Albert Pujols signing with the St. Louis Cardinals

Is it bad for baseball if Albert Pujols leaves St. Louis?

12/6/11 in MLB   |   Dan_B   |   1067 respect

The Miami Marlins reportedly offered Albert Pujols a 10-year contract today. These are the same Marlins that allegedly thought that the 31-year-old Pujols was faking his age. For 31-year-old (or older) first basemen, even as talented as Pujols, 10-year contracts don't just fall out of the sky everyday.

Throughout the lead-up to Pujols' free agency and the courtship between he and his former team, the St. Louis Cardinals, I always had the sense that there was a lot of postering going on on both sides of the negotiating table and that Pujols would inevitably be back in Cardinal red next season. After all the league's biggest spenders--the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox--have first baseman in Mark Teixeira and Adrian Gonzalez respectively who are locked up for quite a while.

But with today's development I'm not so sure. The Marlins seem to have learned from the Miami Heat and are pursuing a mega-team centered around a few stars--Hanley Ramirez, Jose Reyes and perhaps, Pujols. For me, this is something I expect from the NBA, thanks to it's smaller rosters and reliance on individual skills, but not Major League Baseball. Yes, you could argue the Yankees have assembled all-star rosters, but I don't think it is on the same level as the NBA conglomerations.

Call me a traditionalist (albeit a young one), but this makes me sad. I don't want to see Albert Pujols in teal. A player of his caliber, that has meant as much to a sports town as Pujols has (2 World Series rings), should be a redbird for his whole career. Just as George Brett was a Royal, and Robin Yount a Brewer and going back further, Mickey Mantle was a Yankee, Albert Pujols is a Cardinal. If St. Louis, the team with the second-most World Series titles of all time, can't hold on to its stars, what does that say for the rest of the league?

There is no simple answer to that question. Sure when Stan Musial was a Cardinal there wasn't free agency and players weren't afforded their free market rights. And it is completely understandable for Pujols to want to go to the highest bidder--no one needs an economics degree to understand that.

Sure you can say that Pujols should give the Cardinals a hometown discount, and yes, there are players who have done that, but it's hard to expect a player to.

Players leaving smaller markets for larger markets is nothing new. In fact, it's a surprise when players buck that trend. It is also why smaller market teams try to buy out arbitration years with long-term deals. But frankly, Kansas City Royals fans probably know that their time to enjoy Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas is now, because once they are free agents, they are goners.

But this isn't about small market versus big market. Heck, I root for the New York Yankees and love that they spend money like it's going out of style. I'd rather it be used on the team than end up burning a hole in a Steinbrenner pocket.

Instead this is about tradition. There is a certain class of players that you sense an aura about them--they are the ones dads tell their sons to watch especially closely because they do everything fundamentally correctly on a baseball diamond. Cities deserve those every now and again. Kansas City had Brett, Milwaukee had Yount, Philadelphia had Mike Schmidt, San Diego had Tony Gwynn, Baltimore had Cal Ripken Jr. and New York has Derek Jeter. They weren't going anywhere, and neither should Pujols. 

But, alas, there are other factors. Egos, money, business. Maybe Pujols will end up in Miami, but count me in the group that hopes otherwise. 
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12/8/11   |   ML31   |   3675 respect

Still has Berkman at 1B and once Craig is healthy, you have Holliday, Jay and Craig. Now they can go after Rollin for SS and they still have Molina, Carpenter, Wainwright, Garcia, Westbrook & Lohse.

Haven't they had all that AND Pujols before?

12/8/11   |   ML31   |   3675 respect

(Edited by ML31)

Not entirely surprising...   Still think 10 years is pretty stupid.

Metheny has just become a little less good manager than he would have been.

12/8/11   |   Miguel94   |   874 respect

I would like to see him stay put in St. Louis. He has a rare opportunity to as a superstar to set an example, and be one of the special players to stay loyal to one team.

12/7/11   |   ohwell_   |   16445 respect

I think my pictures through this thread into a cluster.  Edit anyone???

12/7/11   |   ohwell_   |   16445 respect

(Edited by Scott)

I don;t think he took the deal.  Staying in St. Louis.

And our new stadium is bad ass.  

Centerfield is open and looks out at the Miami skyline.
I'm happy to be in the a/c and out of the sun.  

Dolphins stadium is a big piece of sh**.  

We all concur the homerun thing pictured above is atrocious and super gay. 

12/7/11   |   Murphy24   |   278 respect

I just want to know the role that Pat Riley is playing in trying to squeeze Pujols away from St. Louis

12/7/11   |   ML31   |   3675 respect

beach_pirate wrote:
Pujols wants $30M+ for 10 yrs. Dont be surprised to see the Marlins offer a few Million less for 5 yrs less and ..... Pujols accept.
Why wouldn't he? Its MIAMI.
Don't tell me you'd take a Mil more a yr to lve in some frigid cesspool like NY, Chicago or Bos when Miami is an option.

Get Real!!!

Baseball is played in the summer.  It really doesn't make much difference in the cities you mention.  If he wants to play in good weather he would go to San Francisco!  Not too hot, not too cold.  Very little summer rain.  

12/7/11   |   beach_pirate   |   1121 respect

Pujols wants $30M+ for 10 yrs. Dont be surprised to see the Marlins offer a few Million less for 5 yrs less and ..... Pujols accept.
Why wouldn't he? Its MIAMI.
Don't tell me you'd take a Mil more a yr to lve in some frigid cesspool like NY, Chicago or Bos when Miami is an option.

Get Real!!!

12/6/11   |   ML31   |   3675 respect

(Edited by ML31)

When I saw the artists renderings last year I noticed that, no joke, I'm serious... it literally looked like a toilet!

12/6/11   |   ML31   |   3675 respect

Gawd, those unis look minor league!

If you think that looks bad...  Wait until you see their new dome....

12/6/11   |   ohwell_   |   16445 respect

    Looks good to me.  Well, as good as he can in our new ugly uniforms.  I say yay! 
Can't blame the front office for questioning his age.  We did have an illegal alien using a false name and a fake age for a closer.  Ugh.     The Marlins front office is in the commisioners office right now. 
Welcome to Miami!  

12/6/11   |   ML31   |   3675 respect

 If Willie Mays can be moved, any player can.  Via trade of the preferred route for the last 35 years...  free agency.

If the Marlins do sign him to that sort of deal it seems likely to me that they will not be able to pay those guys more than a couple of seasons.  And then, like Rodriguez with the Rangers, they will have to dump them to someone else.  Major League Baseball in Florida has been an absolute failure.

12/6/11   |   jaysinw   |   4983 respect

I like to see players stay with the same team instead of watching them take off, but that is the world we live in. Is it bad for baseball??? No, baseball we survive with Albert going to the Marlins or any other team, he is not the first and with the way things are wont be the last star player to move onto a new team.