home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


July 14, 2009

Ryan Franklin

Albert Pujols


Q. How would you describe your experience with the President tonight?
ALBERT PUJOLS: Well, it was great. I think you put it all together, you're hosting the All-Star Game here in the place you play, with the fans and everybody, and especially the president throwing out the first pitch, I thank Major League Baseball and the Cardinals for giving me the opportunity to catch the first pitch.
It was an experience. It probably would be the best All-Star Game experience that I'm probably going to have and that I have ever had in my career so far.

Q. You had to make a pretty good catch on that ball, there was no way it was going to drop with you there; correct?

Q. On the pitch.
ALBERT PUJOLS: We took a few warm-up pitches in the cage and he went out there and he threw it perfect. One advice I told him, if the ball misses, it's because of the jacket, White Sox (laughter). I thank God for allowing me to have that experience and meet him.

Q. For Ryan, you had nine pitches, just another normal outing for you, that's the way your season has gone to this point.
RYAN FRANKLIN: Yeah, that's my game, man, to get ahead of guys and make them hit my pitches. That's the way it worked out.

Q. What did the President say to you when you shook his hand afterwards and did the ball bounce --
ALBERT PUJOLS: What are you talking about? He hit the ball right at my glove. He just told me, go get them and be blessed. I told him the same thing and that it was an honor to meet him.

Q. For the entire festivities, Home Run Derby, game, everything, emotions for you, were you ever nervous at times, or did you feel that you had to carry the weight of the city's back on your shoulders?
ALBERT PUJOLS: I don't think so. Obviously, yes, you have some butterflies sometimes, like yesterday in the Home Run Derby.
But it was almost getting to the point where I almost got a little bit emotional, yesterday and today, the way that the fans received me and Franklin and Yadi, it was pretty special.
It wasn't anything different. It's what we receive every night from these fans in baseball and around our country. It's just an unbelievable experience. It's going to be hard to get that experience again. Hopefully that will be the last one, and I just thank God for allowing me to have a great first half and to be voted in and to have a great All-Star Game in the game that I played.

Q. What was it like to see Stan honored like he was this evening before the game?
ALBERT PUJOLS: Like I say, what would you expect? Stan the Man, he's the Man here in St. Louis, and the fans, it showed. It's good to have him around once in a while, and hopefully we can have more time around. I said it yesterday, hopefully he can come around more where I can pick his brain about hitting; and it's incredible, the energy he had to talk about baseball and the spirit.
And also as a player wearing this uniform, we look at those guys as Hall of Fame, not just Stan, but Bob Gibson, Red Schoendienst, Lou Brock; we want to follow those guys that really play the game the right way and represent the organization the right way, and you know, I think we want to do that. We want to go that way representing in the right way like they did.
RYAN FRANKLIN: I've been pretty lucky here the last couple of years, to be in the same field whenever Stan comes out and gets honored. That's an honor to me just to be around someone of his gratitude and someone who did what he did for the game of baseball, and in the game of baseball.

Q. I know you've talked about this experience for yourself here the last few days. When you stepped on the mound, was it anything close to what you expected?
RYAN FRANKLIN: Well, I mean, I was trying my best, man, to keep my emotions calm and trying to look calm. But it was fun. It was a lot of fun.
You know, I knew it pitching wouldn't be any different, but just being out there with the caliber of players that were out there, All-Star guys, it was pretty special.

Q. Just to be clear, because it was difficult to see from the press box and the camera angle, did the president's pitch hit the ground, or did you scoop it up?
ALBERT PUJOLS: It didn't hit the ground. It was in the air the whole way. I scoop it up a little bit, but I think I was going to catch it in the air. It was a great pitch.
RYAN FRANKLIN: Gold Glove. I mean, he's not going to miss it.
ALBERT PUJOLS: I was more nervous not to drop the ball, believe me. I wasn't worried about him bouncing the ball.

Q. You had a lot of stuff going on defensively tonight, error, the first play that got away from you and the diving plays that you made that kept innings from getting loose, how did you look at the game defensively?
ALBERT PUJOLS: Well, somebody had to bring that error; it had to be you. Playing, knowing Mark Teixeira, playing against him the last couple of years before he got traded to the Yankees, I know he pulled the ball a little bit and he was playing down the line, too close to the line.
I know he is one of the best hitters in the game and I didn't want to give him a double and I wanted to guide the line early, even though it was early. The ball was hit between second and first, and I kind of got lost a little bit. It handcuffed me because it went through Mauer's leg a little bit and I kind of lost that pitch.
That's an error that you don't want to make early in the game like that. It cost us two runs. But, hey, it's part of the game and you learn from that experience. I wish it wouldn't happen, and hopefully can make it up with a couple of great plays. Hopefully we can win this game and we don't have to worry about the two runs they scored in the first inning.

Q. The two plays you made diving, saving runs, those were not easy plays.
ALBERT PUJOLS: That was the best thing I did this week. It was a ball that I missed and I should have make and all I had to do was catch. I wasn't going to be able to turn a double play.
I was either going to go to second or first and try to get one out or maybe second and third and two outs, and at least doing what he can do this year and knowing what kind of pitcher he is. I wanted to make sure we got out of the inning, but it didn't happen.

Q. Your team and a lot of teams have a good chance this year; what was it like in the dugout with the home-field on the line for the World Series?
ALBERT PUJOLS: I don't know how many times I'm going to explain this, but when you get to the World Series, obviously this can count big, because everybody out there wants to win.
Yes, we are having fun over the past couple of days here, but we still want to represent our ballclub, the Cardinals, and we want to represent the National League well, to win, and that's our goal.
Obviously it hasn't happened over the last I don't know how many years, but I always said that when you're in the World Series it doesn't matter. All you have to do is win one game like we did in 2006, and now you have home-field advantage. We came back here and we win three games.
Yes, Game 7, you want to be in front of your crowd and whatever, but your energy level is to high, it doesn't matter where you play, you are going to give up with hundred percent and give everything in that Game 7, so it doesn't matter where you play at.

Q. Was it easy to enjoy this week, or was it somewhat stressful when you factor in that you are kind of the face of this game?
ALBERT PUJOLS: You have the Home Run Derby and also have to catch a pitch from the U.S. President, and, oh, yeah, you have a game to play, as well.
I won't use that word, stress. I wish it can be like this for the rest of my career, this stressful. I enjoy it. Being around these great players. I was so happy for this guy and Yadi, for their first All-Star Game and being on my team and knowing the kind of year that they are having. I was so excited for them.
And having it here in our city, I knew that our fans was going to receive us with their arms open, and like I said before, it didn't shock me, because that's what they do every time for the last nine years. That's St. Louis. That's their fans. I enjoy every moment of this All-Star Games, yes I have to do a lot of press conference, Home Run Derby, here and there, and today I did whatever I had to do and I got myself ready for the game.
Obviously I wanted to do something to help our National League to win, but it's part of the game. And as long as you have fun and enjoy and play the game the right way, to me, that's what it's all about.

End of FastScripts

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297