NEW YORK – Given a night to chew on a 2-0 loss to the New York Mets in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series, St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols still isn't impressed with Tom Glavine's seven shutout innings.
Pujols, whose repeated comments that Glavine "wasn't good" bothered Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, did not back down when the words were repeated to him Friday.
"Is that what I said?" Pujols said before Game 2. "OK, then. Keep that one.
"You guys," he added, "already wrote what you were going to say."
Minutes earlier, La Russa had vented to two reporters about how he thought the treatment of Pujols' comments in local newspapers was unfair. Following the game, Pujols said about Glavine, "He wasn't good. He wasn't good at all."
"You get a guy who's a hot competitor as soon as it's over, he's not happy about losing," La Russa said. "So he makes a statement. It's not a good statement. Glavine deserves credit. Now it gets blown up like he's some sort of disrespectful pro."
La Russa had a simple solution.
"The answer is, that player does not talk," La Russa said. "And he'll never get embarrassed, right? And they'll complain, say, ‘Oh, he won't talk to the press.' Somebody takes the guy right after the competition. They're very vulnerable to saying something."
Asked whether Pujols should have known better than to demean Glavine, La Russa shouted at a pair of reporters.
"No," he said. "You guys should know better than to make a big issue out of it. This guy is a great pro. That's what the answer is. Use common sense."
Pujols, coming off his sixth season, won the NL MVP award last season and could win it again this year. After a flyout and groundout in Game 2 extended his postseason hitless streak to 12 at-bats, Pujols singled down the left-field line in the seventh inning.
- La Russa