Should Albert Pujols Stay in St. Louis?

by on September 15th, 2010
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Hall of Fame-bound Cardinals first basemen, Albert Pujols, has provided St. Louis baseball fans with over a decade of unforgettable moments. Well-equipped with arguably the greatest right-handed swing of all-time, Pujols has produced a seemingly endless reel of highlight footage featuring some of the most exciting moments in baseball history. But while his tape measure shots into Big Mac Land are what we’ll see on SportsCenter after the game, it’s “El Hombre’s” Gold Glove defense and inexhaustible will to win that have helped propel the Cardinals to the postseason in 7 of the last 11 years. The question now is whether that same St. Louis icon will still be donning the “birds on the bat” come next years edition of late night sports television.

The bottom line is that Albert Pujols needs the St. Louis Cardinals as much as they need him. Not a fan base in the country will love him like the city of St. Louis does and when the inevitable decline of number 5 begins (some believe it already has), no one will remember as much as the people of St. Louis. Long after the novelty of their new stadium has worn and Albert is quite possibly hitting .260 come July, no one in Miami will be reminiscing of his back to back walk off dingers against Chicago in June of 2011. When Albert is no longer the Albert we’ve come to know and at the very least, respect the hell out of, will the fans in LA be cheering or booing for their struggling 38 year old, 200-something million dollar man?

The question he should be asking himself is: Does Albert Pujols want to finish his career out in an environment that will continue to embrace him regardless of his production and in addition, leave a legacy unmatched by any modern day player sans Derek Jeter? Or does he go for the big payday and risk a potential disaster somewhere else in which fans resent him for failing to live up to his contract and thus, hampering their team’s payroll? Only Albert knows the answer to this question but we’ll all find out exactly how big of a statue he wants outside of Busch Stadium when he finally does make his decision.

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