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Pujols: Unresolved Contract Won't Be Distraction

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Albert Pujols said he hopes to remain a Cardinal for the rest of his career (Photo: MLB) Albert Pujols said he hopes to remain a Cardinal for the rest of his career (Photo: MLB)

By TIM REYNOLDS
AP Sports Writer

JUPITER, Fla. - Albert Pujols says his unresolved contract status with the St. Louis Cardinals is not going to be a distraction for him or his team this season.

Pujols spoke for 25 minutes before his first workout of spring training Thursday morning, saying he "has so much respect" for the Cardinals organization.

The Cardinals and Pujols did not agree on a new contract before the three-time MVP's self-imposed Wednesday deadline. Pujols says, "You have to put a deadline ... because you don't want to bring distractions to the ballclub."

Pujols says he feels as good as ever physically, wants to remain a Cardinal for the rest of his career, and adds that he believes St. Louis can be in the World Series mix this season.  

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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