It's been 24 long months, hasn't it? You've been at bars talking about it. You've been a work talking about it. You've been at home, funerals, car washes, hot dog stands and even baseball games talking about it. And now, your clarity awaits.
"IT" is the contract that's been hanging over St. Louis for the past two years. The biggest free agent in the history of St. Louis sports is going to have a contract soon. The team and dollars are TBD.
Starting Monday, the MLB Winter Meetings commence in Dallas TX. The Cardinals delegation will be in attendance as well as Albert Pujols' agent Dan Lozano. Traditionally this is the week where the big ticket free agents are bagged and tagged. Multi-millionaires celebrate the Holidays just like you and me.
So they're wont to not push back their negotiations too far beyond this week.
Oh, and did we mention that the hotel these meetings are being called at is the same place A-Rod signed his 252M deal back in the day?
Both sides have been dug in for some time.
The Cardinals big talking points? Worst year ever in 2011. First time on DL in 2011. No other team really in the bidding at the level Pujols wants. Past performance not indicative of future results.
Team Pujols? Iconic stature with the team and city. A historically great first 11 seasons. The opportunity to sell his milestones now and forever. The fans want the man back. Real bad.
In a vacuum, both sides have points. Pick a side and I can argue the other. But ultimately it comes down to what these two sides want.
And in our heart of hearts, we can't believe that Pujols and The Cardinals both don't want each other back. I think that the rest of the market feels the same way, hence the lack of enthusiasm for the greatest hitter of our generation.
Sure, the nasty Lozano business is making him work a bit harder to prove his worth. Sure, the Cardinals are probably being a bit cold to a guy who was wildly underpaid the past decade. But that will be water under the bridge in one way or another after this week.
Cardinal fans, it's a good week. We're going to get some closure. The worst thing in life is just not knowing. And after this week we're going to know something.
Good or bad, we're going to know SOMETHING.