No matter if he's killing the Milwaukee Brewers with another home run, or flashing his Gold Glove at first base, St. Louis Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols(notes) hasn't made a lot of friends at Miller Park over the past decade.
And it's safe to say one particular action during the Cardinals' 2-1 victory on Tuesday night did little to improve his standing among Cheeseheads.
It happened with the Brewers hitting in the second. With one out and no runners on base, Yuniesky Betancourt(notes) hit a pop foul down the first-base line that drifted toward the stands. Pujols pursued it immediately and tracked the ball about 30 yards before making a difficult-looking over-the-shoulder catch.
Honestly, the play itself would have been noteworthy. But then, when Pujols stopped his momentum, he locked eyes with a gentleman standing along the railing with his arms extended. Pujols approached the fan, stuck out his glove in what appeared to be an invitation to take the ball, and then snatched it away and returned the ball to the infield.
The tease drew a chorus of boos from most fans, but come on folks, it's not like Pujols tricked a little kid. It's a grown man appearing to beg for a baseball that he fooled. It's actually pretty funny. And, if you look close, you can see the slightest grin start to come over Albert's face. There's a wicked sense of humor buried under those circuits and gears.
Oh, look at the guy's face. That's actually really funny!
Well played, Albert.