Contrary to popular belief, baseball is fine by me. The thing is this, it’s 1000x better when watching it in person. The second coming of Peter Gammons I am not, but I still manage to keep up with the happenings in the sport formerly known as America’s past time – the NFL has that spot now and the NBA’s popularity is skyrocketing these days, sans the lockouts, of course. Baseball’s biggest star, Albert Pujols, has been having a year tagged as everything from odd, to subpar to jinxed. Prior to the season starting, “The Machine” was arguably the biggest headline in the sport with his “contract year” dominating the cooler talk. Then, he hugged the Cubs general manager Jim Hendry. Then, he began the season with an uncharacteristic start struggling to find his now legendary offense.
Now, just when the skies were beginning to clear up for the former MVP, bad news rears its head again in the realization of an athletes worst nightmare. No, not a disgruntled mistress, but rather an injury. Pujols collided with the Kansas City Royals’ Wilson Betemit after a play at first which the Cards are reporting a fractured forearm will sideline the slugger for four-to-six weeks. Given what I know about baseball, I have three thoughts on this.
1. The Cards have a serious case of the injury bug. They lost Adam Wainwright before the season started for Tommy John’s Surgery and have dealt with a laundry basket worth of afflictions. That being said, this doesn’t eliminate St. Louis from anything. What it does make the NL Central title fight with the Reds and Brewers a little more interesting from late-August/early-September.
2. Is this one more reason not to watch the All-Star Game next month?
3. As my friend Ryan put it, “He’s probably the only guy that doesn’t need a contract year to get a max deal.” He’s right. Come November or December, some team out there is going to give this guy $30M a year.