Albert Pujols' agent, Angels talk

Updated: February 28, 2012, 5:50 PM ET
By Mark Saxon | ESPNLosAngeles.com

Los Angeles Angels president John Carpino said Monday the team has "handled" the controversy caused by a billboard marketing campaign using the term "El Hombre" in reference to Albert Pujols.

Angels officials have spoken with Pujols' agent, Dan Lozano, according to team vice president of communications Tim Mead.

The team still has 20 billboards around Southern California with Pujols pictured in an Angels uniform alongside the Spanish words "El Hombre." According to Mead, however, there are no futher plans to use the nickname "El Hombre" in any more marketing plans. Mead said the original plan was to use the nickname in the billboards only.

Mead said Tuesday that some billboards will remain up in Southern California until early April.

Pujols reiterated in a recent interview that he would prefer that term not be used out of deference to St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Famer Stan Musial.

"If it caused embarrassment for Albert out of respect for Stan Musial, that's the only concern of ours," Carpino said. "Stan is a baseball icon."

Carpino said the team hasn't had "any fallout" from the campaign, though team officials have received negative emails from some fans.

"It was just an aggressive marketing campaign," Carpino said.

The Angels said last week they did not consult Pujols or his agent before launching the campaign. It was planned shortly after the Angels signed the first baseman to a 10-year, $250 million contract in December.

It's an emotional issue for Pujols because he became acquainted with 90-year-old Musial in his 11 seasons playing in St. Louis. In 2010, Pujols asked St. Louis media and fans not to call him "El Hombre."

"I still have the same respect for him as I had, not just for what he's done in baseball but for what he did for his country," Pujols said Wednesday. "That's something you have to appreciate."

Mark Saxon covers the Angels for ESPNLosAngeles.com.

Mark Saxon

ESPNLosAngeles.com
Mark Saxon is a staff writer for ESPNLosAngeles.com. He spent six years at the Orange County Register, and began his career at the Oakland Tribune, where he started an 11-year journey covering Major League Baseball. He has also covered colleges, including USC football and UCLA basketball.

ALSO SEE