Waiting for Albert ...

Baseball's best power hitter strolls to the plate at 7:17 p.m. Thursday and a stadium grows silent. A dozen games ago those fans were standing, but they have long since been left hanging, so now they are plopped on their hands and stilling their hearts.

When is Albert Pujols going to hit his first Angels home run?

This is a masher who has hit an average of one homer every 14 career at-bats, yet entering the game Thursday against the Oakland Athletics he had gone 49 at-bats without one. His first two weeks as an Angel without one. A $240-million contract without one.