Albert Pujols’s Spring Training arrival will be an incredible ordeal whether he signs a contract prior to his deadline or not, but Jerry Crasnick reports that Pujols won’t hold a press conference if there’s no deal in place. Apparently he didn’t learn anything from last year’s Mark McGwire media circus, which ended as soon as McGwire gave a bad-short-story’s worth of steroids exposition.
I get the feeling Pujols is going to find that whatever distraction he thought he’d avoid by holding to a deadline has only intensified thanks to that deadline’s existence. If he wants to avoid the whisper of the fans, the media, his teammates, his only recourse is to say exactly what he plans on doing for the rest of the season—i.e., “We’re x-million dollars apart, I don’t plan on negotiating between the end of the season and free agency, and did you guys hear Mark McGwire used steroids? And he doesn’t think he would have been awful and useless without them?”
In any case, his current plan is to clam up. Pitchers and catchers and reporters will be reporting soon.