Prince Albert: a triple threat


Issue: "Ten Commandments showdown," Aug. 30, 2003

Just how much better this season is St. Louis slugger Albert Pujols than Barry Bonds? Just 30 points better by way of batting average. That translates to three more hits per week for the Cardinals outfielder than for Barry Bonds. But the modern-day home-run king is no slouch either: He's hitting .341 and with his surpassing power, many would expect the Giants slugger to walk away with the MVP award.

Enter the Cardinals outfielder. Mr. Pujols, still just 23 years old, is making a legitimate run at baseball's Triple Crown (league leads in batting average, home runs, and RBIs). And on Aug. 16, the young outfielder extended his season-best hitting streak to 30 games. If Mr. Pujols is to make a fantastic chase of Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak-baseball's magic number-he'll wipe away any doubt of his MVP certainty. But Mr. Pujols did himself no favor by brawling with San Diego's Gary Bennett just one day after his streak began.

He hit the Padres catcher after he was beaned by a first-pitch fastball from Adam Eaton. Of course, Mr. Pujols probably wouldn't have played anyway during his mid-August two-game suspension. He was recovering from the flu.

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