At one point in time, it seemed Albert Pujols would be one of the classy sluggers who would lead baseball out of its steroid-induced morass. But then came Wright Thompson's disturbing ESPN.com profile on former Cardinals scout Dave Karaff, the scout who discovered and signed Pujols.
According to Thompson, Pujols took offense to the scouting grades Karaff assigned him:
The slugger, for instance, told The Kansas City Star: "He said I wasn't going to make the big leagues. That's why he got fired."
He told USA Today : "How can you draft a guy and say you don't know if he's going to make the big leagues? All of a sudden, the next year (I'm) in the big leagues, and he wants to take all the credit."
Now comes this latest quote from an article on Pujols' reaction to losing this year's NL MVP award to the Phillies' Ryan Howard:
"I see it this way: Someone who doesn't take his team to the playoffs doesn't deserve to win the MVP," Pujols said in Spanish at a news conference organized by the Dominican Republic's sports ministry.
There's nothing wrong with Pujols being driven and taking pride in his work, but doing so at the expense of others only diminishes his achievements. Let's hope Howard learns a few PR lessons from the NL MVP runner-up.