Albert Pujols loooves St. Louis, but is just a little tiny bit bitter about some aspects of his departure from the Cardinals.
The more he talked about St. Louis in his interview with Jon Paul Morosi, "the more he smiled." That is, until he stopped smiling.
"St. Louis is still a special place for me," Pujols told FOXSports.com in advance of his first-ever game against the Cardinals next week. "I still have my home there. I live there in the offseason. I enjoyed playing in front of 40,000 people every day. I tried to do my best to help the organization win. I had success there. We won two World Series. We went to three. That's something you can't take from me. I had great teammates and great memories. Those are things you're always going to take with you."
"The reality is that city made me who I am today," Pujols said.
Here's interview footage, underscored by the cheesiest possible piano music possible:
In the interview, he apparently reminisced about his teammates, saying he stays in touch with Molina, Adam Wainwright, Jon Jay, Allen Craig and others and even spoke of his "appreciation for the team's devoted fans."
But it wasn't all positive. He said:
There's nothing bitter about it. It's tough that it didn't work out. It happens. I wasn't the first one it happens to do. It happened to Miguel Cabrera. It happened to Alex Rodriguez. It happened to Ken Griffey Jr. It happens to many players who play this game: At some time, they move along.
I think the only thing I'm bitter about is the way the front office handled it a little bit. I think they should have handled it a little better. I'm bitter about that. They tried to make me look like I was a bad guy. But that's OK. I'm a big boy. Besides that, I also understand there's nothing I can do. Even if I could take it back, I'm happy where I am right now. My goal is to focus and concentrate on what I need to do to help this ballclub win.
What did the front office do?
"It's something I don't want to talk about," he said. "They know what they did. I don't need to talk about that."