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What was Pujols supposed to say?

I'm a little bit surprised by the reaction in some corners to Albert Pujols' comments at the winter warm-up about not wanting to talk about his contract status.

If you read this blog on any sort of regular basis, you know I'm in a world of angst with concern that the club isn't going to get the best player in baseball re-signed. But I respect the fact that Pujols doesn't want the negotiations to take place in public. And I could see why the Cardinals wouldn't want that to happen, either.

it's a given that the Cardinals are going to have to be creative to get a deal done. So having pressure from outside forces isn't going to do anything but serve as a distraction. As we saw during the Matt Holliday talks a little bit more than a year ago, about 90 percent of the things churned out by the rumor mill turn out to be untrue.

So why is it such a big deal when Pujols, who was cornered by a throng of reporters at the time, said over the weekend that he didn't want to talk about the contract? It's not like he angrily stormed out. He said it was more important to talk about the team than his deal and that he was relatively confident that something was going to get worked out.

Really, what else is there to say? I'm a reporter and, frankly, Pujols said exactly what I would expect him to say. But all that has happened since that moment is a flurry of negative stories about Pujols' attitude.

Let's not look for a reason to vilify the greatest player of our generation. While it's painful to wait in silence, all we can do at this point is hope for the best.

Every day I keep hoping there is going to be a surprise announcement like there was in 1997 after Mark McGwire arrived when he inked an extension. Ultimately, McGwire was committed to getting a deal done in St. Louis because, after only a few short weeks, he decided it was the best place to play. Hopefully, after more than a decade with the Cardinals, Pujols will feel the same way.