Pujols bans TV station from news conference

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

ST. LOUIS -- Albert Pujols, angry his name was incorrectly linked to the Mitchell Report on steroids last month, banned a St. Louis television station from participating in a news conference Monday.

Pujols asked Cardinals media relations director Brian Bartow to make a reporter and cameraman from St. Louis Fox affiliate KTVI leave the room where Pujols' news conference was taking place on the final day of the Cardinals' winter warmup.

On Dec. 13, KTVI broadcast an incorrect report, citing information posted on the Web site of New York television station WNBC, that linked Pujols and other players to the Mitchell Report.

When the report was released that day, Pujols' name was not included.

"I know we're in the dark clouds with the steroids," Pujols said. "But now people are going to second-guess my numbers because some guys started something that wasn't the truth."

The KTVI duo watched Monday's news conference from the corner of the room with the camera off and did not participate.

The incorrect broadcast, Pujols told reporters, showed "50 percent of the things you guys write is not true, and I'm glad that happened."

In the wake of the incorrect report, Pujols said there's bound to be skepticism about his career. Every year since making his debut in 2001, he's batted .300 with 30 home runs.

He said he will not take legal action but expressed disappointment that he wasn't given the benefit of the doubt.

The 27-year-old enters 2008 with a .332 average and 282 homers -- numbers he says came about naturally.

-- AP

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