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Friday, December 16, 2011

Loyalty and Albert Pujols

Although it potentially benefits my San Francisco Giants, I was disappointed when I learned that Albert Pujols had signed with the Anaheim Angels. I was hoping he would finish his career in St. Louis, that he was something of a throwback to the day when players felt a sense of loyalty to their teams.

That said, I'm not sure whether I blame him. I have little doubt that if he had stayed with the Cardinals, toward the end of his career, the Cardinals would have jettisoned him, just like the Giants did with Willie Mays, the 49ers with Joe Montana, the Packers with Brett Favre, and the Patriots will probably do with Tom Brady. By leaving now, Pujols was able to have his pick of teams, and he chose one that wasn't a rival of the Cardinals. Heck, they're not even in the same league, so the only possibility that they'll meet is in the World Series.

This may sound like a minor detail, but just ask Packers' fans how they felt about Brett Favre playing for the Minnesota Vikings. "Judas" is a not uncommon term used to describe him. But one has to ask, "How many choices did Favre have?" He wanted to keep playing and play for a contender. If he had had his drothers, he would've played for the New Orleans Saints, but they already had Drew Brees; they didn't need Brett Favre. So, Favre's choices were limited, and the Vikings were the ones who came knocking. All I can say is that I'm glad that Mays didn't end up with the Dodgers or Montana with the Rams or Cowboys!

Thus, while we shouldn't expect Cardinals fans to be happy that Pujols left for Anaheim, I suspect they'd be even less happy if in a few years, he signed with the Cardinals' chief rival, the Chicago Cubs, because they were the only team that showed any interest in him.

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