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Thursday, February 2, 2012
Albert Pujols to show up early

By Mark Saxon
ESPNLosAngeles.com

Los Angeles Angels slugger Albert Pujols said he plans to show up at the team's spring-training complex in Tempe, Ariz., a week before the reporting date for position players, according to ESPNDeportes' Enrique Rojas.

Pujols said he has been training at the Angels' academy in the Dominican Republic since earlier this week.

"I believe it's important [to arrive early], not just because I'm on a new team, but because for the last 12 years I've lived in St. Louis, where it's cold. I'm going to try to show up a week early to get used to the weather, to get to know my teammates and to avoid getting there a day early and having a lot of problems," Pujols told Rojas.

Angels pitchers, catchers and injured players are scheduled to report Feb. 19, with their first workout scheduled for the following day. The rest of the players are scheduled to report on Feb. 26 and begin working out on the 27th.

Pujols, who spent his first 11 seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals, is entering his first season with a new team and his first spring in Arizona. The Angels open their Cactus League schedule March 5 against the Oakland A's.

The Angels signed Pujols, a three-time National League MVP, to a 10-year, $240 million contract in December.

Mark Saxon covers the Angels for ESPNLosAngeles.com.