Pujols Not A Big Fan Of Angels Referring To Him As "El Hombre" On Billboards
Angels 1B Albert Pujols this offseason was featured on several billboards around Southern California as part of the team's marketing effort, but the signs have "run afoul of the player's wishes," according to Mark Saxon of ESPN L.A. Several of the billboards including a picture of Pujols and the phrase "El Hombre," which is Spanish for "The Man." Pujols during his time with the Cardinals "asked not to be called" "El Hombre" in deference to Baseball HOFer Stan Musial, whose nickname was "The Man." The Angels said that they "did not consult Pujols or his agent before launching the campaign." Pujols said yesterday, "I haven't talked to them, but I prefer not to use (El Hombre)." Angels VP/Communications Tim Mead said, "We're more aware of his feelings about that now, but I don't think his feelings are directed at our marketing campaign" (ESPNLA.com, 2/22). Mead and Angels VP/Marketing & Sales Robert Alvarado indicated that the team "does not normally seek approval from players about how they will be portrayed in ads." Mead added that "El Hombre" has a "different meaning to fans in Southern California than it does in St. Louis." Mead said, "His sentiments in St. Louis were out of respect and deference to someone else. He was saying, 'I'm not The Man, Stan Musial is.' We're marketing Albert Pujols, Angels baseball. I think there's a tremendous difference in context." In L.A., Mike DiGiovanna notes the billboards, which "cost the Angels $200,000 to lease, will come down in late March after a two-month run." Alvarado said that the team "would check with Pujols before using him in future marketing efforts" (L.A. TIMES, 2/23).