Wainwright, Pujols relive fateful pitch at Holliday's golf tourney
You can take the players out of the ballpark, but you can't baseball out of the players
By STAN McNEALFS Midwest
BALLWIN -- Adam Wainwright walked up to Albert Pujols on Monday morning at the Meadowbrook Country Club and gave him a nice hug befitting of former teammates who remain friends.
Wainwright then stepped back and, a bit sheepishly, immediately brought up the ninth-inning hit he allowed to Pujols that started the
Angels' winning rally last Thursday.
Pujols could not resist. With a big smile, he immediately let Wainwright know that he should not have thrown him another curve. But sensing one was coming, Pujols singled for his first and only hit of the three-game series.
"Why didn't you blow that cutter or a fastball by me," Pujols asked. "That's what you should have done. Another curve? I got that."
On the previous pitch of the at-bat, Pujols had laid off a cutter to even the count at 2-2. On the next pitch, the sixth of the at-bat, Wainwright stayed with his cutter-curve pattern and fed Pujols another curve. Pujols promptly lined it softly to left for a single that ignited the Angels' 6-5 victory.
Pujols and Wainwright talked before Wainwright teed off in the Matt Holliday Celebrity Golf Tournament, which benefited the Pujols Family Foundation. Pujols was limited to spectating -- and talking baseball -- because of his ailing legs.
Pujols wasn't the only "celebrity" who attended but did not golf, either. Among the others: Matt Holliday, Mike Matheny, Carlos Beltran, Jon Jay and Daniel Descalso.
One who did golf was late arrival Tony La Russa, who was in a group that included his former bench coach, Joe Pettini. Based on the tee shot I saw, La Russa isn't spending much of his free time these days on his golf game.
Angels All-Star Mike Trout was there to golf, too, despite getting about two hours of sleep after accompanying Pujols and four other teammates on a charter after their Sunday night game in Anaheim. Off on Monday, the Angels begin a two-game series at Wrigley Field on Tuesday. According to Pujols, Trout is not just a one-sport star.
"If you think he hits a baseball far, you need to see how far he hits that golf ball," Pujols said. "Pretty amazing."
You can follow Stan McNeal on Twitter at @stanmcneal or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.