JUPITER, Fla. -- Inside the Cardinals clubhouse, they marvel at Albert Pujols' focus and determination.
"That's the reason he is what he is," former teammate John Smoltz said Thursday.
Manager Tony La Russa said Pujols is "tied for first with the all-timers" in his ability to avoid so-called distractions.
"This guy (has) amazing ability to concentrate," La Russa said, "and just be totally relentless in his preparation and the way he competes.
"It's a no-brainer to say that he will not be distracted."
So why did Pujols, who on Thursday addressed his lack of a contract extension beyond this season, need to cut off talks Wednesday?
He insisted he won't re-open talks during the season, to which I asked, Why?
"Why? Look at this," Pujols said, referring to 30 or so media members surrounding him as he discussed his situation for about 25 minutes.