Girardi on his ex-teammate, Albert Pujols

April, 12, 2012
4/12/12
3:00
PM ET
Nine years ago, in Joe Girardi's final season as a player, he and Albert Pujols were teammates with the Cardinals. What stood out about Pujols was not only how great Pujols was physically, but mentally.

"I had a chance to play against him and I had chance to play with him and he is just an incredible player,"Girardi said. "He is very smart. You can say he is a great player, but he is also a very heads up player, as well. He'll take advantage if you fall asleep on him. He is a great hitter so it is a bat to be reckon with."

Pujols makes his Yankee Stadium Angels' debut on Friday. Girardi said he would have preferred if Pujols had stayed in with the Cardinals.

"I liked it when he was in the other league a lot better, I have to tell you," Girardi said
Andrew Marchand is a senior writer for ESPNNewYork. He also regularly contributes to SportsCenter, Baseball Tonight, ESPNews, ESPN New York 98.7 FM and ESPN Radio. He joined ESPN in 2007 after nine years at the New York Post. Follow Andrew on Twitter »

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Masahiro Tanaka
WINS ERA SO IP
13 2.77 141 136
OTHER LEADERS
BAJ. Ellsbury .271
HRB. McCann 23
RBIB. McCann 75
RB. Gardner 87
OPSB. Gardner .749
ERAH. Kuroda 3.71
SOH. Kuroda 146