Monday, October 16, 2006

Creeping On (Sports)

Sometimes we (the media, fans, everyone) judge things way too quickly. This note from Peter Abraham in Sunday’s Journal News caught my eye:

“Albert Pujols is a creep, which is fine. Some players always are. But Tony La Russa should know better. Pujols showed Tom Glavine no respect on Thursday, saying the future Hall of Famer "wasn't that good'' when he threw seven shutout innings in Game 1 of the NLCS. La Russa managed to blame those who wrote those words down. "Now it gets blown up like he's some kind of disrespectful pro,'' La Russa said Friday night. "Somebody takes a guy, right after the competition. They're very vulnerable to say something.'' Told that Pujols should know better, La Russa started yelling. "No,'' he said. "You guys should know better than to make a big issue out of it. This guy's a great pro. That's what the answer is, use some common sense.'' Or not be a clown in the first place.”

Pujols, as Abraham alludes to, made some tough statements about Tom Glavine’s performance in Game One of the NLCS. Admittedly, while trying to put the blame on his own team for not capitalizing on opportunities, Pujols gave Glavine a major diss. Maybe it was frustration, or maybe it wasn’t well thought out. Maybe he really did mean it. Perhaps he was trying to be a leader by putting it in the media. Whatever the case, he probably shouldn’t have said it, and I’ll be interested to see how it all plays out when Glavine faces the Cardinals tonight in St. Louis. My beef, however, is with Abraham. Have you heard that Pujols is a creep? To be honest, I’ve heard nothing but praise for the guy – that he’s very charitable, is a great teammate, and plays the game “the way it should be played.” So then how the heck is he a creep, and who is Peter to judge him?

Here’s where many become hypocritical. Following the passing of Cory Lidle, many writers praised him for being a “good quote.” He was a guy who had more interests than just baseball, and would talk about anything – openly and honestly. Many writers called him “refreshing” because he would tell you what he thought. With that said, why is Albert Pujols now a “creep?”

Tom Glavine was a big spokesperson for the players in the 1994 strike. You know the one – it canceled the World Series for the first time since 1904. So as one of the people who denied fans a Fall Classic (one that had the Montreal Expos on target for their first World Series appearance – perhaps against the Yankees), can I then call Glavine a creep? I don’t think he is, by the way, but my point is that, as a very highly paid successful pitcher, and one of the leaders of a strike that put a big hurt (not Frank Thomas) in the hearts of fans everywhere, Glavine was a prime target for criticism. That said – I like Glavine, so the whole thing is invalid, but my point stands – calling him a creep wouldn’t be fair. Thus it’s not fair to call Pujols one. If there’s a mountain of evidence, then I’ll write a retraction.

Peter, I like your writing, but I think you’re baseless and unfair here. I need far more proof before I put Albert Pujols in the Barry Bonds stratosphere of creepness.

No comments: