I am trying not to be angry right now.
But I am hurt.
I’m human. And humans have feelings — feelings that, obviously, get hurt. I understand Albert Pujols had some hurt feelings too, because Ryan Howard — a mere scrub in comparison — was making more money than him.
Once again, a professional athlete tells the world with his actions that the fans don’t really matter — that having statues erected in one’s honor, charitable foundations in one’s namesake and a universal key to the city, forever and ever and ever just ain’t worth a pass at a few extra million.
The Cardinals will be fine. Maybe they go hard after Prince now. Or maybe they just move Lance to first and let Freese and Craig become superstars hitting in front of and behind Matt Holliday. Maybe they go and get Jimmy Rollins or one of a bazillion other high value free agents.
But Albert Pujols’ legacy will not be fine. No longer will we mention him among legendary Cardinals like Gibson, Brock and Ozzie. His seat next to Stan the Man is no longer available.
That was Albert’s choice.
Pujols will be remembered as a great Cardinal, yes, but one who, in the end, was all about the money. I thank him for all the memories — memories I will hold dear to my heart until the day I die.
But now there’s no denying that those memories will always be bittersweet. And there’s nothing I can do about it. In the end, the fans don’t matter. And that’s just a reality we’re all going to have to deal with on our own.