Pujols Remarks Lost in Translation?

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The lead sports story on stltoday.com:

Pujols says MVP should come from playoff team By Dionisio Soldevila ASSOCIATED PRESS

Albert Pujols thinks he was snubbed.

The Cardinals' slugger is upset he lost out to Philadelphia's Ryan Howard for the National League MVP award, saying Wednesday the honor should go to someone on a playoff team.

"I see it this way: Someone who doesn't take his team to the playoffs doesn't deserve to win the MVP," Pujols said in Spanish at a news conference organized by the Dominican Republic's sports ministry. [...]

The identical story appears on espn.com, headlined "Snubbed Pujols says MVP should be on playoff team" and accompanied by a poll indicating that (as of the time of this posting) more than 70 percent of +/- 28,000 respondents disagree with Albert's assertion.

Given, Pujols' logic seems flawed, especially when you consider that Howard's team won two more games than the Cardinals during the regular season.

But anybody out there read Spanish?

The Dominican Republic's Spanish-language newspapers, which also covered the press conference in Santo Domingo yesterday that gave rise to the stories, offered a more nuanced take on Pujols' remarks. (Forgive the rough translations.)

In List�n Diario, a story by Pedro G. Brice�o was headlined "Pujols cree se merec�a MVP; dice tuvo los mejores n�meros": Pujols believes he deserved the MVP; he says he had the best numbers.

Translated quote: "I was a little hurt because I think I deserved the award, considering I had better numbers than Howard, but these things happen."

Translated quote: "A player who doesn't help his team make the playoffs isn't the MVP. That's what I think, but, sadly, I don't vote."

Under a headline that translates to "Pujols said he deserved the MVP more than Ryan Howard," Juan Mercado of El Dia wrote essentially the same thing -- that the Cardinals first baseman felt his numbers were better and that no player who failed to lead his team to the postseason should be named MVP. "Eso es lo que yo pienso, pero yo no voto," Pujols added: That's what I think, but I don't vote.

At first it hurt that he didn't win, Pujols admitted. "But I won the MVP in 2005 and said I'd trade it for a World Series ring, and that's what happened this year."

Jose Caceres of Hoy posted two short pieces, one of which was headlined "Confiesa se puso triste por no ganar M�s Valioso": [Pujols] confesses he was hurt that he didn't win the MVP. Caceres has Pujols saying: "Yo puse los n�meros suficientes para ser por segundo a�o el m�s valioso, pero son los periodistas que votan y no tengo eso bajo control": I put up good enough numbers to be MVP again, but it's the baseball writers who vote and it's not within my power.

That said, Pujols added, the past is the past, and his present goal is to win another World Series title for Cardinals fans.

A 500-word story in El Nacional by Roosevelt Comarazamy headlined "Albert Pujols es un adicto del trabajo" -- Albert Pujols is a workaholic -- doesn't mention the no postseason/no MVP assertion at all. Comarazamy opens his piece with a message to opposing pitchers and ballclubs: "Albert Pujols tiene planes de seguir progresando": Albert Pujols intends to keep getting better.

The writer goes on to quote Pujols on his approach to spring training: to work hard in order to make the team because he's always conscious of minor leaguers who want his job. About halfway through, Comarazamy brings up the loss to Howard, noting Pujols' assertion that his numbers were good enough to repeat as MVP and also mentioning that the first baseman felt his compatriot David Ortiz, designated hitter for the Boston Red Sox, was even more deserving of the honor in the American League. (Ortiz finished a distant third in the AL voting, behind winner Justin Morneau of the Minnesota Twins and runner-up Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees.)

Comarazamy also has Pujols noting that this year he faced more competition in the NL -- specifically Howard and Lance Berkman of the Houston Astros -- and saying that his statement last year that he'd trade the MVP trophy for a World Series ring had come to pass, for which he has God to thank.

-Tom Finkel

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