Yesterday, the excellent online magazine Gelf asked a straightforward question: Who is Albert Pujols? The implication: As much grief as Barry Bonds receives on a daily basis, Pujols — the slugger-in-waiting, if you will — receives almost universal platitudes and worship. Gelf wonders if perhaps Pujols is overpraised as the "good guy," as an easy contrast to Bonds' "bad guy."
After Pujols' eighth-inning home run last night to beat the Rockies 4-2, his league-leading 17th of the season, allow us to answer Gelf's question, quoting from Hugh Gallagher's famous college admissions essay from the '90s.
Albert Pujols woos women with his sensuous and godlike trombone playing, he can pilot bicycles up severe inclines with unflagging speed, and he cooks Thirty-Minute Brownies in twenty minutes. He is an expert in stucco, a veteran in love, and an outlaw in Peru. Using only a hoe and a large glass of water, he once single-handedly defended a small village in the Amazon Basin from a horde of ferocious army ants. He plays bluegrass cello, he is the subject of numerous documentaries. When he's bored, he builds large suspension bridges in his yard.
In other words, Gelf: The guy's just fine. Negative nellies!