If you read the recent article here at PH8 about the YankiLeaks incident, you are probably already familiar with the dasterdly YankiLeaks organization which was responsible for helping create the “Abner Doubleday Agent-speak-to-English” translator. I previously used the machine to decipher the encoded communications passed between members of the Yankees organization and Jeter’s agent, Casey Close. A small offshoot of that organization run amok has somehow found its way to the Gateway City, and it has obtained highly sensitive information regarding the Albert Pujols contract negotiations. As previously stated, this organization is absolutely dedicated to rooting out private information and making it public in the interest of fame. PH8 has no connection with CardinaLeaks or YankiLeaks, and absolutely no money, favors, or anything of value was exchanged in return for the information acquired by either organization. However, I simply could not resist using the information and feeding it into the Agent-speak-to-English translator, and here is what we learned about the special project with the code name “Pay The Mang”. (Translated portions appear after the ” => “)
Albert Pujols: “I hope that before the season begins I get an extension.” => Look, I’m the mang. I know I’m the mang. You know I’m the mang. I know that you know that I’m the mang. Just pay me like I’m the mang, and let’s play some baseball. I like my home here in Missouri. I don’t want to have to move. My family likes it here. We have nice neighbors, and I’ve only broken a few windows with wiffle balls from our back yard. It’s a good place. St. Louis has the greatest fans in the world. Don’t be cheap. It doesn’t become you. The fans want me to stay here, and they pay the bills. I’m drug free. I don’t do controversy. I’m clean. I’ve been here 10 years, and I haven’t complained once, except for that one time I couldn’t find my Albert Pujols Special Edition facial hair piece. That thing was missing for weeks, but I found it. It was okay, because I’m a man, but sometimes I like to look like a different looking man. Now look over here. Now over there. See, I’m a different looking man.
Cardinals GM – John Mozeliak (STLToday.com on 11/16/10): “Timing is important.” => Look, I’ve got all the really important dates circled on my planner that I keep in my Trapper Keeper, and I know exactly how many days we have until AP becomes a free agent. There is no reason to panic. We have exclusive negotiating privileges until the regular season starts, and only then will we panic. I have absolute confidence that we’ll get this thing done by Thanksgiving. You mark my words. Okay, don’t actually mark my words, because I’m actually panicking just a wee bit. It doesn’t show yet. Yet.
Cardinals GM – John Mozeliak (STLToday.com on 11/16/10): “We don’t want it to drag out this winter. I wouldn’t say it’s at a critical juncture right now, but I’d like to think between now and the Christmas holiday we’d start addressing it.” => Okay, I didn’t mean by Thanksgiving. I really meant Christmas. Wait. Which one comes later in the calendar year? Where’s John Abbamondi? He always answers the really tough questions like this for me. Forget it. I’ve got that Magic 8 Ball around here somewhere. It worked just fine when we signed Lohse to that contract extension. Never mind. I just get frazzled when I think about AP. We’ll get a deal done. It’s just a lot of money, and it takes time.
Bill DeWitt (St. Louis Post Dispatch – 12/10): “Every team has financial limitations. I don’t care what team you name. They have them. It’s a process where you have to evaluate the value of a player given the ability to still field an effective, competitive club.” => I hope I got that last line right. I worked on it all night. Mo will be soooo mad, if I got it wrong. Evaluate comes before ability, but competitive comes after effective. Got it. Woot! Yay, me. Hope they bought that line about financial limitations. I’ve got my eye on a certain little island getaway that I’d like to buy. “DeWittica” has a nice ring to it. Always wanted my own nation. I wonder how long it takes to get recognized as a nation. For that matter, I don’t know the difference between a country and a nation. I bet Abbamondi knows. I should ask him about it. Just need to get find some minion to dial my cell phone for me. I can’t be bothered with such a trivial thing. I’m rich. I wonder if we can grow bananas there on DeWittica. I like bananas. I wonder if the Steinbrenners like bananas. I bet that they don’t have an island. I mean, they do crazy stuff with their vast fortunes like…..re-sign players. Oooh, loyalty! Woohoo! That and $10 will get you a cup of coffee at that ridiculously expensive breakfast place I frequent. Of course, that’s assuming you can afford to valet. Heck, I’m not sure that they even have any other form of parking. Actually, they probably do. The staff has to park somewhere. They could probably park at that Ballpark Village place. I wonder if that place ever got built. I should order someone to have someone ask somebody else to hire a firm to consult with a consultant about checking into the viability of investigating that. Or…….I could ask Abbamondi. Where is that guy?
Cardinals GM – John Mozeliak (FOXSportsMidwest.com 12/6/10):“This is not going to be negotiated in the media.” => What I really mean is that I can’t say anything, because there isn’t anything to actually tell. If there was actual progress, I’d be jumping up and down with a huge smile on my face. Heck, there would probably be a full page ad in the newspaper about how I successfully re-signed Albert to a mega-deal extension. Of course, we’d probably have to beg somebody to give us a massive discount on the ad, because we don’t pay full price for anything. Well, we did actually pay full price for Berkman. That’s a different story. We had to do SOMETHING after that Ludwick fiasco. I’m pretty annoyed that we traded him off, and we didn’t even get the bucket of baseballs that I originally wanted. It’s great that we got that one guy who is pitching somewhere for us, but I really wanted the baseballs. Can never have too many baseballs. Good thing we got two buckets in that Brendan Ryan deal. Now THAT was a steal. I’m still not sure what the Mariners were thinking. TWO huge buckets of baseballs, and they used overnight shipping. That was sooooo suhweet!
Cardinals GM – John Mozeliak (FOXSportsMidwest.com 12/6/10): “You’re not going to get a play-by-play and we’re not going to announce if we’re talking or not.” => This is really just another way of me saying that we’re not talking. If we were talking, I’d happily tell you that we’re not actually talking. See, it’s a trick that I learned by watching Law and Order reruns the other day. I say one thing, but I allow my facial expressions to give you clues about my true intentions. Very clever of me, yes? Besides, I don’t like to announce that we’re not doing something. We have minions for that. We use “high ranking officials” as “sources within the organization” to disperse information. It’s a very handy tactic, and nobody knows of this. Again, we’re very clever. We’re also very good about hiding the truth in plain view. The new ticket pricing scheme plan is a great example. That is one sweet deal for us for fans. As it’s been explained, fans can get very, very good deals on some tickets to certain games. They can also practically pay an arm and a leg for others, but nobody figured that out at all.
Cardinals GM – John Mozeliak (FOXSportsMidwest.com 12/6/10): “If we have a chance to do something, it just makes more sense to do it confidentially.” => We haven’t had a chance to do anything. It’s not that we can’t do anything at all, either. DeWitt gave me the go-ahead to spend an awful lot of money and make a ridiculous offer. Heck, even I was shocked by how much we’re prepared to spend. There’s only one problem. I lost Lozano’s phone number. I called Albert, but he just told me give Dan a call. I called a bunch of other people who know Dan, but they all thought that I was joking. I also forgot to check into the Ballpark Village People thing that DeWitt was interested in asking some consulting firm about doing. Not sure what that was about. If all else fails, I’ll just announce that we’re working on an extension with AP, and Dan will have to call me to find out what the heck is going on. Brilliant!
Of course, the latest news on this topic is that the two sides have started talking, but both sides have agreed not to discuss anything about the talks with the media. That means that there isn’t anything else to feed into the good ol’ translator, but it also means that there’s nothing for fans to do but sit tight and/or speculate. Then again, the Cardinals have just been informed that the beginning of spring training is the deadline for having a new deal in place.
TIDBIT: I mentioned a while back that closed negotiations favor Albert and still believe that to be true. If this deal doesn’t get done, I believe that the fans deserve the truth about who dropped the ball on it.
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