SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -Albert Pujols was angry about being left on the All-Star bench and the St. Louis slugger took aim at the National League manager - who just happened to be Tony La Russa of his own Cardinals.
``It's the All-Star game. He can do what he wants,'' Pujols said Tuesday night. ``He does whatever he wants. If I wasn't expecting to play, I wouldn't have come up here.''
Pujols, the NL MVP in 2005 and key to the Cardinals' win in the World Series last year, said La Russa didn't talk to him the entire game.
Pujols could only watch when Aaron Rowand flied out with the bases loaded to end the American League's 5-4 win.
``If he wants to get upset, he can get upset,'' La Russa said. ``Whatever he wants to do, he can do. It's America. That wasn't the most important thing tonight.''
With the 32-man rosters, it's not uncommon for few players to be left out. The AL used 27 players, while the NL used 28.
Pujols and Texas shortstop Michael Young - last year's All-Star game MVP - were the only position players who didn't get into the game. Ever since the 2002 event ended in an extra-innings tie, managers have tended to hold a hitter back just in case.
La Russa said he indeed was saving his star player in case the game went long.
``Once we lost (Miguel) Cabrera and (Freddy) Sanchez, he was the guy we were going to use to protect ourselves in case we kept playing because of Albert's versatility,'' La Russa said. ``I think we had the right guy at bat.''
A six-time All-Star, Pujols finished about 770,000 votes behind starting first baseman Prince Fielder. He played left field regularly in 2002 and '03 and also saw time at third base in 2001 and '02.
Pujols said he was getting his body loose the whole night.
``I was ready to go since the game started,'' Pujols said.
Pujols is mired in a career-worst home run slump - 22 games and a career-worst 74 at-bats. He is tied with Chris Duncan for the team lead with 16 homers and his last homer was off Kansas City's Jimmy Gobble on June 14.

Recent MLB Discussions

Top MLB Public Bets

#1 960 New York Mets  97%
#2 954 Houston Astros  94%
#3 967 Cleveland Indians  75%
#4 969 Tampa Bay Rays  60%
#5 955 New York Yankees  57%
#6 958 Toronto Blue Jays  56%
#7 972 Cincinnati Reds  52%
#8 962 Chicago White Sox  50%

MLB Top Stories

Thumbnail World Baseball Classic Final Prediction Will the USA knock off Puerto Rico tonight in the World Baseball Classic Championship at 9:00PM ET?
Thumbnail Indians Win-Total Prediction After falling just shy of the World Series in 2016, can the Cleveland Indians follow it up with a better year...
Thumbnail USA vs. Japan WBC Prediction Tanner Roark’s first World Baseball Classic outing didn’t go particularly well. If Team USA wants to advance to the championship game, though, it needs the Washington...
Thumbnail Reds Win Total Prediction Is there any reason to have some optimism about the Cincinnati Reds for the 2017 season? Here’s our breakdown on their season.
Thumbnail Red Sox Win Total Prediction With a stacked rotation, will the Boston Red Sox be able to surge to the top of the MLB standings in the 2017 season?

MLB Team Pages