I was critical of Albert Pujols not talking to the media after game two, leaving the younger players to answer for the Cardinals 2-1 loss. However, Pujols talked after batting practice on Friday, and offered up this explanation as to why he didn’t talk to the media.
“What do you want, me to wait for 40 minutes for you guys? I mean I was in the kitchen getting something to eat. What about the night before when I spoke for an hour and a half? That’s not fair. I think with you guys, I have to walk on eggshells. I don’t think that’s fair. I was there and usually (Cardinals media relations director Brian Bartow) comes around and says, ‘Hey, they need you over there.’ Nobody approached me for 40 minutes. You know what? After 40 minutes I was on my way home.”
The kitchen or other back rooms are favorite hiding spots for players when they don’t want to talk because the media is not allowed in those areas. The media is ushered downstairs under the stadium into a sign up room. From there, the media is allowed into the main dressing area where the player’s lockers are located in the clubhouse. Media must wait for players as they shower, sit in the kitchen, spend time in the video room, or trainer’s room, etc. until the player appears.
I find it highly unlikely that Mr. Bartow, who is good at his job, was not aware that the media wanted to talk to Pujols.
I point back to Pujols’ own quote when he says “What about the night before when I spoke for an hour and a half?” That’s exactly the point. He was more than happy to give his time up when the team was having success, but now needed to wait for a formal media request to talk after a loss?
The only veteran player to step up on Friday and take blame for not being around after game two’s loss was Lance Berkman. “That won’t happen again. I’ll make sure, if I have to stand in there, that one of us is available for comment, win or lose,” said Berkman. “Again, it was unintentional and I’m sorry that was the way it worked out. I think there’s a problem with the system. If you want to criticize us for last night, we deserved that, that’s warranted. If you want to paint with a broad brush, I don’t think that’s accurate.”