Pujols drops suit after getting public apology

Los Angeles Angels slugger Albert Pujols deceased a defamation lawsuit towards Jack Clark on mon after Clark issued the statement retracting his earlier comments alleging that Pujols had used performance-enhancing medicines.

Albert Pujols has consistently maintained that he has never used performance-enhancing medicines. "I  accepted Jack Clark's retraction and apology to resolve the lawsuit against him plus clear my name, inch Pujols said in a declaration released Monday evening.

Clark created a mix on St. Louis sports activities talk radio last summer time when he said this individual knew "for a fact'' that Pujols was a "juicer, '' and added that he had knowledge of an instructor who had given PEDs to the veteran slugger. Clark's radio show was consequently cancelled. Pujols has consistently maintained that he has never used performance-enhancing medicines.


"I would like to address Albert Pujols' impending defamation lawsuit and re-confirm that I have no knowledge in any way that Mr. Pujols offers ever used illegal or even banned PEDs, " clark simon said in a statement that was initially reported by the St . Louis Post-Dispatch. "I openly retract my statements that will Albert Pujols used this kind of substances. During a heated conversation on air, I misspoke and for that I sincerely apologize. "Pujols, 33, made nine All-Star teams and won 3 MVP awards in eleven seasons with the Cardinals prior to leaving St. Louis in order to sign a 10-year, $240 million contract with the Angels in December 2011. ESPN. com MLB Sr. Writer



MVPs: Tigers’ Cabrera, Pirates’ McCutchen

McCutchen Wins NL MVP

NY – All those who marvel at Miguel Cabrera can only surprise what he might have performed this year if fully wholesome.

Even so, Cabrera was a huge hit in Motown.

Despite being hobbled by all kinds of ailments, the Detroit Tigers slugger gained his second straight American League Most Invaluable Player award Thursday, once again beating Angels outfielder Mike Trout by a snug margin.

A season after profitable baseball’s first Triple Crown in forty five years, Cabrera got here back to lead the majors in hitting at348 and finish second with 44 dwelling runs and 137 RBIs.

“I think this 12 months was tougher due to the accidents,” he said on a conference name from the Miami space.

“It was the last two months. It was tough to play through it,” he stated.

The eight-time All-Star missed a number of games after the break due to a foul back, a sore left hip flexor, a strained lower stomach, shin bother and a groin tear. He just lately had surgery to fix the tear and mentioned he’ll be ready for spring training.

Still, Cabrera acquired 23 of 30 first-place votes from members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. He turned the first participant to win consecutive AL MVPs since Frank Thomas for the Chicago White Sox in 1993 and 1994.

Pirates heart fielder Andrew McCutchen took the National League MVP award by a surprisingly large margin after leading a baseball revival in Pittsburgh.

McCutchen drew 28 of the 30 first-place votes to finish far ahead of Arizona first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina.

“I’m floating proper now,” McCutchen stated in Pittsburgh. “However I positively did not count on it to be a landslide with these other guys – Goldschmidt and Molina. They have been nice candidates, and I did not know what to anticipate.”

McCutchen ranked among the NL leaders by hitting317 with 21 dwelling runs and eighty four RBIs. He additionally scored ninety seven runs, stole 27 bases and had a404 on-base share.

The 27-12 months-previous with the long, flowing dreadlocks helped the Pirates cease a report streak of 20 losing seasons and make the playoffs for the first time since 1992.

Cabrera finished with 385 factors, while Trout received five first-place votes and 282 factors. The difference was eighty one points final season, when Trout was AL rookie of the yr.

Baltimore first baseman Chris Davis, who led the majors with 53 homers and 138 RBIs, was third.

“I think all three guys deserve this trophy,” Cabrera stated.

Davis and Oakland third baseman Josh Donaldson every acquired a first-place vote.

Cabrera took his third AL batting title in a row. He additionally drew a $1 million bonus for successful a second MVP throughout his present contract with the Tigers.

No AL player has won three straight MVPs. Albert Pujols was the last repeat NL MVP winner in 2008 and 2009; Barry Bonds took 4 straight from 2001 to ’04.

The Tigers have just about owned the foremost postseason awards during a three-yr run of success. Justin Verlander was the MVP and Cy Young winner in 2011, Cabrera took the MVP final season, and Detroit ace Max Scherzer gained this year’s Cy Younger Award on Wednesday.

“I am on the fitting group,” Cabrera mentioned.

The 30-12 months-previous third baseman from Venezuela also captured the AL MVP final year when he hit330 with 44 homers and 139 RBIs. Cabrera topped Trout 22-6 in first-place votes in that balloting.

Trout hit323 with 27 homers and ninety seven RBIs this year, stole 33 bases, and led the AL in runs and walks.

Cabrera clearly was baseball’s most dominant hitter for many of the season as the Tigers gained their third straight AL Central crown.

Voting for the BBWAA awards was completed earlier than the playoffs. Cabrera hit262 with two homers and 7 RBIs in 11 postseason video games, and made a couple of key outs in Detroit’s six-recreation loss to Boston in the AL Championship Collection.

Cabrera was in competition for a second straight Triple Crown for a lot of the 12 months, and was hitting359 with 43 homers and a hundred thirty RBIs by means of Aug. 26. However he managed only two extra-base hits in his next 25 games by way of the tip of the common season.

Cabrera mentioned he didn’t assume rest would have helped heal his injuries near the end.

Miguel Cabrera

Miguel Cabrera gained the American League Most Beneficial Player award for the second straight year.

As an alternative, he took a distinct approach: “OKAY, let’s play by means of it and see what occurs,” he stated.

Cabrera still grew to become the first proper-handed hitter to win three straight batting titles in both league since Rogers Hornsby from 1920 to ’25.

Cabrera additionally saved amazing his teammates with his prowess on the plate.

In mid-August, he homered in all three video games of a collection at Yankee Stadium, twice connecting off career saves leader Mariano Rivera.

His shot in the opener was probably the most spectacular, regardless that Detroit ultimately misplaced. After fouling two balls off his left shin, Cabrera was having hassle standing in the batter’s field when he tagged Rivera for a tying, two-run drive with two outs within the ninth inning.

Cabrera had bedeviled the Yankees before. As a 20-year-previous rookie, he helped the Marlins beat New York within the 2003 World Series.

McCutchen, third in MVP balloting final season, acquired 409 points. Goldschmidt finished second with 242, whereas Molina received the opposite two first-place votes and got here in third.

McCutchen’s win came two days after Pirates supervisor Clint Hurdle was picked because the NL manager of the year. McCutchen was the primary Pittsburgh participant to win the MVP since Bonds in 1992.

The Pirates went 94-sixty eight this year, a season after going 79-83. Along the way, McCutchen grew to become the face of the franchise and heard loud “MVP!” chants when he would step to the plate at PNC Park this summer season.

“I might mislead you if I mentioned it did not enter my thoughts ever,” he said. “It is awesome to hear one thing like that.”

Pittsburgh beat Cincinnati within the NL wild-card recreation, then lost to St. Louis in a division series that went the total five games.

Boston wound up beating St. Louis in the World Collection. No one on the Pink Sox or Cardinals won any of the key BBWAA awards.

Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press

Read The Original Article


Torii Hunter and Albert Pujols nearly fought in Angels clubhouse last season

(USA Immediately) The turmoil surrounding the Los Angeles reached a new level on Friday when Fox Sports Jon Morosi reported that the crew was anticipated to interchange both manager Mike Scioscia or general manager Jerry Dipoto before the 2014 season. Morosi noted that philosophical differences have made it difficult for Scioscia and Dipoto to co-exist, and Angels possession realizes a change has to be made rapidly to get everybody again on the same web page.

[wp_admanager_pro_display_adzone id=”19″]

I do not assume anyone on the outside trying in would disagree with that assessment. Not after the Angels made another major splash in free company, only to comply with with a largely disappointing season that can once more find them lacking the postseason. However in response to a separate by CBS Sports Scott Miller, the cracks within the franchise haven’t simply existed between the front office and the supervisor’s office, they’ve also existed within the clubhouse. And at one level the tensions virtually boiled over into a bodily confrontation.

Citing a number of sources, Miller says a team meeting last August almost erupted into fisticuffs when Albert Pujols known as out Torii Hunter for a dugout altercation with pitcher C.J. Wilson the evening before. Hunter took exception to the feedback, particularly since he’d already buried the hatchet with Wilson privately, and reportedly lost his temper.

From CBS Sports:

In a glimpse into how fractured the Angels had grow to be, they might not even agree on a gathering format. Hawkins known as for a gamers-solely meeting. Pujols, insisting that supervisor Mike Scioscia and the coaches attend, wound up co-opting the assembly.

Pujols called out Weaver for exhibiting up a teammate the night time before. Then he turned his attention on Hunter, blaming him for the dugout altercation with Wilson.

What Pujols didn’t know at the time was that Wilson and Hunter already had made amends, with the pitcher apologizing to the outfielder for overstepping his bounds within the dugout immediately following the sport.

“Albert, you’d better get your info straight,” a seething Hunter instructed Pujols.

Pujols mentioned one thing back, and Hunter jumped him for being a bad teammate and pouting all season each time he didn’t get hits in a game, even in games the Angels gained … and now he was going to name others out?

“Shut up, Torii,” Pujols snapped.

It was then that Hunter, from across the clubhouse, lost it and charged Pujols. Hawkins and outfielder Vernon Wells had to restrain him.

Miller additionally referenced an incident in Minnesota the place Hunter punched teammate Justin Morneau when he felt like Morneau wasn’t receptive to his recommendation about being a greater teammate. The confrontation would find yourself serving as a bonding moment for the pair, which cemented Hunter’s position as a clubhouse chief. But it additionally illustrates that his anger typically gets the most effective of him. They may be a part of the reason the Angels told Hunter they didn’t have the money available to carry him throughout the offseason.

As for Pujols, it’s mentioned he needed no a part of the physical confrontation. Once cooler heads prevailed, there have been additional troubles between the two men. Actually, Hunter was quoted in Miller’s piece as saying the two stay buddies and have talked often this season. Nonetheless, it gives us a glimpse at how unstable the ambiance was within the Angels clubhouse last season, and factors to why new leadership on the top may be mandatory.


Albert Pujols likely out for season after suffering plantar fascia tear

(USA Today)

Sunday replace: The MRI on Albert Pujols’ troublesome left foot revealed a partial tear of the plantar fascia. According to Yahoo!’s Tim Brown, Pujols is probably going carried out for the season and surgical procedure continues to be a risk since it wasn’t an entire tear.

The news goes from unhealthy to worse for Pujols, who has seen his numbers dip to career lows in batting average (.258) and OPS (.767) this season. I’m positive the foot damage contributed, however the overall concern of Pujols slowing down as the wear and tear and tear provides up definitely won’t be relieved by that excuse. Maybe a wholesome Pujols can still dominate at this level, but when — if ever — will he be utterly wholesome once more?

Original publish: It’s no secret that Albert Pujols has been bothered by plantar fasciitis in his left foot for most of his career, however the condition has been notably troublesome for the 33-year-old slugger throughout the 2013 season. That’s what makes the information on Saturday all the more concerning for the Angels, as a result of it sounds as if Pujols’ tolerance for the fixed discomfort has reached its threshold after he aggravated the harm throughout Friday night time’s loss to the Oakland A’s.

Here’s extra from the Los Angeles Times’ Mike DiGiovanna:

Albert Pujols aggravated the left foot injury that has hampered him all season on his ninth-inning, two-run single Friday night and returned to Southern California on Saturday to be evaluated by a physician, a setback that might ship the Angels slugger to the disabled listing.

“It’s extra sore than anything he’s dealt with all season,” Manager Mike Scioscia said earlier than Saturday’s recreation towards the Oakland Athletics. “We’ll get some path from the doctor and see the place he is.”

That examination will inform the Angels whether or not or not Pujols tore the plantar fascia ligament on Friday. If that is the case, Pujols would possible escape surgical procedure because the procedure itself would have minimize the tendon to help reduction the strain and irritation in his foot, but the restoration time would preserve him out for the remainder of the season. If the tendon is not torn, then Pujols timetable might be on the shorter side.

Even with the perfect case situation, a stint on the disabled listing seems pretty seemingly. That means Mark Trumbo would take over as the Angels common first baseman and the crew will likely be compelled to mix and match at designated hitter going forward.

As for what this means in the grand scheme of issues, the results of the MRI will reveal so much about Pujols short term prognosis. However no matter what it ultimately reveals, his long run prognosis will stay a really massive concern for common manager Jerry Dipoto as a result of, effectively, this:


Streaking Adam Jones, prospect talk and a look around the league

Adam Jones excelling despite an ugly K/BB rate (USAT)

After posting a 22:0 K:BB ratio in June, Adam Jones has a 12:6 rate in July and more importantly, a306/.368/.581 line with five homers over 62 ABs. I’m not sure what to make of him, as it’s pretty hard to argue against someone who’s on pace to finish with a294 BA, 33 homers, 111 runs scored, 113 RBI and 15 steals. He’s currently the sixth most valuable fantasy hitter, according to Baseball Monster. He’s somehow done this with an 18.3 K%, 3.3 BB% and a 13.3 SwStr%, but it’s not like he’s a glaring sell-high candidate either. His current322 BABIP is right in line with his career mark (.317), and while the poor plate discipline hurts his OBP, Jones also has 24 doubles to go along with his 20 bombs, leading to a500 slugging percentage. Moreover, playing for a Baltimore team that’s scored the fourth-most runs in major league baseball has really helped his counting stats (he has just 13 fewer RBI this season compared to last in 240 fewer at-bats and with a lower OPS). My guess is Jones hits more in the275-.280 range rather than300 the rest of the season, but his other fantasy goodness should remain mostly the same. He’s going to be a top pick in 2014 fantasy drafts.

Matt Harvey Asks New Yorkers About Matt Harvey.

Here’s Carly Rae Jepsen throwing one of the worst first pitches of all time.

I was skeptical Gio Gonzalez could maintain last year’s extremely high level of pitching in 2013, as it’s tough to post a 2.89 ERA (and even tougher to post a 1.13 WHIP) with shaky control (3.43 BB/9), and after he ended April with a 5.34 ERA and 1.38 WHIP, those concerns looked prescient. However, since then, Gonzalez has posted a 2.04 ERA and 1.07 WHIP with 89 strikeouts over 92.2 innings. After winning 21 games last season, Gonzalez has just seven victories so far in 2013, but that’s a function of Washington’s extremely disappointing offense and obviously can’t be held against him (although this has undoubtedly hurt his fantasy value). His control remains below average (he currently sports a 3.54 BB/9 rate and hasn’t gone a single game this season without issuing a walk), but he’s also impressively posted the same exact ERA as he did last year despite already allowing more homers (a pure regression issue. His HR/FB ratio is a solid 9.9%) in 2013 than he did all of last season. Gonzalez has a 24.4 K%, a 9.4 SwStr% and a 1.37 GB/FB ratio, so he’s clearly established himself as an elite starter even if the walks continue to be on the high side.

Almost no one can drink a gallon of milk in one hour. Here’s Kobayashi doing it in 20 seconds.

Here’s a robot doing a quadruple back flip.

Here’s a car plowing into a motorcycle.

Prospect Talk: Henry Urrutia posted a365/.427/.531 line over 260 at-bats in the minors this year, which was his first taste of American baseball. The Cuban defector is 26 years old, so his learning curve may not be as steep as other prospects. There’s not much SB upside, but Urrutia is going to be given an opportunity for regular playing time against right-handers, so he’s an interesting flier in deeper fantasy leagues…Byron Buxton is batting320 with nine home runs, 78 runs scored, 65 RBI and 35 steals in just 359 at-bats. He’s 19 years old. Fantasy owners can go ahead and start salivating…Billy Hamilton has to be one of the more disappointing players in baseball this season, as he’s taken a major step back while transitioning into the outfield. He’s hitting246/.305/.335 over 349 ABs during his first stint in Triple-A, although his 56 steals look even more impressive when you consider the low OBP. And at least his five homers are already a career high. Still, just 22 years old, Hamilton’s speed makes him a potential elite fantasy asset, but it’s discouraging that his bat may never lead to every day playing time in the big leagues…Mike Olt has heated up lately, but with a213/.317/.422 line over 230 at-bats in the hitter-friendly PCL this year, he’s not a must fantasy add, even if the trade to the Cubs leads to a call up soon…Oscar Taveras’ ankle injury is quickly turning 2013 into a lost season. Matt Holliday going to the DL makes it especially frustrating for those who’ve stashed Taveras…Over his past seven games, Wil Myers is batting536 (15-for-28), even contributing three steals. Still, especially considering how Jurickson Profar has performed, this year’s rookie class of hitters has about as much in common to last year’s as these two.

Animal Antics: Cheetah Chases Impala Antelope Into Tourist’s Car on Safari…Otter Dislikes Watermelon But Can’t Stop Eating It…Brazilian Man Killed in His Bed by Falling Cow…Raccoon Eating Popcorn…Seagulls Turn Yobbish After Getting Drunk on Flying Ants.

Dan Straily came somewhat out of nowhere in 2012, striking out 190 batters over 152.0 innings while posting a 2.78 ERA across Double and Triple-A (including 66.2 innings in the PCL as a 23-year-old). He was solid enough during his major league debut last season, somehow recording a 3.89 ERA despite allowing 11 homers and 16 walks over 39.1 innings. He also was much worse with RISP (.317 BAA) than with the bases empty (.207). (Seriously, how did he do that?) Scouts were never overly impressed with Straily’s stuff, which is why he wasn’t considered a top prospect and his sudden K spike in the minors came as such a surprise. And after sitting with a 7.27 ERA over his first five starts this season, the skepticism sure seemed warranted. However, since then, he has a 2.80 ERA and 0.98 WHIP with a 3.1 K:BB ratio over 61.0 innings. Michael Salfino’s latest “Pitching By The Numbers” suggests his ERA should move down from here on out. Straily’s 11.5 SwStr% would be the ninth-best in baseball if he qualified, so he absolutely should be owned in more fantasy leagues than he is right now.

Headlines of the Week: St. Joe’s “Dead” Patient Awoke as Docs Prepared to Remove Organs…After Spending $11,000, Woman Sues Psychic For Not Lifting Curse On Her Love Life…PayPal Credits Man $92 Quadrillion in Error…Mid-South Doctor Gives “Ghetto Booty” Diagnosis…$120 Plain White T-shirt Designed by Kanye West Sells Out…Scientist Drinks Billion-Year-Old Water: “It Tastes Terrible”…City Contractor Demolished Wrong House…Woman Stuck in Wall, Mistaken For Ghost And Trapped for Seven Hours…Pot Found in Burger King Kids Meal…Jersey Joe’s Pizzeria Owner Denies Masturbating in Kitchen After Security Picture Leaks.

Quick Hits: Chase Utley remains injury prone, but if you prorated the 34 year old’s stats over 600 at-bats, you’d get this:279-101-30-83-16. In other words, he remains a star when on the field, and that’s before considering him playing such a thin position. Utley also remains terrific defensively, and dating back to 2006, he’s been successful on 95 of his past 103 SB attempts, which is a 92.2% rate…Chad Gaudin entered this season with a career 4.63 ERA and 1.51 WHIP over 739.1 innings. He currently has a 2.15 ERA and 1.07 WHIP, and this has come with him moving into the starting rotation, something he previously hadn’t done since 2009. Gaudin has without question taken advantage of AT&T Park, posting a 0.55 ERA over 33.0 innings at home, but he’s also suddenly become death to right-handed hitters, holding them to a159/.201/.273 line. He’s the new Ryan Vogelsong…Over the first 89 games this season, Brett Gardner had 11 steals. He has six stolen bases over his past seven contests. He’s also on pace to finish with 12 homers and 89 runs scored. He’s already matched his previous career-high for extra-base hits in a season with 34 in just 364 at-bats…There’s little reason not to expect Scott Kazmir to break down soon enough, but as of now, he’s become interesting even in medium-sized mixed leagues. Over his past six starts, he’s recorded a 1.95 ERA and 0.87 WHIP with a 28:10 K:BB ratio over 37.0 innings…The Astros box score Saturday night had to be one of the craziest ever. The team’s pitchers recorded 15 strikeouts, allowed just one hit (Erik Bedard chose to leave with a no-hitter intact), committed zero errors and yet somehow lost 4-2. Crazy.

Police Blotter: Ohio Man Again Busted For Sex With Pool Float…Police Called to Investigate Fight About Flatulence…Man Applying For Job Robs Gas Station…Man Robbed While Naked Swimming Neighbor Distracts Him…Florida Man Rearrested After Punching Deputy in Jail Lobby…“I Had Sex With My Cat And Everyone Knows,” Aggrieved Woman Explains to Arresting Officer…96-Year-Old-Woman Resists Would-Be Robber…Man Punched Self, Tried to Blame Neighbor…FDNY Firefighter Made Fake 911 Calls So He Could Rob Firehouses.

Quick Hits Part Deux: After averaging 51.4 steals over the past five seasons, Michael Bourn is on pace to finish with just 21.5 stolen bases in 2013. He’s had a DL trip, but that’s hardly been uncommon in the past, and his current332 OBP is right in line with his career rate (.338). To make matters worse, the Indians have the sixth most stolen bases among all teams in baseball this season. Before the end of August last year, Bourn had a career SB success rate of 82.1%. Since then, it’s been 62.1%…Kris Medlen has been pounded for 10 runs over his last 9.1 innings during his last two starts (he allowed fewer runs during the 12 games he started all of last season!), but this is someone who has a 2.48 ERA and 1.11 WHIP with a 3.8 K:BB ratio over his past 254.0 innings who might very well get bumped from Atlanta’s starting rotation. That’s a team with a “problem” no other has in baseball (Paul Maholm’s trip to the DL may prevent this)…Forget Cole Hamels’ poor luck when it comes to win/loss record, look at A.J. Burnett. Hamels’ peripherals may be better, but he’s allowed 67 runs this season compared to 41 by Burnett, who has a 3.07 ERA while pitching for a team with the third highest winning percentage in all of baseball. Burnett sits with just four wins on the season and has won one game since May 3. It’s almost as if the statistic isn’t telling…Justin Smoak has been playing a lot better recently, and his massive righty/lefty splits (.306/.409/.520 vs.183/.275/.225) is actually a good thing for those who play in daily leagues…If I were in a draft today, I’d make Hanley Ramirez a top-10 pick.

Longreads of the Week: Here’s an epic Sex Advice Answer from “Ask Polly.”

With his new highly acclaimed book coming out, let me again point you to this story: A Serial Killer in Common. It’s pretty crazy this guy has yet to be caught.

Quick Hits Part Tres: I’m a Yasiel Puig believer, but he’s batting254/.286/.356 with a 21:3 K:BB ratio over 59 at-bats in June. Put differently, his 33.3 K% this month would rank third worst among all hitters this season. One other underrated aspect about the phenom’s scorching start to his career – he has a not-so-impressive 2.0 GB/FB ratio…Over his past six starts, Felix Doubront has a 1.83 ERA and 0.99 WHIP. He hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs in a start since May 8 (although to be fair, there was a stinker mixed in). The recent improvement has coincided with an uptick in velocity. Doubront should also continue to benefit from strong run support, as the Red Sox have scored the most runs in baseball this season by a wide margin…Mike Moustakas is hitting059/.165/.059 in 68 at-bats with RISP this season. With RISP and two outs, he’s hitless over 29 ABs. Wow…Albert Pujols has grounded into more double plays this year (18) than he’s hit home runs (16). Among active players, only Miguel Tejada has hit into more DPs…I’m beginning to think there might be causation between Pablo Sandoval’s weight and performance…I’m not convinced it means anything moving forward, but it’s interesting to note the huge discrepancy in the average true distance of home runs hit by Justin Upton and Dominic Brown this season…I must admit, I’m pretty surprised by the Ryan Braun sudden suspension, but I guess it makes sense for him to cut a deal and minimize the length of the suspension in a year in which he’s dealing with an injury and with the Brewers having nothing to play for. Of course, that gives his fantasy owners no solace.


Jonathan Papelbon says Yasiel Puig making the All-Star Game would be an ‘injustice’ and a ‘joke’

(Getty Images) The ever-outspoken Jonathan Papelbon has some thoughts about rookie Yasiel Puig potentially being an All-Star. Specifically, the Philadelphia Phillies closer thinks that would be “a joke” and an “injustice” to veteran players.

Puig — who had a 3-for-5 night with a homer on Tuesday for the Los Angeles Dodgers — is hitting443/.473/.745 after taking baseball by storm on June 3. He’s played in only 27 games and been to the plate 112 times, but he’s made all those opportunities count. His 44 debut-month hits are second historically to only Joe DiMaggio who had 48 in May 1936. In addition, Puig has hit eight homers, knocked in 17 runs and the Dodgers are 16-11 since his debut.

All this has begged the question: Should Puig be an All-Star? Papelbon, fearless closer that he is, took that issue head on during an interview with MLB Network Radio:

“The guy’s got a month, I don’t even think he’s got a month in the big leagues, and just comparing him to this and that, and saying he’s going to make the all-star team, that’s a joke to me. It’s just really what happens in baseball when… to me it really does an injustice to the veteran players that have been in the game for eight, nine, ten plus years, and it kind of does them an injustice because they’ve worked so hard to stay there.”

Here’s the interview clip in question. Pay close attention to when Papelbon says “Pig, Puig, whatever.”

Puig isn’t even on the All-Star ballot, but he’s been getting write-in support from fans. Realistically, his best chance at getting on the team is through MLB’s Final Vote, which crowns the 34th player on each team through a separate fan vote. That comes after players and the All-Star managers have their say. Rosters will be announced Saturday.

NL All-Star manager Bruce Bochy had previously said he didn’t think Puig’s short time in MLB was enough to warrant a selection. Of course, Puig’s non-stop hit barrage could have changed that. There have only been four games in which Puig didn’t get a hit. Further: In 15 of his 27 games, he’s gotten more than one hit.

It’s worth noting that Papelbon was elected to the All-Star game in his rookie season. The circumstances were a tad different. He got his big-league call-up in the previous season and played a little bit then. In 2006, though, he had 0.59 ERA and 26 saves, pitching 46 innings in 40 games before being named to the All-Star team.

He was one of three rookies who made the team that year. At the time, he said:

“It’s been a wild, wild ride. It’s awesome. It was a very emotional experience to find out that I had made the team. We’re the next crop coming in. This is exciting because it is the starting points of our career.”

At the heart of the Puig All-Star debate is a theme that’s at the core of many debates: ruffling tradition.

(Getty Images) Traditionalists think Puig simply hasn’t shown enough to be considered an All-Star, and that the All-Star Game is an important institution that not just anybody who has played 27 games can sprint into. The other side of the argument says Puig should be an All-Star because he’s the most exciting player in baseball right now, the kind of guy people will turn on their TVs to watch, even if they’re not huge baseball fans. He’s a boost for the game, much as he’s been a boost for the Dodgers.

Here’s one thing to ponder: Justin Upton of the Atlanta Braves would be, at last tally, a starting outfielder in the National League. He’s hit 15 home runs. Not too shabby. However, he hit 12 of those home runs during a hot first month of the season. Since May 1, he’s hit a pretty disappointing229/.342/.323 with only three homers.

You gotta wonder how many people are upset Justin Upton is likely going to be an All-Star this season because of one good month.