holliday_tag_cards_strike_big.jpg)

        The ump is positioned correctly down the 1B line with a clear view of both players and the gap between them…it isn’t like Napoli just brushed him with the glove, he smacked him on the shoulder with it…and this is the guy we get calling balls and strikes tonight? Ouch.

      • miketreedy - Oct 23, 2011 at 2:29 PM

        Thanks for your help policing this blog. What would we do without you telling everyone what belongs and what doesn’t?

      • The Baseball Idiot - Oct 23, 2011 at 6:42 PM

        No, dumbmass, it’s about Pujols and his performance. If you’re too stupid to understand that, calling other people idiots is really moronic.

      • The Baseball Idiot - Oct 23, 2011 at 6:46 PM

        I didn’t know the shadow was making the call.

      • paperlions - Oct 23, 2011 at 7:01 PM

        You are right…it was a magic shadow, and not connected to the umpire in any way….but the shadow shows exactly where the ump is and that there is NO WAY Napoli’s body was blocking his view of the tag. If you can find photo evidence to back up your fabrication, I’d love to see it….otherwise, why are you making excuses for a guy that missed an easy call?

        Do they not teach accountability in umpire school? Is excuse making a mandatory class or a large part of the curriculum?

        If umpires can’t be expected to get calls that are this easy correct, then more replay really is needed.

      • paperlions - Oct 23, 2011 at 7:05 PM

        I forgot, you are umpire and probably have poor eye sight. Let me bold part of the title of the post for you so you don’t miss it:

        Albert Pujols tallies a record 14 total bases, Cardinals win 16-7 in World Series Game 3

        You see, this is the game summary post, that just so happened to focus on a singular performance, and therefore it is exactly the appropriate place for people to discuss things that happened at any point during the game.

        ….and I only called you an idiot because it is part of your self-given title…you are self aware, I’ll give you that.

  9. mgflolox - Oct 23, 2011 at 5:54 AM

    This totally pisses me off. Human beings should not be allowed to be this good at baseball.

  10. aceshigh11 - Oct 23, 2011 at 5:58 AM

    Don’t make Albert angry. You wouldn’t like him when he’s angry…

    PUJOLS SMASH!

  11. bostonhasrealhockey - Oct 23, 2011 at 8:56 AM

    Free agwncy shall be fun as always

  12. mdpickles - Oct 23, 2011 at 9:12 AM

    All airlines have cancelled flights today until Pujols’ first home exits orbit.

    • aceshigh11 - Oct 23, 2011 at 11:23 AM

      Man, you ain’t kidding. Holy jeezus, he crushed that ball.

  13. phillyphreak - Oct 23, 2011 at 9:23 AM

    Hey guys, does anyone know when Passan’s “Albert is a Leader” article is coming out?

    • readhed - Oct 23, 2011 at 3:52 PM

      He seems to be absent this morning – probably sulking.

  14. lannyh - Oct 23, 2011 at 9:27 AM

    I guess it’s hard to fix games if you use instant replay to prevent umpires from cheating.

    This game was fixed, pure and simple.

    WWE will have instant replay before baseball.

    Baseball is boring in any event; fixed baseball is unwatchable.

    I did not watch a game the entire regular season; last night’s cheating scandal reminded me why.

  15. lannyh - Oct 23, 2011 at 10:00 AM

    Drew, how about an article on the top all-time stars of fake sports? Let us vote on whether we most like Hulk Hogan or Gorgeous George or Albert Pujols.

    There is a reason golf is the greatest sport in the world. Players don’t cheat, and neither do the referees/umpires/officials. In fact, if a viewer sees something on television that is an infraction, they can report it, and the player will be properly penalized! In baseball, the whole world sees it in real time and they still don’t reverse the cheating umpires! At least football allows the coaches to catch the cheaters!

    Golf is a sport, not a staged, fake Broadway production like baseball where the outcome is known ahead of time.

    Lanny H
    Lanny H Golf

    (If you are looking for a real sport to replace the charade of MLB, check out our blog by clicking on my screename at the top of this post. We have a blockbuster golf piece coming out Halloween.)

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Oct 23, 2011 at 10:29 AM

      In most aspects of life, when you make an asinine claim like baseball is fixed, you should produce some evidence to prove your point. Feel like adding anything? Or is one umpire mistake enough evidence for you?

      Oh and for someone who complains about the media coverage of Tiger Woods, you sure do write a lot about him.

      • lannyh - Oct 23, 2011 at 11:05 AM

        Or is one umpire mistake enough evidence for you?

        One umpire “mistake.”

        Kind of like Bernie Madoff’s little “mistake.”

        Hi, Pollyanna. Nice to meet you. I’m Lanny.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Oct 23, 2011 at 11:58 AM

        WTF are you implying? That he’s trying to fix the game? Even if the umpires did so, they only have so much influence.

        Nevermind, I’m arguing with an idiot who needs to adjust his tinfoil hat.

      • cur68 - Oct 23, 2011 at 11:58 AM

        Hey church, how’s it going? Just an FYI, If you follow pro golf talk, you will be familiar with Lanny H. He is a troll. Since his arrival on PGT he’s seen to it that virtually every single post about Tiger Woods has his idiotic comments all over it. He has no facts, no evidence, no remorse. Do not bother to reply to him and perhaps he will stop turning up here. If he doesn’t stop then his comments will reach ever more ridiculous heights of ludicrosity till he evetually implodes in ego-death. He has nothing of value to offer, he’s not funny (though, in the ultimate twist of irony, he thinks he is) and I do believe he thinks the earth is flat. If you choose to ignore my unsolicited advice (and frankly many do, so who’d blame you?) I suspect you’ll hand him his ass repeatedly but it won’t stop him from growing a new one and trying again. The man is all ass after all. Good luck.

      • lannyh - Oct 23, 2011 at 12:13 PM

        Hey, Church. Just wanted to let you know cur failed to get a gold star in kindergarten logic 101. His fallacy in his comment is called “argumentum ad hominem.”

        Lanny tells it like it is in ALL sports. Lanny doesn’t tolerate cheating in sports. Lanny is a voice of reason in a sports world ruled by hype, lies, and reality show mythology.

        Lanny Knows Sports.

        If you doubt it, read the Q&A I just did for a major sports reporting outfit. I’ll have an excerpt on my website tonight.

      • cur68 - Oct 23, 2011 at 12:45 PM

        Forgot to mention; he’s a self important blow hard, too.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Oct 23, 2011 at 12:59 PM

        Thanks cur, and I don’t follow PGT. There used to be a troll on riveraveblues.com that would go by lanny (and sal, and bo, and a fourth name I can’t recall) until they eventually banned him/her. wonder if it’s the same.

    • Bryz - Oct 23, 2011 at 10:46 AM

      There is a reason golf is the greatest sport in the world. Players don’t cheat…

      Tell that to Elin Nordegren.

  16. badmamainphilliesjamas - Oct 23, 2011 at 11:47 AM

    Just when we thought that those low-scoring close games were exciting.

    Awesome (in the original sense of the word).

  17. readhed - Oct 23, 2011 at 3:54 PM

    Hey Cardinals ownership – empty your fat wallets – you can only win in every way if you make sure you sign Albert!!!

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