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Pujols 'stood out,' Sosa says

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic -- If Sammy Sosa had a vote for the NL MVP, he would've picked Albert Pujols over Barry Bonds.

"Bonds had good numbers and has a name in the game, but Pujols
deserved the award more than anybody," the Chicago Cubs star told
The Associated Press on Wednesday night after returning home to the
Dominican Republic.

Bonds got 28 of 32 first-place votes and 426 total points from
the Baseball Writers' Association of America in results announced
Tuesday.

Bonds hit .341 with 45 home runs and 90 RBI. The San Francisco
outfielder became the only player to win three consecutive MVP
awards, winning his sixth overall.

Pujols finished second, receiving three first-place votes and
303 total points.

The St. Louis slugger's .359 average led the majors and he had 43
home runs and 124 RBI. Sosa said his countryman's accomplishments
overshadowed those of Bonds and others.

"No player in the National League stood out more than Pujols in
2003," Sosa said.

This homecoming is special for Sosa because baseball
commissioner Bud Selig and other Cubs players will hold a
celebration Saturday to honor Sosa for becoming the first Hispanic
player to reach 500 homers.

Sosa, who turned 35 on Nov. 12, hit 40 homers this year. His
total of 539 puts him 10th on the career list.