Greed wins again.
I hope Albert is happy in the American League, but my outside looking in gut feeling says he just made the worst decision of his life. He’ll be miserable. He’ll be rich beyond his wildest dreams, but miserable.
I’m sure, fans will vent their anger at DeWitt or the Angels or maybe even Pujols and his agent. I’m just sad at being reminded professional baseball is, by and large, a business. It may feel personal because just a couple of years ago Albert told the fans playing somewhere else didn’t make any sense for him. Ultimately, it was never personal. It’s business. An empty promise when dollar signs are flashing in front of your eyes.
Cardinals fans I’ve talked to are, by and large, indifferent to him moving to the AL mostly because the contract is about as stupid as one could imagine. A $254 million contract for 10 years is ridiculous money for a 31/32 (Read that as 35/36) year old player and, of course, he could not walk away from that. Hell, the 9-year, $200 million offer from the Cardinals was a stupid contract too.
Cardinals fans benefited from having him during his first eleven years and may be happy not having him in the lineup on his last ten. One has to remember, Pujols has seen his fair share of the Disabled List. He already has bad legs. The ROI will drop quickly and while he can sit on the bench and be a Designated Hitter down the road, it’s only a half-life beyond viability and not worthy of his contract.
In making a run for the money, Pujols lost the chance to be the greatest Cardinal of the 21st century. He wasn’t ever Stan Musial and now he never will be. Musial will own the records and the hearts of Cardinals fans. Pujols isn’t a Cardinal, he’s just another talented baseball player. Of course, he’s a player that LA fans will love for about the 2 or 3 years of maximum skill he will provide. I predict Angels fans will hate him and want him gone in five years. In St. Louis, he would have been loved forever.
As for the future, I refuse to pay attention until I know if the Cardinals ownership is ready to fix the giant hole. I would imagine having all that cash could mean some decent free agent signings. Can you imagine Prince Fielder at 1B in Cardinals uniform?