Slugger Albert Pujols claims, or has claimed, that he's "not a machine." It is hard to believe Pujols, though, by watching his appearance on "Sesame Street. Pujols smiles through the bit, which is about athletes, but his lack of acting ability — even compared to Grover, his cray-cray co-star — makes Albert's side of the sketch cringeworthy for adult or child.
Pujols does deliver some great lines, not because they were brilliantly written or because he can perform them, but instead because they were simply written and he cannot really execute them. The best: "Yes, I train to play baseball and I'm good at baseball." If Pujols allows the other Los Angeles Angels to make fun of him (it's doubtful) he's never going to hear the end of it. Pujols didn't even seem to easily catch a ball lobbed to him. Before our eyes, Albert turns into Elmo — a quivering, frazzled waste of red fur.
Part of the problem is Frank Oz plays Grover so over the top (how he's supposed to), that all Pujols could do was be overwhelmed. Oscar the Grouch would have been an ideal scene partner for Albert — for many reasons, not the least of which is Grouch's grouchiness would have brought out an authentic thespian rage in Pujols that comes only with frustration.
With another co-star, Pujols could have focused and, possibly, emoted something other than bewilderment. Grover, as he usually does, ruined any chance of executing the scene properly. When is his contract up?
Be sure to tune in Thursday for Albert's appearance on the show. In the meanwhile, we'll always have his YouTube.
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- Albert Pujols