Imagining Life Without Pujols

sad boy.jpgIf the 13+ year friendship with my gloomy and oft perfunctory colleague, Mr. Allen Krause, has taught me anything, it has taught me that the pipe dreaming, star chasing default drive of my youth would be better served with a hard, double dose of good old fashioned realism.

Because despite my enthusiasm, the reality of the situation is this:

Erin Andrews isn’t going to sit on my lap.  Lucy Liu isn’t going to give me a full body massage (with a whip).  And Albert Pujols might not be a Cardinal forever.

I hate it.

I hate all of it.

I want what I want ‘cuz I’m human and needy and, from time to time, self-serving.  I don’t want to be that way, but sometimes I just can’t help it.

The hard truth right now is that negotiations between the St. Louis front office and Albert Pujols’ representatives aren’t going too well.  Or, to be more accurate, they’re not going… at all.

And in times of realistic despair it’s best to take a step back and assess the situation:

What can I, Jeff, the Cardinals fan, do about any of this? 

Nothing.  I can do absolutely nothing.  Sure, I can wait anxiously and dream and hope and yearn… but in the end, I can really do nothing that will have any affect on the outcome. 

I can only control myself.  No one else.  That’s it. 

And the most successful, most respected people I have come to know in this life all seem to have a pretty good grasp of that idea — that the only thing you can control is you yourself.

I know this: I was a Cardinal fan before Albert Pujols.  And I’ll sure as hell be a Cardinal fan after Albert Pujols, whether his number is retired on the Busch Stadium wall or hanging high at Wrigley Field on a background of Cubbie blue pinstripes.*

So with that admittedly uncalled for bit of uberpessimism, I implore you, fellow Redbird crazies, join me… take a deep breath… and picture a hole at first base.  Pretend the baseball gods are drunken a$$h0les and Chris Duncan somehow made it back to the ‘Lou… his Lurchian frame is manning first base.  Every.  DAY.  Yeah.  It’s true.  Picture it… see it… cry about it for a while (I will)… but know that it won’t be the end of the world… we are the St. Louis Friggin’ Cardinals and our birds-on-the-bat laundry is worth more to me, to you, to the entire city of St. Louis, then one single person.  That interlocking “S.T.L.” incorporates a lifetime of emotions.  It has always been there for me.  Like a good parent, or a best friend, it has never let me down, because it always shows up and it always gives its best. 

And if the greatest player I’ve ever laid eyes on can’t be a part of that anymore… then, so be it.

Like any tough breakup, it will hurt like holy hell.  And I mean really, really hurt.  But… life will go on, time will numb the pain, and something better might even come along.

I hope.

Otherwise I’m gonna look like a real dick.

Hate me, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.



*Yes, I vomited. Many, many times after writing that sentence.


  1. blithescribe

    Wow. My suggestion? Calm. Breathe. Bourbon (Beer, wine, whatever). Breathe some more and postpone the combination eulogy and rallying cry until you hear some actual news. My powers of parody are alluding me at the moment but the thought your post brought to mind was some sort of baseball Silhouettes on the Shade or Fool in the Rain where you think that it’s Pujols’ silhouette you see walking up the tunnel into Wrigley but, really, it’s just one of the front office staffers and the real Albert is comfortably seated in St. Louis signing a contract…granted, it’s very easy to offer the stay calm advice when it’s not my team.
    – Kristen

  2. ronlang44

    A diehard fan stays with their team always. No one player is greater than the team. Yet, Pujols is a SPECIAL player and I cannot understand why the Cards brass have not offered him a deal that he would accept. He’s the best player in the game and makes everyone in that lineup better. I still believe that the Cards will get a deal done soon, but I am quietly hoping they don’t and the Cubs load up a brinks truck (or two) and sign him.


  3. raysrenegade

    You know me by now.
    So what I am about to stay is for your protection.
    Step 1:
    Find a nice quiet cubbyhole, bring along a liter of your favorite beverage and consume until you do not remember who Pujols is anymore.
    By the time you either sober up, or become bunk mates with Charlie Sheen in rehab, Pujols will have sliced and diced and made his peace with a solid new bushel of money for him to sleep on peacefully in 2011.
    If not, rinse yourself off at the nearest car wash abd repeat Step 1 until reality come back 3/4’s circle.

    Rays Renegade

  4. redstatebluestate

    Russel — Bite your tongue!
    Kristen — Thanks for the advice… this is tough. Real tough. Johnnie and Jack got my back though 😉
    Ron — I feel like the entire Northside is on this…
    RR — Thanks for the help. Fingers crossed!

  5. cubbiesfan98

    Sorry, I’m gonna have to disagree with almost all of Cubbie Nation here. I don’t want Pujols on the Cubs, he’s a true Cardinal. -gag gag- I want Pena to put up monster numbers this year and get a multi-year deal.

    There’s Always Next Year

    P.S. Did I mention he would scare the kids away from Wrigley?

  6. Phillies Outside

    It is possible for dreams to come true… so keep believing and one Erin may sit on your lap, the you’d be free to discuss anything that came up….

    As for AP, lets face it the place he’d feel comfortable outside of STL would be in Texas with the Rangers, he’d be able to slip out during BP for a quick prayer, until the Ranger officially turned their stadium into a house of worship then he wouldn’t have to leave and they’d be free of taxes and all the other crap that goes with believing in invisible friends and prehistoric best selling stories. So there you have AP to the Rangers, so forget the sCrUBs being an option….

    and back to reality… remember Erin is still viable….


  7. redstatebluestate

    Peter — HA! Dude, that cracked me up… mostly cuz it’s true.
    Prince — Thanks for the encouragement!

  8. redstatebluestate

    Jane — I just had a birthday, so I feel a bit older and wiser. Maybe that’s why. The long man crush still stands though. For the record 😉

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