Pujols insists he's not thinking beyond next at-bat

Wed Apr 23, 2014 7:38pm EDT
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By Steve Ginsburg

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - One day after joining baseball's exclusive 500 home run club, Albert Pujols insists he is not concerned with reaching another longball milestone.

Let the fans and the media talk about 600 or 700 home runs, Pujols said, adding that he's not even thinking about homer number 501.

"You can't read the future. It's still going to be the same goal that I've had from day one - and that's about winning," the Los Angeles Angels slugger told reporters Wednesday.

"It's about taking care of the 25 guys (in the clubhouse) and representing the name across my shirt. Before you get to 600 or 700, you need to get to 501.

Pujols clubbed two homers against the Washington Nationals on Tuesday, the second enabling the 34-year-old first baseman to become the 26th major leaguer to hit 500 home runs.

He contends that he will feel no differently at the plate now that the highly anticipated benchmark has been reached.

"I'll feel the same way that I've felt for 14 years," he said. "Probably better than the last couple of years because I'm healthy now. I can tell you that for sure. My approach is not going to change."

Pujols won the World Series with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2011 and then signed a 10-year, $240 million contract with the Angels before the year was out.   Continued...

St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols spits in the dugout during Game 2 of the MLB National League Championship Series baseball playoffs against the Milwaukee Brewers in Milwaukee, October 10, 2011. REUTERS/John Gress