Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Blago To Head to Prison, Pujols Headed Back to St. Louis?

Land of non-Lincoln: I wanted to take a break from the presidential race for a minute and think about what's just happened in my home state, although I'm not sure I actually want to do that. Rod Blagojevich just got sentenced to 14 years in prison. Apparently, the court doesn't think favorably of a governor who tries to auction off a U.S. Senate senate. Who knew? I suppose it's hardly a surprise Illinois has another crooked politician. We all hear about the jokes of Chicago's unseemly political world. But the whole state gets blanketed in this humiliation. Blago is one of 4 Illinois governors to get nailed for breaking the law in the past half century. 4! What a disgrace. At least these crooks introduced bipartisanship into this. 3 are Democrats, 1 a Republican. And they were creative with their graft: taking money for drivers' licenses, payoffs from the horse race industry and bad loans. Oh, the home state pride that fills me so.

Speaking of my home state...Albert Pujols has a chance to prove he isn't just all about the money. If reports are true that his St. Louis Cardinals and Miami Marlins are waging a bidding war for his services with what will end up being a crazy contract, then this story had better end with Pujols back in St. Louis. I'm not saying I think it's wise for the Cards to give him a 10-year, $220 plus million deal. I worry this could have severe ramifications down the road when Pujols is an old, broken down ballplayer and the Cards are stuck with an unseemly contract. I don't know that I would ever think a 10-year deal is wise, even for a player who's in his early 20s. But for a player like Pujols who will be 32 when the season begins? No way. Having said that, it's not my money and if teams are crazy enough to to throw it at him, then they'll have to live with the consequences. Pujols is a truly amazing ballplayer, perhaps, the greatest player since I've been alive. He is revered in St. Louis. And he does amazing things with his foundation to help children, like his son, with Down's Syndrome. But he also gets way too much positive press for a player who does what he wants on the field, constantly walking that line between confident and arrogant. I hope his reward for the fans isn't to nickel and dime the Cards into offering a few bucks more than a rival bid. I mean, after you get a $220 million dollar offer, do you really need to push for more? Ask some of the 13 million Americans out of work and see what they think.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Frankly, it's crazy for any ballclub to pursue Pujols at this contract level, EXCEPT the Cards. He has reached legendary status, especially in St. Louis… we can’t let the organization become the Red Sox who let the Bambino get away, you know? At this point, the franchise is paying for the “institution” of Albert Pujols and his marketability for the organization well beyond his playing career. He works hard, keeps his nose clean, lives a charitable life and if all works out with this deal, is going to be an asset well beyond player stats in the future of the organization.

No one is expecting him to have 10 years of "Awesome" left in him, but he will provide solid baseball, leadership, and his legacy. That's worth something in the overall.

Now all that said... we paid way too much for Holliday :)