Sunday, October 23, 2011
Where Albert Pujols Proves Everyone Wrong
I've written many times before (here and here and here and here and here) about the decision the Cardinals will have to make in the upcoming months about whether to resign Albert Pujols at the price he will command ($25-27 million for 8 years), or to let him go to another team in free agency. My general view has been that Pujols is entering his decline phase, that his productivity will inevitably decline going forward (he's 32 now), and that the Cardinals will be better off in a purely objective baseball sense if they let Pujols go and replace him with Allen Craig in right and Lance Berkman moving to first base. (In other words, unleash the Craigen!)
That being said, baseball is not a purely objective sport, at least from the fan's perspective. Pujols had a down year, but he's lifted his game to a special territory down the stretch, and he's lifted the Cardinals to the point where now they are within two games of winning a World Series. Last night bordered on the mythical: three straight home runs, five hits, six RBIs, in a 16-7 rout of the Rangers. How much is a power-hitting firstbaseman worth? Not $27 million. How much is a mythic baseball figure being the face of your franchise for the next fifty years worth? Priceless.