For the first time since 2000, the St. Louis Cardinals’ roster on the team’s official website is missing the name Albert Pujols. And while that’s simply routine procedure, it is certainly cause for panic and dismay in Baseball City, USA, with free agency well under way. Pujols is arguably the top free agent available, unless you see Prince Fielder’s youth as an advantage to Pujols’ upcoming “32nd” birthday or Jose Reyes’ value as a shortstop more appealing. And I hope that you do, as I also hope most general managers see it that way as well so it becomes that much easier for the Cardinals to re-sign Pujols and let him finish his career where he started.
Alas, with the free agency period beginning, the rumor mill cranks into full gear as well. My favorite rumor of the day is one that most people surely saw coming – Tony LaRussa and Albert Pujols joining Theo Epstein and the Chicago Cubs.
Nothing is ever out of the question when it comes to the almighty dollar, but I seriously doubt that LaRussa and Pujols are arrogant and just flat out dickheaded enough to not only stab the entire city of St. Louis in the back, but burn it to the ground as they leave. In fact, as much as this scenario would drive me beyond the brink of sanity, I’m almost curiously willing to see it happen. I think it would be the most fascinating villain turn in professional sports history. It would make LeBron James and Hulk Hogan look like Vatican Boy Scouts.
But just in case there’s a snowball’s chance in Hades that LaRussa and Pujols would pull off this coup, I have stocked my sex cave, er, bomb shelter with plenty of pickled eggs.