Because life is a series of edits

A Letter to Albert Pujols

In Sports on February 11, 2009 at 6:27 am

Dear Albert,

I'm sure you've heard the news about Alex Rodriquez admitting to using illegal substances to enhance his baseball performance. While I've never been much of an A-Rod fan, I am a fan of yours…but I confess I'm nervous.

I'm nervous, Albert, that you're a fraud as well – like Rodriquez…like Bonds…like McGwire. I'm nervous that your name is on a soon-to-be-released list of drug-doers, and if and when the evidence gets too overwhelming to refute, you're finally going to come out and say how sorry you are – not for what you did, but for the fact that you got caught.

And that's going to break my heart, Albert, along with millions of others who look to you as at least one – just one – player who happens to be great because he is rather than because of the drugs he does.

Which player are you, Albert? Can you say – before God and everybody – that you're honestly and truthfully the real deal? I need to know, because right now I have very little reason to care about baseball anymore. I'm sick of the business of it and of the players who will do anything for an edge.

I just want you to do your best, Albert, because your best is enough…or at least I think it has been. Has it been your best, Albert, or the drugs' best? I'm sorry I'm asking, but baseball has left me no choice.

I don't pretend to know the pressure you're under, and I don't mean to come off sounding ultimatum-ish, but if you fall, I'm done with baseball. I love the game (or the idea of what it used to be) and have always thought of you as an old-school player in a 21st-century uniform, but if you're no different from the overpaid junkies who can't hit a baseball unless they're on something, it's over, Albert. I'll never watch a game again.

Help me, El Hombre. You're my only hope.

Nervously,

Craig
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  1. Just got the following response back from the Pujols Family Foundation:
    Thank you for your email. We appreciate you taking the time to contact us and to voice your concerns. I agree that it has been very troubling to hear about the steroid problem that has been going on in Major League Baseball and how it has encompassed many of its most popular players.
    Albert maintains that he has not taken steroids. I know of all the hard work and training that he puts into to make himself the best player that he can be. We once again appreciate you taking the time to contact us. I hope that this helps answer your question.
    God bless,
    Jen Cooper
    Program Manager
    Pujols Family Foundation

    What do you think?

  2. Hmmm…when you said, “A Letter to Albert Pujols,” I thought that was rhetorical.
    The reply letter is essentially meaningless, in my opinion.
    I understand your reaction and emotion to all the recent news, and I sympathize to some extent. But I disagree in certain ways too.
    I’m planning to write a post on the issue. So I’ll hold off on much more comment for now. When it’s posted, I’ll link to it here and maybe summarize.

  3. The letter started out rhetorical, but then I thought “What the heck?” and sent it. I was surprised I got a response (and a quick one at that – probably within two hours), but I agree the reply is meaningless and proves nothing.
    I guess my hope is that between Albert’s athletic abilities and his Christian testimony, he would be seen as a true and genuine star who played clean in the darkening baseball universe. I suppose I’m naive to think there are still some athletes with a sense of honor, but I’ve been called worse.
    I’ll look forward to your post.

  4. Post-Dispatch sportswriter Bryan Burwell printed his own version of my sentiments in his reporting today from Spring Training in Florida. I so want to believe all that Albert says here; Burwell says that he does.

  5. Great cover story in Sports Illustrated on Albert. I think he’s been reading his mail or this blog…or not.

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