TEMPE, Ariz. -- To the surprise of no one, the Los Angeles Angels have built their marketing efforts around newly acquired slugger Albert Pujols.
But one segment of that campaign has run afoul of the player's wishes. The Angels have 20 billboards around Southern California with Pujols pictured in an Angels uniform alongside the Spanish words "El Hombre."
Pujols has asked not to be called that in deference to St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Famer Stan Musial, who was referred to as Stan "The Man" during most of his 22-year career.
The Angels said they did not consult Pujols or his agent before launching the campaign. It was planned shortly after the Angels signed the first baseman to a 10-year, $250 million contract in December.
"Like I say, I haven't talked to them, but I prefer not to use (El Hombre)," Pujols said Wednesday.
I suppose it might make sense that the Angels' marketing department would not be in close contact with Pujols and/or his agent on this matter ... the problem, though, is that Pujols told the St. Louis media/fans as far back as two years ago that he did not want to be referred to by this nickname (which a 10-second Google search by the Angels would have revealed), so this "conflict" ultimately makes the Angels look out of touch more than anything else.
Albert Pujols 1st big league player fined this year by Angels after using cell phone during a team meeting....ouch...fine amount undisclosed
Again, pretty innocuous stuff in the grander scheme of things, and stuff that won't matter one whit if Pujols clobbers the ball during the regular season, and stuff that some people will undoubtedly scoff at as irrelevant fluff ... but I don't imagine the Angels wanted to embarrass themselves with the billboard snafu, nor that they wanted their franchise cornerstone with the second-largest contract in baseball history to sound as though he has the attention span/interest of one Vicente Padilla.