Albert Pujols Finally Hits His First American League Home Run [Video]
Albert Pujols returned to an empty dugout when he was done rounding the bases after his first home run as an Angel last night against the Toronto Blue Jays. Torii Hunter hatched a plan that when Pujols hit his first home run the team would hide behind the dugout so he would have to deal with the silent treatment.
It was short lived though as the team poured out of the dugout tunnel and congratulated the slugger.
Hunter said after the game,
“I thought that would be cool. I always wanted to do that, and it worked. I just said: ‘Let’s get off the bench and go to the tunnel.’ He was excited about it and we were, too. We had to think fast. When I have a day off, man, I do stupid stuff.”
Pujols, a three-time NL MVP had gone 33 games and 139 at-bats dating to last year without a home run in the regular season.
“I don’t think anything’s been lifted off my shoulders, man. I don’t think about what you guys write or what you think. I know what I’m capable of doing, and I come out here every day and try to get myself ready for the game and give 110 percent to this team and to this organization. And if I do that, there’s nothing to be sorry about.I didn’t think about what they were going to throw me. I see the ball and hit it,” Pujols said. “I’ve been doing that since I’ve played this game. This game is not about guessing, it’s about making adjustments. Hopefully you get a good pitch to hit and you hit it.
Pujols homered in his 28th game and 111th at-bat with the Angels, who signed him to a 10-year, $240 million contract as a free agent in December. His home run drought has earned him a smattering of boos as of late.
“The last three weeks here, the fans have wanted to see it, and I’m blessed that I got the opportunity to do it here in front of them. They’ve been waiting and they’ve been impatient, and the last couple of days I heard some boos out there, but that’s part of it. I touched on that the other day. If I could boo myself, I’d do it myself, too. But don’t blame the fans (for booing). If you want to blame somebody, blame me because I’m a big guy and I can take it. I’m not performing the way everybody’s expecting, but the season isn’t only 27 games. You play 162 games, and they’re going to cheer us more than they’re going to boo us.”
His longest homer drought prior to this was in 2011, when he failed to connect in 27 straight games and 105 at-bats. Pujols’ longest previous home run drought at the start of a season was in 2008, when he failed to hit one in his first eight games and 27 at-bats.
Watch Albert Pujols’ First Home Run as an Angel,