Backe & Pujols have words during BP

According to the story, it was over Pujols taking out Towles unnecessarily last night. Way to go Brandon.

TLR takes one of his characteristic cheap shots,

"I thought Albert did a fantastic job sliding to take his legs out," La Russa said. "The kid is not giving anybody room to slide, so that's what we teach. Slide in and take the legs out. He's going to get blasted one of these days."

It was clear from the replay that Towles wasn't blocking the plate. He was in a crouch right in front of the plate, but if Pujols had gone straight in he wouldn't have touched him.

Astros pitcher Brandon Backe and St. Louis Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols exchanged words on the field prior to tonight's game at Minute Maid Park and had to be separated by Astros manager Cecil Cooper.

The incident stemmed from a play in the eighth inning of Tuesday's game when Pujols slid into Astros catcher J.R. Towles at home plate, knocking him down. Pujols called the clubhouse 30 minutes following the Cardinals' 5-3 win and apologized for taking out the catcher.

As the Astros were leaving the field following batting pratice today, Pujols and Backe got into a confrontation.

"All there was to it was I just thought last night wasn't a very good play, and that's all there is to it," Backe said. "It's over with. Everything is said and done. He has apologized to Towles and everything's fine. He just talked to me today acting like I was pressing on about it. I don't understand where he's coming from."


Another report w/ some additional detail.

Towles said he thought Pujols slid into him instead of sliding into the plate, but that he accepted his apology and “it was over.”

Backe, a right-handed starter, said Pujols approached him and asked why he was “pressing on about it.” Pujols wouldn’t discuss it in detail, but said: “he had a problem with me calling over there.”

“You guys don’t need to make this bigger than it is,” an obviously annoyed Pujols said before walking off.

Backe had plenty to say about it though.

“I felt violated,” Backe said. “I felt like he confronted me at a wrong time. I don’t think it was very professional.”

Backe was still red-faced from the exchange several minutes after it ended.

“It’s apparent that we don’t like each other,” he said. “That’s OK. There’s plenty of other people I don’t like in this game. It doesn’t matter. The competition between he and I just escalated.”

Also, to see the play in question, follow this link and click the replay of Glaus' two-run double. The third replay near the end really shows that Pujols went out of his way to slide thru Towles, when he wasn't blocking the plate and there was no play there.


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