Tim Brown

  • Borrowing a few of Albert Pujols' bats – free of charge – has helped Angels' Erick Aybar stand out among AL shortstops

    Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports4 days ago

    ANAHEIM, Calif. – Maybe it's the bats, probably not, but it's not a bad place to start.

    Every few weeks, Erick Aybar will mention to the guy in the next locker that he could use another half-dozen or so, of the black ones, "Handcrafted for Albert Pujols" right there on the barrel, custom cut, 34 inches and 32 ounces, like they were made to be put into his hands, and Albert Pujols himself will nod and place the order.

    Ask who buys and Pujols side-eyes Aybar and the questioner, which brings a wicked grin from Aybar.

    "They're like two dollars, man," Aybar protests.

    Pujols grunts.

    They'd known each other some before Pujols became an Angel 2½ years ago. They'd nodded their hellos, both sharing Dominican blood and familiarity and all, but nothing like now.

    "Like my father," Aybar said about Pujols. "Like Vladdy [Guerrero] was."

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