The people of Vermont and Alaska really know their baseball.
"Our six-year contract offer was more than generous considering Albert is a 40 year-old man," said Cardinals general manager John Muzeliak. "Albert has been all we could want for this team and for the community, but to be committed to paying him $25 million 10 years from now when he is 50 would be insanity."
While Pujols' listed age is 31, it has long been rumored that he is actually much older a rumor Muzeliak and Cardinals management say is fact.
"We were happy to go along with the fake birth year as long as Albert wasn't going to try to screw us with it," said manager Tony LaRussa. "But he's demanding a significant, long-term financial investment from the organization when he may only have one or two more good years in him, if that. Management isn't going to lie for him and let him steal money from the team. No way. He needs to realize that. But I know people his age can be pretty stubborn."
SportsPickle is previewing each MLB team as the 2010 season opens. Today:St. Louis Cardinals (2009: 91-71, NL Central champion).
St. Louis Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols received an MRI yesterday for his ailing back. The scan showed no structural damage, but did reveal what seems to be shrapnel from action in the Vietnam War.
"I have treated many veterans in my regular practice," said Cardinals team physician Dr. Rick Wright. "And what I saw on the MRI was pretty clearly remnants from a mine only used by the Viet Cong."
The find again brings into question the age of Pujols, who claims to have been born in 1980, although it has long been assumed he is much older. If the shrapnel is indeed from action in Vietnam, Pujols is likely between 55 and 65 years of age. Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa deflected questions about his star's true birth date.
"This is ridiculous. I thought we put this issue to bed years ago," said LaRussa. "It's disrespectful to Albert, who has never lied about anything and has done nothing but respect the game of baseball. Our brave veterans don't need these sort of cynical questions. We owe them more than that."
Not only does the MRI put into questions Pujols' age, but also his nationality as the Dominican Republic did not have a military presence in Vietnam.
"I'm not surprised," said the general manager of a rival NL Central team. "We all know he's older. I didn't realize he's not even Dominican. But I should have. I mean Pujols. That's clearly a made up, joke name. This guy's been screwing with us for years. And you have to question why he changed his name after coming home from the war. Is he a war criminal? Did he take on the identity of a fallen soldier? And why did he wait until his later forties to start playing baseball?"
Pujols refused to comment on the allegations. And his back appears to be feeling better. He took some swings today wearing his usual batting practice attire: a Cardinals batting practice jersey and his VFW hat.
Now that we finally know the truth about Mark McGwire's career, let's take a more informed look back through pictures.
Mark McGwire has admitted taking steroids in 1998 when he broke Roger Maris' home run record.
"I wish I had never touched steroids," McGwire said in a statement. "It was foolish and it was a mistake. But I am a stronger person now and it's all thanks to steroids."
The former slugger and current St. Louis Cardinals hitting coach said he wishes he had the strength to avoid taking steroids when he was younger.
"We all have our weaknesses," said McGwire. "Mine was weakness. So I took steroids. I guess you could say I didn't have a choice other than to give into my weakness. So steroids saved me. And also destroyed me. But definitely saved me. You could say it's a wash, I guess."
McGwire claims he no longer uses steroids for muscle growth. But he did use steroids to find the emotional and spiritual strength to admit to using steroids.
"I injected directly into my brain," he said. "At first it was because I had used up all of my good veins. But then it turned out they made me a stronger person on the inside. Or at least they seemed to. I blacked out a lot. Drinking the cream and the clear did wonders, too. Someday soon I hope to be able to bend a steel bar with MY MIND. But for now I'll just do it with my pinkie and thumb, thanks to my massive, steroids-grown muscles."
On his first day on the job as the new hitting coach for the St. Louis Cardinals, Mark McGwire was approached by outfielder Rick Ankiel for some batting tips.
But McGwire, ever safe with his words, just regurgitated lines his attorneys approved from his infamous testimony before Congress.
There are only a few days until the start of the MLB playoffs and SportsPickle is previewing each playoff team. Today: St. Louis Cardinals.