Albert Pujols speaks during a news conference after a spring training workout… (Morry Gash / Associated…)
Tempe, Ariz. — Albert Pujols is the focal point of the Angels' 2012 marketing campaign, which includes 70 billboards throughout Southern California, most featuring the new slugger and several that refer to the former St. Louis Cardinals star as "El Hombre," The Man.
Pujols, however, asked the St. Louis media and fans two years ago to refrain from calling him "El Hombre" because he felt it was disrespectful to Cardinals Hall of Famer Stan "The Man" Musial. And those feelings have not changed now that he's in Anaheim.
"I feel the same way," Pujols said before Wednesday morning's workout in Tempe Diablo Stadium. "I had nothing to do with [the Angels billboards]. They haven't talked to me about it."
Is Pujols OK with the Angels using the nickname in the future?
"I haven't made that decision, so I haven't talked to them about it," Pujols said, "but I prefer they not use that."
Tim Mead, Angels vice president of communications, said the team is not required to seek approval for how a player might be portrayed in an advertising or marketing campaign, adding that "El Hombre" has a different meaning in Southern California than it does in St. Louis.
"The reason he had those sentiments in St. Louis is different -- they were out of respect and deference to someone else," Mead said. "He was saying, 'I'm not The Man, Stan Musial is.' We're marketing Albert Pujols, Angels baseball, and I just think there's a tremendous difference in context."
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