Albert Pujols, I love you.
It’s been 11 years, man. 11 years we’ve been together. From the very first game you ever played on Monday April 2nd 2001, it’s been a torrid affair. You, going out pretty much every game and killing it. Me, traveling far and near telling everyone that would listen and some that wouldn’t just how great you are. Us, sharing in some pretty spectacular times and some gut wrenching lows.
You didn’t know me, Albert. But we were a team.
And as much as you prayed about your decision to leave me for 250 million dollars to move to LA, something tells me the big guy upstairs didn’t remind you just how many people ‘ME’ really is. Because ‘ME’ isn’t Aaron Hooks. Me is 45K people that pack Busch Stadium 81 times a season. Me is the million people that live in St. Louis. Me is Cardinal Nation as a collective that believed that were special.
Today, Albert, you proved us all wrong.
Nothing can change 445 home runs. Or the 2,073 hits Or the multiple MVP awards. Those are part of our history together. But when you said money wasn’t the most important thing, you should have clarified – the money was the only thing. Because you knew the limitations of what your Cardinal family could provide and when they went above and beyond, you used them for leverage to get more jack from someone else.
More power to you, bub. You’re an American now and it’s a free market. You got the most money. You lost the most currency.
Up until around 8:30 this morning, I really, truly believed that you were a smart enough man to understand what you had in St. Louis. The unequivocal support. The rapt attention of everyone. The adulation of everybody. That you had an real grasp on how iconic you could have made yourself to the Cardinals, and by proxy, St. Louis. That the value of guys like me, constantly beating the drum on your excellence and your charity work would be worth more over the long haul than an extra 30 million dollars right now.
You pissed on that, Albert.
Now you’re headed to Los Angeles. To be a big star. And I’m sure that you’ll find some really nice people that are going to clap really loud for you the next few years. They’re going to tell you how much they love you and how great you are for LA.
Then you’re going to decline in baseball production, Albert. It’s OK, It happens to the best of ‘em. And when that happens, you’re going to find yourself in a lonely spot. LA doesn’t look back fondly on anything. It’s at this point, you’re going to come crawling back to me, Albert.
Save your fucking time, sir.
You have every right to take more money and not play baseball for my team. I’ve got rights, too. And I’m exercising my right to tell you to pound sand. Enjoy the warm weather and the big paycheck Albert. But when you finally realize how good you had it with me – and you WILL – I’ll have moved on.
I’ll still have the good times, sure. And I do appreciate all the good times more than you know. But I’m done with you Albert. I’ve started the process of moving on. And frankly, I never thought I’d say this, but I don’t give a shit about what you do from this day forward. None of us do.
In the end, I don’t think there’s a more appropriate song ever than Wilco’s ‘Glad It’s Over’:
“I’ve said what I want, to put it mildly. I hate you 100%... I mean that kindly.”
Thanks for everything. And nothing.