Defending St. Louis Cardinals Slugger Albert Pujols

Patri EvansContributor IMay 12, 2009

ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 23: Albert Pujols #5 of the St. Louis Cardinals hits an RBI single against the New York Mets on April 23, 2009 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri. The Cardinals beat the Mets 12-8.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

After the recent news of Manny Ramirez testing positive for banned substances, the question arose in my mind: What about Albert Pujols?  He is, without a doubt, the greatest player in baseball and, as far as we know, steroid-free. 

But how can we really know? It seems as if all of our greatest players in recent years have been tarnished by steroids, so what makes Pujols so different?

Since winning Rookie of the Year in 2001, Pujols has racked up several top honors: All-Star ('01, '03, '04,  '05, '06, '07, '08), Gold Glove ('06), Hank Aaron Award ('03), Silver Slugger ('01, '03, '04, '08), and MVP ('05, '08).

In my humble opinion, Pujols has been the top player since 2001, is the best player this season, and will go down in history as the greatest player of all time. But that is just my humble opinion.

Pujols has led the Cardinals to winning seasons since he was a rookie and has taken a role as the Cardinals leader, as well as the face of Major League Baseball. Cardinals fans, including myself, feel that he has done things the right way. 

He is one of the most humble players out there and as far as the average fan can tell, he is playing baseball because he truly loves the game—not just for the money.  There is nothing better than hearing Albert talking on pre-game or post-game interviews and how happy he is to be playing in St. Louis and doing the things he does.

So as for any talk of King Albert doing steroids like the rest of them, I call BS.  He plays the game the right way and will be remembered as one of baseball's finest.