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Angle: 'Honor' to take BP with Pujols

JUPITER, Fla. -- In an unlikely cage match, one of
baseball's best hitters took batting practice Tuesday with one of
the biggest names in professional wrestling.

Cardinals star Albert Pujols and wrestler Kurt Angle took turns
slugging balls at spring training. Angle visited camp as part of
Team Eckstein, named after World Series MVP David Eckstein, a
lifelong wrestling fan. The St. Louis shortstop played the role of
manager for a professional wrestling match in Orlando earlier this
month.

Angle was working Tuesday to promote a Total Nonstop Action
Wrestling pay-per-view event that will be held in St. Louis on
April 15.

Angle took Pujols' batting pointers to heart.

"By the time he retires, he'll be considered one of the best
ever. It was an honor him telling me what to do in there. It would
be like me getting him in the ring," Angle said. "I really admire
these guys because of their work ethic and the way they go all year
long."

Eckstein managed a wrestler alongside Chicago White Sox catcher
A.J. Pierzynski in a Jan. 11 professional wrestling pay-per-view
event.

"We have one of the big stars in the game here with us today.
It's definitely a thrill," Eckstein said.

Eckstein's brother, Rick, threw batting practice for the pair.

Angle said he wants to get Eckstein in the ring in the
offseason. Eckstein and Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said that's
not likely.

"Those guys are big and very athletic. And it looks like it
hurts, too," said the 5-foot-7, 165-pound Eckstein.

La Russa said he doesn't expect his shortstop to risk injury by
entering a professional wrestling event.

"I think David is going to be [Angle's] towel man," La Russa
said.