Albert Pujols apparently feels like his words have been lost in translation.
In an interview with USA Today, Pujols said his recent comments about Ryan Howard's unworthiness as National League MVP were misinterpreted and he wants to apologize to the Phillies' slugging first baseman.
"I feel so bad because I love Ryan Howard," Pujols told USA Today. "I never said he didn't deserve the MVP. He is deserving of that award. He earned it. That's why he got it. I'm not trying to defend myself; I just want to tell him that I'm sorry for all of this because he earned the MVP. The last thing I want to do is spoil this for him."
Speaking in Spanish at a news conference in the Dominican Republic last week, Pujols was quoted as saying: "I see it this way: Someone who doesn't take his team to the playoffs doesn't deserve to win the MVP."
Pujols told USA Today he was hurt at how his comments were portrayed in the media.
"The way that came out hurt me big time," Pujols told the newspaper. "I'm very angry about that."
Pujols, who finished second to Howard in the MVP voting, led the Cardinals to the NL Central title this year and their first World Series championship since 1982. Howard and the Phillies missed the playoffs -- though they won two more regular-season games than St. Louis.
The Dominican-born Pujols batted .331 with 49 home runs and 137 RBI, while Howard hit .313 with 58 homers and 149 RBI.
Howard got 20 first-place votes for MVP and 388 points in balloting by a panel of the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Pujols received 12 first-place votes and 347 points. Voting is conducted before the postseason.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.