I snorted crack of his wife's eyeball. Man up Wain-O.
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…no comments
Pretty boring week, huh?
The Cardinals finally were made whole this morning when free-agent signing Lance Berkman arrived in Jupiter (not counting Jimmy Baseball, whereabouts unknown) and have yet to play even an intra-squad scrimmage… but they have produced the two biggest stories of the spring training season so far.
Stan Musial was presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Tuesday at the White House. Do yourself a favor and read Bernie’s article on it (LINK HERE). Something that hasn’t been discussed with this whole deal is how one time in High School I convinced Coach Mac that Stan was featured on this Spice Girls song (LINK HERE). One of my proudest moments of my academic career.
And yes, I went to public school in KY for college.
Albert Pujols made an arbitrary deadline to sign a contract and then didn’t sign a contract. He did, however, arrive in Jupiter on Thursday and charm the ever loving pants off every reporter. Note to the Cardinals: were we really that surprised that the 100 or so media people on site wanted to talk to Pujols? Would a table and chair for the big guy been such a put-out? It’s 2011, guys. Having sidewalk circles when the ESPN boys are in town just makes everyone look like amateurs.
Also- has anybody mentioned that Pujols didn’t really need to mention he had a deadline, did he? I’d have to imagine that Shaq Vs Pujols was a bigger ‘in-season distraction’ than getting a text from your agent with the latest numbers the Cardinals are offering. But whatever.
So less than a week in, the Cardinals are going to have to work hard to top themselves in the media attention department. Perhaps Rasmus can demand a trade early? Or maybe a Miggy Cabrera, David Freese, TLR all-nighter caught TMZ style?
It’s not going to be an easy job.
Now, the Friday Links…
My real vent is with the fact “Albertageddon” or whatever overshadowed Stan’s day. Not that Albert intentionally did so but this start of spring training deadline is ridiculous. I love Albert Pujols for what he’s brought to the Cardinals and the City of St. Louis, but the way this has been handled so far is not good. Trying to avoid distraction it’s created an epic one. It’s obvious that team Pujols wants to test free agency and this manufactured deadline is the perfect alibi. I’m pretty sure Albert is more than capable of hitting balls off a tee and participating in other spring training drills while his agent negotiates. That’s what an agent’s for champ.
Regardless, it is what it is. As most of us have said I’m really not surprised he’s choosing to hit free agency. We have no idea of the terms on the table but I’m sure they’re a far cry from 10yrs/300mil. And of course SI’s Jon Heyman had the breaking news that an ‘unnamed competing executive’ believes that the Chicago F’n Cubs will indeed offer Albert that A-Rod type deal he’s looking for should he become a free agent. I’m not a fan of Jon Heyman by any means but I understand he’s just doing his job. Stir the pot to get hits on the website. Opening day can’t get here soon enough.
It would be juvenile and irresponsible to be venting over a non-event (I should probably check to make sure none of you fine bloggers are cussin' up a storm before I hit send).
Oh, there's plenty to vent about, but most of it would be in the direction of the MLB Players Association who so desperately wanted this contentious process when they lobbied for free agency in the 60s.
Since the genie is out of the bottle in the other professional sports, it is something that we all have to accept if we are to continue enjoying America's pastime.
Aaron Hooks said it perfectly yesterday, this is a negotiation. So far it has been done very professionally, and there is no reason to believe it won't continue in that manner. Every day that it does, we will learn more. We will learn about Albert's health, his ability to produce under pressure that he's never experienced over a long period, and whether or not that 10yr/$300M market actually develops.
All the passing deadlines proves is that both sides at the negotiating tables are shrewd businessmen. If a deal had been done, either the front office paid too much or Albertaccepted too little. Both sides were too smart to let that happen.
Exhale everybody, we still have another 9 months of this. Fortunately there will be at least 162 regular season games before any of this gets really serious.