Do you believe in signs?
Because if you do, the sudden passing of Cardinals co-owner Andrew Bauer Sunday just prior to the teams first full workout of 2011 doesn’t seem to be an encouraging one.
Not to make light of the situation. By all accounts Mr. Bauer seems to have been a great member of the St. Louis community and respected part owner of the team. That being said, the Cardinals haven’t played even an intrasquad game and they’ve had 2 season-shifting stories dropped right in their laps.
It hasn’t been said much publically, but this Pujols ‘deadline’ was a complete detrimental construct of him and his agent. It’s understandable that he doesn’t want to deal with the distractions of negotiations during the season… but he’s also got to know that putting some sort of self-imposed deadline on when he will or won’t sign will also create a huge amount of drama sooner rather than later. Every single thing we saw last week? We could and probably should have seen in November.
Yet, Pujols did what he thought he needed to do. Perhaps he could have kept the ‘deadline’ under wraps as well and just let the Cardinals know his intent wasn’t to negotiate. Or better yet, tell his agent what he wants and leave it up to him to get it. When that price is met, he can sign. He doesn’t really need to know anything other than – hey, we need a signature, man. Or – hey, they didn’t come through and now you’re a free agent, man.
Common sense. It isn’t prevalent in sports.
Now the untimely passing of a co-owner again provides more drama around a team that was just getting over having to no comment the shit out of some other dudes negotiations. Which, when you think about it, kind of sucks. Would you like the press asking you about your co-worker rejecting 50 times more money than you make? These guys are professional athletes. They have massive egos. Deep down all those questions do is build resentment on some level. It’s not healthy for any team to have this situation and you can’t convince me otherwise.
And while I can’t speak on how close Mr. Bauer was to any of the Cardinals players or coaches, I can tell you that sometimes sports seasons get going in a certain direction and they don’t tend to do 180’s.
The Cardinals have overcome their fair share of death in the TLR era. And Pujols will again settle into being Pujols- so it’s not like we’re sounding the death knell for the 2011 campaign just yet.
However, the stories trending this spring aren’t ones that are good for business. We’ll see what the next piece of news that hits is…