When they landed Saturday afternoon, the National League champions found themselves tied with the Texas Rangers at one game apiece in the World Series and smack in the middle of a controversy.
A lack of availability by veterans Albert Pujols, Lance Berkman, Matt Holliday and Yadier Molina following Thursday’s 2-1 loss generated criticism from media who perceived the team was willing to make spokesmen of its younger players while its veterans made a run for the parking lot.
The matter was significant enough for Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak to discuss it with Berkman during Friday’s workout at Rangers Park and prickly enough for manager Tony La Russa to scold media.
"I think we have a responsibility and we’re willing to live up to it. But somebody has cheap jerseys from china
got to be fair with us," La Russa said. "I heard the criticism and it offends me because I know our attitude as an organization is 180 degrees different from the way it’s being portrayed. Nobody asked for those guys, and they got out of there. They had other things to do."
Hoping for clarification of a pivotal ninth-inning misplay involving Pujols, reporters swarmed around the first baseman’s locker shortly after the game. Pujols, however, was sequestered in a player lounge inaccessible to reporters and said he was not told of their interest until more than 40 minutes later. Pujols said by then he had reached the players’ parking lot with Molina and was committed to leaving with family.
"To try to rip somebody’s reputation for something like this I don’t think is fair," Pujols said. "But you know what? I don’t throw rocks at you guys. You guys are human. You guys make mistakes just like I do."
The incident serves as a backdrop for tonight’s pivotal Game 3, which pits blackhawks
Cardinals starter Kyle Lohse against Rangers lefthander Matt Harrison. In the last 11 World Series in which the teams split the first two games, the winner of Game 3 has gone on to capture the series 10 times.
More than shaking off a bad media day, the Cardinals will attempt to regain momentum squandered after drawing within three outs of a 2-0 series lead.
Pujols remained unapologetic about Thursday’s episode, citing the extensive time he gave media following the Cardinals’ Game 1 win and at various times during the division series and National League championship series.
Thursday’s absence led several national media outlets to wonder about miami heat jerseys
Pujols’ legitimacy as a clubhouse leader. His failure on a throw from center fielder Jon Jay during the Rangers’ two-run ninth inning allowed the go-ahead run to reach second base. On what was originally scored a fielder’s choice, shortstop Elvis Andrus advanced to second base when Pujols failed to glove Jay’s return throw on Andrus’ single to center field.
"I did it against Philly and I did it against Milwaukee. Now it’s the World Series and somebody wants to make that a big deal," Pujols said. "That’s what I don’t understand. That’s not fair."
Mozeliak said he intended to have his media relations staff clarify protocol with nfl jerseys cheap
players before tonight’s Game 3. Major League Baseball encourages but does not mandate player availability except for starting pitchers on the day before their appearances.
"From an organizational standpoint we want to make sure our players are available," Mozeliak said. "If there was a misunderstanding last night we certainly want to avoid that in the future. We want to make sure there is no misunderstanding of what’s expected from players."
La Russa later conceded a mistake was made at some level, whether by the club’s miscommunication or player judgment.
Several Cardinals players insist they were told by the team’s media relations staff that they were only obligated to attend post-game news conferences in an interview room.
There is, however, one blip: Major League Baseball typically does not invite players from the losing team to the post-game press conference.
Berkman said that he bolted because he did not consider himself vital to how cheap jerseys
Thursday’s game was played and was under an impression that he was obligated only if requested to appear post-game in the Busch Stadium interview room. Berkman contacted SiriusXM radio Friday to make a similar point, though MLB has not summoned players from the losing team into its interview room this postseason.
"It is a serious thing on a couple levels," Berkman said following his conversation with Mozeliak. "Whether or not I agree with the castigation that’s taken place because of that, the fact remains that it’s the power of the pen.
"The media is going to dictate how our team is perceived, whether we like it or not. I don’t want there to be misperceptions about the guys on this team. That’s what I take seriously. I think they’re great and I don’t want anybody out there to think otherwise."
Berkman insisted the core players’ absences was not coordinated. However, Thursday was not the first time the Cardinals and Pujols have received criticism for their handling of the postseason.
Outfielder Eli Marrero ignored an MLB invitation to the media room following his role in an NL championship series win. Pujols received criticism for his surliness toward media during the 2006 NL championship series. Following the team’s three-game loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2009, Pujols was cited for leaving the clubhouse without comment. He also abstained during a visit to the clubhouse the following day.
Also, during the ’09 division series La Russa kept the Dodger Stadium visitors’ clubhouse closed beyond Major League Baseball’s allowed cooling-off period. An official had to order the clubhouse open, which drew a loud protest from La Russa.
Pujols has typically made himself available after wins this postseason but has been less noticeable following losses. The trend is noted by some teammates.
As for Thursday’s pivotal play, Pujols explained that he took his eye off the ball when glancing at Rangers leadoff hitter Ian Kinsler as he rounded third base. Jay’s tailing throw barely nicked Pujols’ glove, allowing Andrus to beat Molina’s throw to second base. Consecutive sacrifice fly balls scored both runners for a 2-1 ninth-inning lead. A three-man scoring panel changed the play to an error about an hour after the game, making the Rangers’ game-winning run unearned.
"It was a good throw," Pujols said. "It was a catch that I make 99 out of 100 times. It wasn’t a tough throw.http://totalwar.forumotion.com/t12-key-cardinals-receive-heat-for-not-being-available-to-reporters-following-game-2-loss
"It was more because I took my eyes off the play a little bit because I wanted to make the throw to third base. I don’t think it was Jay’s fault."