At about 9:00 Central time this morning, there was a terrible disturbance in the force. It was like a million St. Louis Cardinals fans cried out in agony all at once. Then the news came across the wire: Albert "El Hombre" Pujols signed a ten-year contract to play baseball for the Los Angeles (Anaheim?) Angels for $254 million. Let that sink in for a moment. That's a lot of cheese. A quarter of a billion dollars. Given the time value of money and inflation, it may only be worth about $230 million in the long run....but who's counting?
Now before the Cardinal's fans look for a tall building to jump off, next year isn't looking terrible. You get Wainwright back and have a pretty nasty rotation already. And a potential line-up that looks like this:
1. Rafael Furcal--SS
2. John Jay--CF
3. Matt Holliday--LF
4. Lance Berkman--1B
5. NL and World Series MVP David Freese--3B
6. Allen Craig--RF
7. Yadier Molina--C
Not too shabby.
Sighs of relief could be heard from all across the National League, especially in the NL Central. I think I heard five of my friends that are Chicago Cubs fans myself. You know who you are...plus I tagged you for this article...Now the question for the Cardinals is...what do you do now that the $220 million you had offered El Hombre is suddenly freed up? Prince Fielder? Big Time pitcher? Or do you continue to groom the home grown talent. Shelby Miller tore up the minors last year and don't forget about former Arkansas Razorback Zack Cox. He's can flat out hit. 2012 might not be a repeat of a World Series Crown...but a return to the playoffs wouldn't surprise me one bit.
So the question comes from my non-sports friends/relatives/fans. Isn't that too much money to give to someone to hit a baseball. The gasp you heard from my sports fan friends fills the air....easy guys. It will be ok. Actually, its not too much money, IF its used the right way. El Hombre, by all accounts, has done it the right way. His Foundation donates countless hours and piles of money to multiple causes in the Saint Louis area and beyond. He has been a tireless champion for Down's Syndrome, he has a child with it. He sponsors youth baseball leagues and fields. His foundation organizes mission trips to his home country of the Dominican Republic. And on and on...some people make buckets of money by using their gifts and talents and its a blessing to people everywhere. Does anyone think Bill Gates shouldn't have made as much money as he did? Congratulations Albert. I hope you have ten more amazing years in your career and break every record you possibly can. Until we meet in the World Series, where I hope you go O'fer!