- Associated Press - Thursday, May 12, 2011

CHICAGO (AP) - Cubs general manager Jim Hendry brushed off the hubbub over a hug with Cardinals’ star Albert Pujols before Tuesday night’s series opener.

Pujols, the Cardinals’ superstar first baseman, could be a prized free agent after the season. Hendry said the greeting had nothing to do with business and the two simply discussed their families.

“I have a good relationship with Albert,” Hendry said. “We’d have that if he wasn’t the best player in the world. I told you guys in spring training I wasn’t going to be any different to him than I have been in the last eight or nine years. Great guy, great player.”

Pujols told the St. Louis Post Dispatch the hug was much ado over nothing. It was just a greeting between two people who respect each other.

“He’s on the other side. I’m on our side. I just think it’s kind of ridiculous,” he said.

The Cubs’ current first baseman, Carlos Pena, is playing under a one-year, $10 million contract.


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