Now that the Albert Pujols signing has had a chance to sink in a little there are a couple of snippets I found rather poignant.
"Pujols could have been Derek Jeter. He could have been Cal Ripken. He could have been Ernie Banks or Ryne Sandberg or, yes, Stan Musial. Instead he'll be Alex Rodriguez or Manny Ramirez or Gary Sheffield, just another big-bopping mercenary playing out the string in a city he chose because it offered the biggest selection of his favorite color: green."
“You shouldn’t be surprised, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be disappointed.”
Bob CostasAs a Brewers fan, having Albert Pujols out of the division and out of the league will certainly help. I also don't begrudge any player earning himself as big of a paycheck as he possible can. I don't begrudge any professional that.
But I love the game of baseball. I love it's history and it's heritage. I find it sad when something like this happens. Sad for the fans of baseball; the people who made Albert Pujols who he is.
I have been to St. Louis. It is the home of some of the most loyal and devoted baseball fans on this planet.
I feel for you.
You didn't deserve this.
And to you Albert Pujols, as you take that last $20 million to the bank - that little extra that you earned by leaving for another town - know that there is a small child in St. Louis who won't earn as much money as you do in one hundred lifetimes. But all the same, he idolizes you. He wants to grow up and be just like you. He wears red pajamas to bed and screams until he's hoarse when he comes to watch you play. He has t-shirts with your name on the back, baseball cards with your picture, bobble-heads of you on his dresser, and a lifesize FatHead sticker of you on his bedroom wall. He hits a whiffle ball over the fence in his back yard and throws his plastic bat aside like you do as he watches it fly out. Then as he runs from the swing set to the lilac bush he hisses to himself, "H-h-h-h-h. HOME RUN! ALBERT PUJOLS! H-h-h-h-h. AND THE CROWD GOES WILD!" After he touches the light pole, he runs back to his Frisbee laying in the grass and stomps on it with both feet and kisses his fingertips and points to the sky.
But these last couple of nights his red pajamas have been stained with tears. You have broken his heart Albert Pujols. His hero is gone. And by the time another like you comes along he will have long outgrown those t-shirts. The swing set will be gone, and he will be too old to play wiffle ball.
EDIT: There's an fabulous piece by Tango that presents this from a different point of view. Really well done and worth a read.