Tag Archives: albert pujols

Pujols Proves It’s All About The Money

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Sports is all about money. Period. It’s about getting paid, but then again in our daily lives it’s the same for us. We all want our fair share of pay and we want to be paid what we feel that we deserve. We always want the best deal possible and once we get it we are gone.

There is no sense of loyalty in our day to day jobs especially if it’s a job that we do that we hate. If the money is better elsewhere we will leave at the drop of a hat.

For sports fans we view things on the field differently. We look at athletes not as workers but as idols. We worship the ground they walk on, buy those expensive jerseys and scream, cheer and holler at the mere sight if them.

All we ask in return is some loyalty. Loyalty to us for being loyal to you. All we ask is that the man the adore so much will stay and play for the fans that made him so loved.

However, loyalty is at a premium these days as athletes have emulated the working class by chasing more money instead of working with what the home team has and being an icon for far after they have retired.

You can add Albert Pujols to that list.

Pujols left the St. Louis Cardinals today to sign with the Anaheim Angels (I will not ever call them the Los Angeles Angels ever) for a ten year 250 million dollar deal that makes him baseball’s highest paid first baseman tied with Ryan Howard.

That’s what Pujols wanted all along. He wanted to be games highest paid player at his position and apparently was willing to throw away 11 years of goodwill to get it… and he did. Honestly though, who wouldn’t?

As a fan of the game it ticks me off. Pujols was a St. Louis Cardinal. He was the modern day Stan Musial, he could’ve been the greatest Cardinal of all time and placed on the same mantel as Musial, Bob Gibson and Ozzie Smith. That was his city. He began his career there and built up a legacy that looks as if it will be hard for anyone to touch.

Pujols has 445 homeruns, 2000 hits, and won two World Series rings with the Cards. He had the city in the palm of his hands and the love and admiration of everyone involved… and he let it all go for one extra year and 30 million dollars.

The Cardinals are a small market organization that doesn’t have the deepest pockets in the world. However, they did off Pujols a 9 year, 198 million dollar deal at the beginning of the season and upped it to 10/220 this week. This is an extremely lucrative deal that would make anyone happy… Not Pujols.

The deal would’ve made him the fourth highest paid first baseman in the game behind Howard, Mark teixiera and Adrian Gonzalez. Pujols always wanted to be the highest paid player at his position and if the Cardinals weren’t going to give it to him then was willing to look elsewhere.

The Angels came knocking and Pujols is now taking his talents to the west coast.

They made the deal that Pujols wanted and he took it. It didn’t matter that Pujols was a king in St. Louis, that he was playing for the second most decorated team in baseball behind the New York Yankees or that he could’ve been the greatest Cardinal that ever lived.

All that mattered most was the money. Once he got it, he rolled out.

I have resigned myself to the fact that there are no more lifers in sports. No one wants to play for the same team throughout their entire career and jump ship when the opportunity arises.

I just had hope that Pujols wouldn’t be that guy. I was hoping he would stay in St. Louis and finish what he started and be admired for it long after he was gone. Instead he took the money and ran.

St. Louis won’t be able to replace Pujols and all he meant. They won’t find another bat to replace his production in the middle of the lineup nor will they be able to find someone who meant as much to the city as he did. Eventually the pain of losing an all-time great will leave the senses of St. Louis, however it will be a long long time and they will be reminded of it every time they stare at first base and don’t see number 5 there.

It’ll be weird to see Pujols don a different shade of red come spring training. When he puts on that bright red cap with a giant A with a halo above it in the next few days Albert Pujols begins the last chapter if his career. He is now an Angel for better or worse. He’ll hit his 700th home run there, he’ll obtain his 3000th hit there and he’ll finish his hall of fame career there.

He should’ve done it all as a Cardinal, he should’ve been loyalty to the fan base that made him as big as he is.

However, loyalty in sports doesn’t exist anymore, it’s all bout the money. As much as I despise Pujols’s decision to leave St. Louis I can’t judge him.

If a job called us up and offered any of us big a pay increase we’d leave jump ship too. That’s just how it is.

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A Whole New Ballgame For The Marlins

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You know why I’ve hated the Miami Marlins as an organization? Because they are the anti-Yankees. They don’t spend money on anything. They are like a major league farm team that brings up all of their talent and then the give it away before they have to shell out the big bucks to pay them.

They did it with Josh Beckett, they did it with Miguel Cabrera, they did it with Robb Nenn, hell I could on and on if I wanted to. Ever since their inauguration 20 years ago the Marlins have been a major seller making fire sales a routine thing.

After they won each of the World Series titles they gave away players like they were cars at an auto auction. Bobby Bonilla, Gary Sheffield, A.J. Burnett, and anyone you can think of were being sold for younger cheaper talent as the Marlins put money before wins.

they’ve routinely had one of the league’s lowest payrolls. One year it topped out at $30 million… That’s the left side of the Yankees infield, that’s the Phillies first one and two starters, that’s the Cardinals outfield.

What made things worse was owner Jeffrey Loria’s gall to blast the Yankees a few years back about how they have too much money and are what’s wrong with the game… He said this knowing damn well that he was taking $15 million dollars a year away from the Yankees, Red Sox and other franchises in revenue sharing and instead of using it to better his investment he pocketed the money.

If I were George Steinbrenner I would’ve cracked him across his knee with a lead pipe and told him to put my money to good use. I mean that’s just me.

However, this offseason is unlike any other for the Marlins. They have a brand new stadium, a new name (I know half of you were like who the hell are the Miami Marlins?), and the Marlins have the urge to get this team to another level of competition.

And they’re doing it by trying to spend money.

The Marlins have had a busy offseason in acquiring manager Ozzie Guillen from the White Sox and have offered contracts to Mark Bueherle, Jose Reyes, Albert Pujols and are pursuing closer Heath Bell.

These apparently are not the Marlins that were accustomed to.

Maybe Loria feels the pressure for tge Marlins to finally be a player in one of America’s largest sports markets. With a new stadium being built along with a whole new makeover Loria probably feels that this is the time to make the Marlins a yearly threat in the NL.

After watching The Braves make moves for years, the Phillies bolster their rotation and even the Nationals begin to make noise the Marlins feel as though relevance finally matters over money.

The contract offers to Pujols, Reyes and Bueherle shows that maybe the Marlins may finally believe in the old motto “you have to spend money to make money.”

From a baseball sense on the field the possibilities of these guys all signing and playing together would be endless. Adding Reyes to the top of the order with Emilio Bonafacio and sandwiching Pujols between Hanley Ramirez and Mike Stanton would give the Marlins the most feared lineup in the NL.

Plus the addition of Bueherle to the rotation would give them a crafty veteran to go with all that young talent and give Josh Johnson a viable number two starter behind him in the rotation.

The Marlins would immediately be a divisional contender and a player for the Wildcard.

My only question is where would Reyes play in the infield?

The Marlins first big signee two years ago was Hanley Ramirez in an effort to have a face of the franchise and show a commitment to it’s future. Do you move the franchise shortstop to second or third so Reyes can play short, or vice versa?

Ramirez is a talented shortstop who still hasn’t reached all of his potential and has a knack for laziness at times. If the Marlins obtain a few of these players would that finally get his mojo going and help him realize the potential that he has? If it doesn’t then you know Ozzie will.

Guillen has a low tolerance for BS and won’t put up with Hanley’s prima Donna act, but if these deals go through and the Marlins become the talk of the town he probably won’t have to.

Who knows if Pujols, Reyes, Bueherle or Bell will actually sign with the Marlins. The Marlins are showing that it’s all about wins now and that they are ready to put their meagerness aside and become a contender.

With a new stadium, name and philosophy the Miami Marlins are ushering in a new era in South Florida. It’s good to see them finally putting all of that money to good use.


Random Thoughts, Vol. 4

BYE BOSTON!!!

Guess what time it is… this random thoughts should be fun.

The Red Sox blew it… hahahahaahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahaahahahahaahahahah

So did Atlanta (on behalf of my buddy Brian Scully who’s a huge Phillies fan… hahahahaahahahahaahhaahahahaahahahahaha)

Two SEC teams atop the NCAA rankings… shocker

The Philadelphia Eagles are 1-3… hahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahah

(side note: I know I’m putting lots of bad karma on my side by making fun of my enemies but I don’t care because this is funny. Also a message to Steve Smith, how’s Philly treating you :-P?)

Matt Moore, Josh Collmenter, Ivan Nova and Max Sherzer are all rookies that have won playoff baseball games… Cliff Lee, Zach Greinke, and C.C. Sabathia haven’t, um….

Ohio Staters Dan Herron and Devier Posey were suspended for benefits… again… please fire Gene Smith I’m begging you.

Texas A&M has led their last two games by a combined 55-20 at the half, and lost both of them.

Jordan Jefferson wants his job back at LSU… Les Miles would be stupid to say anything other than kick rocks.

Tony Romo blew a fourth quarter lead in week 1, led the Cowboys to overtime win with a punctured lung in week 2, seemed like the only competent Cowboy in week 3, then threw away week 4… at this rate Jerry Jones will be in ICU by week 9 from all of these heart attacks.

Mark Sanchez is trash…

It hasnt been a good year in Indy

… so is his offensive line.

You think the Seahawks should’ve resigned Matt Hasselbeck?

The one team that can beat Boise State is Fresno State… the game’s in Fresno… I’ll be nervous all Friday night.

Albert Pujols better not leave St. Louis…

… same for Prince Fielder in Milwaukee

(think about it for a second, why go somewhere else to play for more money when, if your Pujols, you can stay in St. Louis and be greater than Stan Musial, or if you’re Prince, stay in Milwaukee and be the ring leader of the most fun clubhouse and atmosphere in baseball? They should both learn from Carl Crawford who took more money to play in Boston and had a miserable season there when he wanted to play for the Angels. Money isn’t everything, you have to enjoy where you play and I don’t see how Boston, New York, Washington, L.A., or anywhere can compare for either of these cats.)

Ryan Roberts has too many tattoos.

Why doesn’t the Big Ten add Toledo? They’re much better than Indiana.

Missouri in the SEC? TCU in the Big East? When did NCAA realignment become like the NFL?

All of these passing yards in the NFL are nice, wait until it gets cold and you have to run the ball more and we’ll really see who the best team in the NFL is.

Is it wrong that every time I see Calvin Johnson I do the Transformers transforming noise?

Donovan… it’s over.

South Carolina had to change their uni’s because the referee couldn’t make out the numbers because the camouflage blended in with the black… Under Armour is really failing at trying to be Nike.

Speaking of South Carolina, Steve Spurrier and Stephen Garcia = George Steinbrenner and Billy Martin?

Can't wait for Saturday.

David Stern is starting to cancel games… uh oh.

When did Jesse Palmer get so much clout on ESPN?

The Rangers demoted Sean Avery to the minors, so now what do we do with these Armani vanity glasses?

Rex Grossman has a better record than Ben Roethlisberger, Michael Vick and Matt Ryan… I need a drink.

The Colts are really bad without Peyton Manning.

(I always knew Manning was important to the Colts success, I just didn’t know he meant this much. I mean this team could beat Purdue. The fact that Manning means this much to the Colts is a mix of crazy and sad. Think about when Tom Brady went down with a torn ACL, the Pats went 11-5! Bill Belichick just plugged Matt Cassel in there and the Pats still won games. The Colts tried with Curtis Painter and Kerry Collins and it doesn’t matter it’s just not the same. If this doesn’t prove that Manning is the most important player in the league to his team then I don’t know what will.)

If Serena has one more unwarranted blowup I’m done.

Red river is this Saturday… I’ll be looking at the sidelines more than the game. Texas and Oklahoma girls… yessir!!!

You do realize that the Yankees threw the last game of the season so the Red Sox wouldn’t make it right?

Even still, that was the greatest ending to the regular season ever.

(how great was that ending? I couldn’t stop watching the Yanks-Rays or Sox-O’s at the same time. The single fact that Red Sox lost in the manner that they lost was pure poetry. To go 7-19 in September and have a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the 9th on the last day of the season only to watch Jonathan Papelbon be as sketchy as ever as he gave it away to the last place team in the division and three minutes later watch Evan Longoria line a fastball over the left field wall to clinch a berth for the Rays was movie magic. You couldn’t ask for a better script or a better ending. The best Yankees loss ever: Red Sox lost the game, the Wild Card, Terry Francona wasn’t brought back as manager and Theo Epstein might skip town too. All I need is David Ortiz on steroids and it’ll be perfect… wait a minute.)

Last one: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Taylor Hall, Thomas Eberle might be the next Wayne Gretzky, Jari Kurri, Mark Messier.

Crazy? Yes. But damn they look good already.

So happy hockey’s back.


Random Thoughts Vol. 3

OH GOD THERE'S MORE?!?!

Beginning of the month, been watching a lot of sports… yep, it’s time for another round of random thoughts.

Fernando Torres has scored one goal since being acquired by Chelsea in January… one. I always pick the best teams to follow don’t I?

The Yankees wouldn’t trade for Ubaldo Jimenez due to concerns about his velocity. In a possible trade the Rockies would’ve wanted Ivan Nova as part of the deal… Jimenez hasn’t made it past the 5th inning in 3 of his 7 starts with the Indians, Nova hasn’t lost since June… I think Cashman got that one right.

Losing to a FCS school should be like relegation in soccer shouldn’t it? Hi Oregon State.

Me at 8:30 pm last Saturday of the Boise State-Georgia game: “those Georgia uniforms are hideous.”

Me 48 hours  while watching the Maryland-Miami game: “those are the worst uniforms I have ever seen.”

Nyjer Morgan called Albert Pujols “Alberta,” does he realize Pujols is 4 inches taller and 50 pounds heavier than him?

Oregon State should probably leave this out of the recruiting package.

Baylor is mad that Texas A&M is leaving the Big 12 and possibly breaking up the conference leaving them in football limbo. Somewhere Rice, TCU and SMU are uttering to themselves karma is a mother.

Wait a minute, Kevin Durant has tattoos?

At least David Garrard and Byron Leftwich have something in common to be mad about.

The way that analysts were criticizing his QB skills you would’ve swore Tim Tebow was black.

Appalachian wants to join the FBS… after getting drubbed 66-13 by Virginia Tech they should reconsider.

Tom Brady said he would welcome back Randy Moss with open arms. I’m not saying that’s in some way related to Chad Ochocinco… but I’m saying.

So if John Isner wins the U.S. Open is his career a bigger success than Andy Roddick’s?

Utah State almost beat Auburn, BYU beat Ole Miss, and Utah beat Alabama in the Sugar Bowl years ago… maybe the SEC should stop playing teams from Utah.

Stephen Strasburg’s back, and he looks good.

(honestly it didn’t matter if the Nats lost that game or not, all that mattered was if Strasburg looked like he was the same pitcher he was before he left or not and he was. His movement and velocity were pretty darn good, he made everything look effortless and dominated a decent Dodgers lineup. If I’m the Nats and I look at a rotation with Strasburg, a rejuvenated Chien-Ming Wang, Jordan Zimmerman and John Lannon at bats like Ryan Zimmerman and Mike Morse then I’m feeling good about next year. that is if Jayson Werth can hit with that $18 million per year salary on his back.)

That Carlos Beltran deal isn’t working out so well for the Giants… shocker.

Who’s the next program to get stung by the NCAA? I’ll take South Carolina.

I’m still blinded by Maryland’s uniforms.

TIki Barber is shocked that no one threw him a bone this offseason. I mean who wouldn’t want a 36 year-old running back that hasn’t played in 5 years with tons of public baggage?

Ndamukong Suh is not dirty, he’s just playing football the way Deacon Jones would like.

It might be time for Tiger Woods to consider new career options.

This hasn't gone exactly as planned.

I will not talk about A.J. Burnett, I will not talk about A.J. Burnett, I will not talk about A.J. Burnett.

Aaron Rodgers called out Mark Sanchez for his GQ pictures. What can Sanchez respond with? Rodgers just won a Super Bowl he can say what he wants.

I think we might actually have a season without Brett Favre.

I have a feeling Luke Fickell might be more conservative than Jim Tressel.

By the way, how does Tressel get a six game suspension from the NFL for his NCAA violations?

(Goodell needs to keep college problems in college. Their penalties don’t transfer to the NFL. Tressel quit/ got fired by the Ohio State University so his 5 game suspension is pretty much obliterated. The fact that Tressel and Terrelle Pryor for that matter have carry over suspensions from college shows that maybe Goodell has too much power when it come to these disciplinary actions and should some of that power stripped. And it will be… in ten years with a new CBA. Good job NFLPA.)

Doesn’t it seem like Lance Briggs and the Bears have been beefing since 2006?

Apparently the NBA is making strides to getting a CBA done real soon. How does Wilson Chandler feel about that?

If the Philadelphia Phillies don’t win the World Series it would be a Greek tragedy.

I have a few choice words for how the Baltimore Orioles handled the makeup games with the New York Yankees and the results of those games. I can’t say them on this blog but I’ll let your mind wander.

After all of the controversy surrounding Ohio State this year how do three more players get suspended for taking benefits? I should’ve went to Ohio University.

I expected more from the Winnipeg Jets jerseys.

Mike Fisher you lucky son of a gun.

At least they weren’t Maryland’s.

(you know what’s even scarier than what we witnessed on Monday night? There are more than 12 color combinations that Under Armour has in store for this year. Under Armour is based in Baltimore, Maryland and I guess they are doing to the Terps what Nike did to the Oregon Ducks… except Oregon’s outfits look extremely cool. Oregon’s designs have flair and eye popping designs, Maryland’s are a horror show. There was way too much of the Maryland flag for any human being to take. A message to UA: emulation is the sincerest form of flattery but leave the flashy stuff to Oregon. By the way Maryland’s football team is going to make some noise this year and you should pay more attention to Danny O’Brian than his jersey.)

What Ana Ivonivic could’ve been.

Derek Jeter and Minka Kelly broke up… hide your girlfriends New York.

NHL training camps start this week…

That mean we’re a month a away from Rachel McAdams shots at Vancouver games and Carrie Underwood at Predators games.

God I love hockey.


Pujols Injury Leaves Cardinals Chances In Limbo

Losing Matt Holiday hurt, this hurts just a tad more.

This is so not cool if you're a Cards fan.

Albert Pujols will be out 4-6 weeks with a fractured left forearm. On a day where the St. Louis Cardinals had beat their instate rivals the Kansas City Royals to move into a tie for first place in the NL Central.

In the sixth inning Royals infielder Wilson Betemit hit a chopper to second baseman Pete Kozma who tried to make an over the shoulder throw to Pujols who stretched off of first base to keep the ball from going out of play. As he stretched, Betemit smashed into his left hand as he tried to beat the throw to, which caused Pujols to throw his glove down as he winced in pain.

Pujols left the game shortly after and missed a Skip Schumaker walk-off home run that put the Cardinals in first place. However, the loss of Pujols means a lot more at this point.

Pujols was starting to heat up after an abysmal start to the season. His .279 batting average is currently the worst of his professional career but it had risen from the .262 clip that he was at right at the beginning of June. His reemergence along with Holiday’s return and Lance Berkman’s surprise start had given the Cardinals the best 3-4-5 spot in the National League and were becoming a major force for pitching staffs to deal with.

With Pujols out, the Cardinals now have a huge hole missing in their lineup until at least August. With their pitching staff currently imploding with an ERA at 5 for the month of June the offense has had to do their fair share of heavy lifting to keep the Cards afloat. Now in order to stay atop of the Central things have to even out for the Cards to keep rolling.

Some options that the Cards have are moving Berkman to first and have John Jay move into right field. Jay is currently hitting .316 so the production batting wise will still be there.

However, there is no replacing Pujols. He has played in over 143 games in every season of his major league career and has not had one serious injury that has set him back. This injury will cost him that streak and do serious damage to the Cardinals playoff chances.

Not to mention it may hurt his market value in free agency. From all angles this injury could not have come at a worse time for Albert Pujols and the St. Louis Cardinals.


Baseball Preview Day 2: The Present And Future Of Prince Fielder

With free agency looming, all eyes are finally on Prince Fielder.

This is the era of the first baseman. We went through the shortstop revolution in the late 90’s with Omar Vizquel, Nomar Garciaparra, Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez and now the bulk of talent in the field has shifted to the right side of the infield.

Joey Votto was the NL MVP last year. Ryan Howard has won one as well and has a NLCS MVP to match. Mark Teixeira is a perennial all-star and considered to be the best defensive first baseman in the game. Then there’s Adrian Gonzalez, Miguel Cabrera and of course the best of them all Albert Pujols (no explanation needed.).

One guy who gets lost in the sauce is Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder.

The son of former 50 home run hitter Cecil is the same hulking mass that his father is, but is a much more refined hitter.

He’s good for close to or over 100 walks a season to go with 30+ home runs and 100+ RBI that he averages a year. He puts up Pujols on-base numbers, Howard power numbers and has improved his defense so much that he’s close to Teixeira’s level.

So why then is Fielder never mentioned on the same breathe as his associates?

It goes something like this; as talented and as big of a threat he is at the plate, Fielder is more comparable to Milton Bradley than he is to Pujols, Howard or Teixeira.

Ryan Braun maybe the Brewers franchise face, but Fielder's presence makes his job easier at the plate.

While it’s not that extreme, Fielder is rougher around the edges than his cooler fellows at first base. You will see Fielder throwing bats and gloves in the dugout after a strikeout, going chest to chest with an ump, you’ve seen him wait to beat the pulp out of Guillermo Mota after being hit. Not to say that he is too volatile, but Fielder has had his share of questionable moments.

As far as baseball goes the reason why he’s not mentioned in the same breath with the other first basemen could be due to location, geographically and divisionally and the fact that unlike the other men Fielder isn’t the face of his team.

Fielder plays in the same division as Votto, who powered the Reds to an NL Central title last year, and Pujols, who… well, is Albert Pujols. Being in the same division as two of the top 5 first basemen in the game gets you less airtime on Baseball Tonight and in the national press. What also doesn’t help his name is Ryan Braun. It’s not Braun’s fault that he’s one of the games brightest stars and since his debut 4 years ago he’s been a stud. Braun is the face of the franchise because he has an appeal and a quality about him that makes him a likeable guy.

It also doesn’t hurt to be a lifetime .300 hitter whose strikeout totals have declined each of the last 3 seasons. It also doesn’t hurt to hit in front of Fielder whose presence in the lineup allows for Braun to get the kind of at-bats that he gets.

That could change after this year.

This is a huge year for the Brewers and Fielder. With the Cardinals’ Adam Wainwright going through Tommy John surgery and the Brewers picking up Zach Greinke from Kansas City, the Brew Crew have great positioning to be the team to knock Cincinnati off of their perch in the division.

However, if they don’t resign Prince Fielder then it could be a one-year deal.

Fielder is at the end of a 2 year, 18 million dollar and is looking at a huge payday this offseason. One that the Brewers wont be able to afford unless Fielder takes a hometown discount.

Losing Fielder would be a huge blow to the team and its lineup. Despite his attitude issues Fielder is a great commercial guy and is fun loving type of player (see the team’s home run celebration when he stomped on home plate two years ago.). He is a great clubhouse guy who brings everyone together in a funny way. If he leaves the Brewers lose a fan favorite and a huge bat in the middle of its lineup.

Sure he had an off year last season but Fielder is a .290/33/110 guy with a .400 OBP waiting to happen. You can’t replace that anywhere.

Fielder is volatile, but he's also lots of fun.

His presence in the lineup makes Braun, Corey Hart and Casey McGehee so much better and gives pitchers fits. Losing Fielder would put more pressure on a rotation that is already iffy even with Greinke and Yovani Gallardo at the top.

However, the Brewers can’t pay him 20 million a year, it’s impossible. Not in that market, with that team. Their only options are to play out the year and see what happens or trade him now and get what they can for him.

If they do trade him, they’ll get a ton of talent back. Fielder is arguably a top 5 first basemen in an era where there are a ton of them to choose from.

Though he’s not a huge name like Albert Pujols, or the rising star the Joey Votto is, Fielder is one of the best in the game at his position.

Trust when I say that Fielder won’t have the same year that he had last year. This year will be huge, and someone whether it is the Brewers or another team will pay for it.


Pujols Should Realize His Legacy Is Worth More Than Money

Just because Pujols is worth 300 million dollars doesn't mean that he should get it.

I don’t think Albert Pujols is greedy, I think Pujols has every right to want to be the highest paid player in the game and in history. To put it plain and simple Pujols is the best player of this generation and in the last 50 years. His numbers rival legends, not just in the glamour categories of home runs and RBI, but in his low strikeout totals, high walks and on-base percentage. In an era of free swingers like Carlos Pena and Mark Reynolds he is the throwback to Ted Williams, Lou Gehrig and the man he looks to pass as the greatest Cardinal of all-time Stan Musial.

He’s the most productive and most feared man in the game. His at-bats are methodical, his swings are calculated, and his results are on point. He’s what you want your kid to be like; patient, smart and powerful.

There’s competition in power but not in importance. I love Ryan Howard but he isn’t the hitter Pujols is. Adam Dunn matches his homeruns and walks, but towers him in strikeouts and isn’t close in average. Prince Fielder can drive in runs but isn’t the marketable player Pujols is and has attitude issues.

You can run them down the line, Mark Teixeira, Adrian Gonzalez, Justin Morneau, Joey Votto… there are so many great first baseman in this generation, it reminds you of the shortstop revolution of the 90’s with Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Omar Vizquel and Nomar Garciaparra to name a few.

You couldn’t go wrong with any of these guys at first because they all bring the wood and are the best players on their teams. However, none of them are Pujols. Pujols is the alpha dog of alpha dogs. He’s moved into the Michael Jordan class, he’s the guy that is the league MVP year after year unless someone else has a monster year and you feel bad for the guy because Pujols is so good (hi, Joey Votto). He’s the guy you want to be the cornerstone of your franchise. If there is a guy that deserves to be the highest paid player in the game it’s him.

Pujols trumps Howard's skill, but his deal should look similar to Howard's.

However, here’s the problem even though you, me, Cardinals GM John Mozeliak and Chairman William Dewitt Jr. know all of this to be true…

Pujols is delusional. He wants a 10 year, 300 million dollar deal at the age of 31 to man first base for the rest of his career. Um, no,

As a Yankees fan I’ve seen these types of deals and the problems that they cause down the road. We’re going to be paying A-Rod 27.5 million dollars a year until he’s 42 and his production is already in decline and he’s only 3 years into the deal. We won’t be able to move him and pretty soon we’ll have a left side of the infield that can only be DH’s.

The Cardinals see this as a problem in signing Pujols to such a long deal. The odds of him continuing his all-time pace of .320/40+/120+ is silly at his age.  Eventually he will fall off, and if he does, you don’t want to be paying him 30 million per year to watch him turn into Jason Giambi.

Pujols has to understand a few things about his situation; one, He plays in a mid-level market, two, this isn’t the early 2000’s were people shell out 120-180+ million dollar deals like hot cakes, three, does he really think he expects us to believe that these talks are done until next year and four, he risks hurting his legacy.

St. Louis is not New York, Boston or Los Angeles; the money has a limit in smaller markets and has to be used carefully. The Cardinals needed to get Pujols help in the lineup and they did that with Matt Holliday. Eventually they’ll need to sign Adam Wainwright to a long term deal, giving Pujols 300 million would hinder them in the long run and with The Reds and Brewers getting stronger and stronger with their moves the Cardinals need to keep pace.

Then there’s the issue of money. Pujols is worth 300 million dollars but St. Louis would be stupid to give it to him as well as ten years. The model for the deal that Pujols should be found in what was given to Ryan Howard last year. The Phillies were criticized for bidding against themselves in giving Howard the 5 year, 125 million deal, that they gave him most said that they were merely bidding against themselves and that if he’s worth 25 million then what’s Pujols worth?

However, the Phillies did a smart thing with the Howard deal. They knew potentially in free agency Howard would have asked for a longer deal for the same amount and it would’ve drawn interest from teams like the Dodgers, Angels and others. The Phillies would’ve faced losing Howard because there was no way the Phillies would have given him 7+ years and close to 200 million dollars, so they did the smart thing by making him the highest paid player for only 5 years. That way he gets his money and by the time he’s only capable of being a DH (not like he isn’t already. Sorry Ryan, I love you but defensively you’re middle of the road and that’s being nice.) The Phillies won’t have to worry about it.

The reasonable deal for Pujols is 6 years and 180 million. He gets his money and the length is reasonable for the Cardinals to work with. The problem is that you know the Angels, Dodgers; maybe the Braves will offer more money and years and put the Cardinals in a bind. Then the Cardinals will be forced to make a decision that could cripple their finances.

With that said, for Pujols to say that he won’t talk with the Cardinals until the end of next season is highly

Pujols can move past Stan Musial as the greatest Cardinal in the franchises storied history.

laughable. If he gets the money that he feels is reasonable Pujols will sign in May, June or July. Talks are always ongoing, why do you think Carmelo Anthony is still considering signing with the Nuggets even though he’s made it clear he won’t? It’s a combination of leverage and leaving your options open.

Lastly Pujols need to be the highest player in league history could hurt his legacy in the sense of the damage that he could do that could prevent him from being the greatest Cardinal of all-time.

Behind the Yankees the Cardinals are the leagues other flagship franchise (no not the Dodgers, Cubs, or Red Sox). They are the only other franchise with double digit World Series championships (10). They have arguably the greatest pitcher (Bob Gibson) and shortstop (Ozzie Smith) in the hall of fame. Stan Musial is arguably one of the greatest hitters of all-time and recent received the Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama yesterday… and Pujols could move past all of these guys into history with the leagues second greatest franchise.

He’s going to break countless records, win about four more MVP’s, get to 600 homeruns, 3000 hits and do it all in a Cardinals jersey. He’s their version of Derek Jeter, the face of the franchise now and possibly forever until another young kid comes along and put up the same numbers. What he should realize is that in some cases legacy is more than money. Fans don’t care about the money, they care about you. You represent them, their franchise, and their pride. Fans will talk about Pujols with great joy for years after he’s gone about his presence at the plate, his play in the field and his leadership. All of this matters to the people that pay top dollar everyday to watch you play especially when you’re in contention for a title yearly.

Pujols chase for the crown of the highest paid player could alienate that, especially if drives him away from St. Louis. It changes him forever, he goes from the greatest player ever to another greedy athlete with great numbers but who didn’t respect the game. Already with his self-imposed deadline passing media relations have reached out to see if the Yankees, with their deep pockets, will make a play for Pujols even though they are comfortable with Teixeira at first.

The game doesn’t need that. Cardinals fans don’t either. Pujols needs to get realistic and see the big picture for what it’s worth. 300 million dollars isn’t worth hurting your legacy even if you deserve it. Hopefully Pujols makes the right decision for him and baseball and doesn’t let the prize of being the wealthiest player in league history hurt becoming what matters most. He should be a Cardinal until he hangs em up; no amount of money is worth staining your legacy.