JUPITER, Fla. — Minutes after Albert Pujols unveiled his giant “got milk?” advertisement, which has already hit magazines this week, he saw his new hitting coach, Mark McGwire, peaking his head through an open door facing his mini press conference.
“Hey, Mark,” Pujols shouted, “this looks better than yours, huh?”
“Sure, you’ve got a sledgehammer,” McGwire replied.
I agree. You can’t top a sledgehammer.
McGwire’s was classy, but Pujols’ is just plain vicious.
On Wednesday, the greatest player in baseball continued to add to his ever-growing resume, when he became the new milk man.
It was just further proof of how valuable Pujols is; how badly baseball needs him to be genuine and true to the game — unlike what drug tests say about the man to the left — and how desperately the Cardinals need to keep him.
Pujols is the greatest hitter in the game, plays a Gold Glove-caliber first base, is a good baserunner, hits in the clutch, wins championships, is a great teammate by all accounts, works his butt off, speaks two languages fluently, gives back to the community like no other and could shatter almost every major offensive record by the time he hangs it up.
On Wednesday, he spent six solid minutes talking about milk.
“Growing up in the Dominican Republic, I knew how important it was to drink milk,” said Pujols, whose ad was shot in St. Louis in December. “My parents always told me, ‘You need a glass of milk.’ Pretty much, I was pretty excited when they came up to me, ‘got milk?’ with the campaign. I was really open to doing it because I know how important it was for your nutrition.”
That news conference near the Cardinals’ batting cages at the Roger Dean Stadium complex announced Pujols had been named part of the Milk Mustache “Dream Team” to inspire teens to “Drink Milk for a Change.” Pujols joined Utah Jazz point guard Deron
Williams and gold medal-winning gymnast Shawn Johnson.
But what about his future in St. Louis?
Pujols will make $16 million this season, and the Cardinals have a $16 million option for the 2011 season they’re sure to pick up.
After that — considering his incredible abilities, demeanor, charisma, and the fact no Latin-born player has ever had the global reach Pujols currently has — they should resign him for another 20.
— Alden Gonzalez