Cardinal fans were dumped yesterday. We had an eleven year relationship with a person we thought was “the one”. We thought he cared more about us than he did a huge contract. We thought that because he said it.
“It’s not about the money every time. It’s about your family, uh you know, I’ve been blessed with $100 million which is more than what I deserve. It’s about being in the best city to play sports, you know not just baseball, sports at all. Our fans are the best.“
– Albert Pujols
I don’t know the ins and outs of what went on in his head. I figure he knew his greatness and wanted to be paid accordingly. I get that. In fact, I agree. I think the Cards should have sealed the deal long ago and not ever let him reach free agency. I’m not even indignant that he took the money. Heck, I probably would have too.
I’m sad because it’s the end of something special. Something magical. Something Ric and I have shared and watched since we met. When Albert stepped up to the plate, the whole house stopped. We watched and held our breath and saw him make history. We thought we were watching the next Stan the Man. There was such hope and promise. Not just in his current greatness, but in his future.
I know he is getting older and the next ten years are probably not going to be his best. But we saw him being a lifetime Cardinal and with that came a level of greatness statistics cannot achieve. He would have been timeless and Cardinal fans would only remember the good times he had.
Now instead, in twenty years we will just look back and remember it as an awesome decade for the Cardinals. He will not be riding in a convertible in front of the Clydesdales on opening days. I imagine the Cardinals will retire his Number 5 when he goes into the Hall of Fame, but it won’t be the same because he intentionally passed up the opportunity to start and finish his career here. Not all players have that chance. We will not think of him when we think about Mr. Musial. We will only remember Stan. “El hombre” is no more. And I am sad.