It's close to 2 p.m., in the home clubhouse at Tempe Diablo Stadium. The field has been dragged, the tarp sits on the pitcher's mound and almost all of the 63 other Angels players in camp have driven back to their condos.
Albert Pujols walks in from the trainer's room, bulky ice bags taped atop each of his 33-year-old knees and sweaty workout clothes still on his back. Like always, he got here at 6:30 a.m., when the sky was dark, the wind chill was fierce and the facility was barren. And as usual, he'll leave a little after 3, still plenty of time to rest up for another day of doing it all over again.
Pujols has won two World Series, three Most Valuable Player Awards, signed one of the largest contracts in history and could be a Hall of Famer in five years if he retired today.
But something keeps pushing him.
"I'm still hungry," he said. "I still need to be here early, do my work, do my preparation. That's something that is never going to change. When you see it changing, that's probably because I stopped falling in love with the game; that the love is fading away. I don't think that's going to happen, because before that happens, I prefer hanging up the jersey."
Pujols still has healthy appetite for success
MLB.com | Feb 21