One more week.
7 days from now the St. Louis Cardinals will take the field for the first game of the 2011 season, other wise known as the Pujols Farewell Tour.
In fact I hate to keep bringing this up, like some jackass that reminds everyone at the bar that most of these people are driving home drunk and killing everyone’s buzz… but this really could be the last season that we see Mighty Albert take cuts with the Birds on the Bat.
So how do we treat this situation?
Do we A- give the guy unbridled support. Regale him with the loudest ovation we can muster and hope against hope that Jose Alberto Pujols is a good man with a good heart that knows how much STL loves him and he’s just trying to lookout for his bottom line but is never, ever leaving.
Do we B- Support him as what he is- a great player on a contending team. Nothing more or nothing less. If he hits a home run or a makes a golden glove snag we cheer loudly… but we’d cheer loudly for Joe Smith who hit the game winning home run on made the golden glove snag – #5 just tends to do it more often. We respect his greatness and his past history of the team, but his deal is his deal- we stay out of it.
Do we C- Brace for the loss. Stay silent opening day and let him know that we don’t hate him, after all he’s done, but we don’t want to be Cleveland Jr. either and that until he commits to us, he’s just a guy collecting a check to play a game.
Do we D- Boo. Let him know that if he wants to go he better go ahead and just wave his no-trade clause now and at least let the Cardinals get something for the best player in baseball. He’s made it clear that he’s not ready to really be a Cardinal for life… otherwise he’d still be negotiating.
Now I already know the answer.
It’s A. STL is a town full of love for the Cardinals. They could come over to your house and slap your mother in the chops right now and you’d still pay over face value for a ticket to see the Padres on March 31st.
But is this the right tact? Are we setting ourselves up to be crushed?
Let the debate begin.