Today I went to the stadium to chat with some of my friends in the Los Angeles Angels, like the four-time Latino MVP winner Albert Pujols, and the Newyorican from Newark, Hector Santiago.
I recently wrote a piece on both Pujols and Santiago. Therefore, I wanted to hear any possible feedback from them. Hector Santiago, read the piece and told me several people had tweeted it to him. He liked it and I promised to stay in touch.
As always, Albert's locker was surrounded with a few reporters waiting on him. I waited patiently and when everyone left, he saw me. We shook hangs and hugged. We chatted about family, and their visit to New York. Albert is happy, relaxed and as always not concerned about individual numbers. His goal is to take the team to the World Series. I asked him about any thoughts about reaching the 500-home-run club. He said, "I don't think about numbers. I just want to concentrate on helping the team get to the World Series. When I get older and I'm retired I can think about all the numbers that I have put up in baseball, not now."
Albert hit his 501st home run on Friday at Yankee Stadium and I told him about the piece I wrote, not so much about the home run -- but about the fan that threw the ball back onto the field. He laughed when I answered my own question by telling him the remarks we had received from people responding to my question: would they have thrown the ball back?
As always, Albert and I speak about more than the present stats. We talked about the press sometimes asking some of the most ridiculous questions, like when he hits a home run and someone would ask how he felt about hitting it. Or, this one that made us both laugh aloud: "I had a bad day, went 0 for 4 and I'm asked, the same question, 'How do you feel?'" His face answered that question.