April ends Monday. Nearly one full month of baseball has gone by. Albert Pujols is still looking for his first home run.
"I don't try to hit home runs," he told me in a Saturday morning conversation at Progressive Field. "I know I can hit home runs. Whenever they come, they're going to come. I'm trying to have good, quality at-bats.
"I'll leave you guys (to) play the little game about how many at-bats I have without hitting a home run. It's part of the game. I don't care about that. It's a long season. At the end, my numbers are going to be there and nobody's going to talk about what happened in April."
Pujols is partially right. If his numbers are there at the end of the season - and I'll wager that he finishes at 80 to 85 percent of his 2011 performance - then we won't fixate on his historically poor April. But it's becoming harder and harder to dismiss his career-long season-opening homer drought as a statistical anomaly, because of two concurrent trends:
1 ... Pujols is not ...