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Friday, October 13, 2006

Grace Under Pressure

Posted By on Fri, Oct 13, 2006 at 10:39 AM

Bernie Miklasz
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch's carpet-bomb approach to baseball coverage inevitably leads to some redundancy. Even during the regular season, you'll see Joe Strauss' or Derrick Goold's game story run some of the same quotes Bernie Miklasz or Bryan Burwell use in their columns. Hard to avoid when you've got two or three reporters covering the same event and postgame press conference. In the postseason the potential for duplication multiplies, as St. Louis' Only Daily throws every available reporter into the fray.

Interestingly, though, it appears that none of the Post's writers who witnessed the 2-0 Mets victory at Shea Stadium in New York last night was around to hear Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols' take on 40-year-old Mets ace Tom Glavine, who masterfully shut down the Cardinals' lineup for seven scoreless innings.

New York Daily News sportswriter Peter Botte heard plenty, however. Here's the lead of Botte's story, which bore the headline "Flat Albert" and a subhead that read: "Rips Glavine, despite taking 0-fer":

Albert Pujols was less than impressive in last night's NLCS opener. He was even less impressed with Mets starter Tom Glavine.

A peeved Pujols snapped at reporters following his 0-for-3 outing that included a costly baserunning blunder in the Mets' 2-0 Game 1 win, claiming that Glavine wasn't fooling any of the St. Louis hitters and that the NL Central champs should have lit up the lefty.

"He wasn't good. He wasn't good at all," Pujols said of Glavine, who threw seven innings of four-hit ball for the victory. "I think we hit the ball hard, we didn't get some breaks.

"I say he wasn't good at all. We just didn't get some opportunities and that's it. . . . (Glavine did the) same thing that he always does. Throw a changeup, fastball and that was it. I just think we should've done a better job than we did."

On the home front, if Pujols' bellyaching made the Post's pages, I missed it. (A possibility, admittedly. Today's paper contains a boatload of game coverage, more even than the average baseball fanatic can absorb in a single sitting.)

Joe Strauss quoted Pujols in the Post's main game story -- but not about Glavine's performance. For that perspective, Strauss turned to third baseman Scott Rolen, who, like Pujols, went hitless on the night:

"He's got a lot of confidence on the mound," Rolen said. "He was throwing fastballs away and change-ups away like he's always done. And he was throwing the ball in. He hit his spots tonight. He threw good pitches."

Tom Glavine
Bernie Miklasz' column, headlined "Birds can't find hero as Mets stop Pujols," centers on the Cardinal superstar's inability to break through against the wily Glavine but doesn't have Pujols address the situation. (Miklasz does quote Pujols in reference to a base-running gaffe; the same Pujols quote appears in Strauss' game story.)

Instead Miklasz quotes a diplomatic Glavine on pitching against Pujols: "He's a great hitter, and that's an understatement," Glavine said. "He's the best hitter in baseball. But when he's in the box, you have to attack him and be aggressive. You just can't make a mistake at the wrong time or he'll make you pay for it."-Tom Finkel


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