I don't know Albert Pujols very well. But, I know he is a tough guy. And I'm happy that a guy who plays through pain and injury and works as hard as he does is rewarded with the MVP--especially in this day and age of the spoiled, pampered athlete.
Pujols has produced the most impressive first eight seasons in Major League history. The talent and numbers are undeniable. But he's done it with a chronically bad elbow and a variety of other ailments. This year, he overcame a pulled calf muscle and returned earlier than expected. I don't know if he's a big vocal leader but he certainly leads by example by playing through pain. I like tough guys--in all sports. Jim Haslett is looking for a few at Rams Park these days.
When I was growing up, my dad used to tell me over and over about how great Stan Musial was. And now that Albert joins Stan as the only Cardinals to win multiple MVP's, I suspect there will generations of men telling their kids the same thing about Pujols.
I respect athletes who are both mentally and physically tough, even if they aren't that talented. Albert just happens to have it all.