by on April 7, 2012 · 14 comments

I make no claim regarding my ability to hit a Justin Verlander or a Jason Motte fastball, and I have no illusions about my ability to manage a major league game.  I have a face for radio and a voice for the shower.  I am simply a fan who writes about baseball so that our 3 loyal readers have something to do when they are stuck in their respective bathrooms until their legs get numb.  As a fan, I have one decidedly obvious area of expertise.  I am an expert at viewing baseball on tv in my living room.  From that perspective I derived constant irritation from the insistence of ESPN’s broadcast team on incessantly bringing up the name “Albert Pujols” during the Cardinals vs Marlins game.

To the best of my knowledge Albert Pujols was not in Miami at the game.  I heard no rumors about him working as a vendor near the home run expo, and there was no in-game coverage of AP splashing around in the pool at the Marlins new park.  Albert Pujols was not in either dugout nor was his name on a lineup card there.

Yet somehow, some way, his name came up no less than 6 times during the 1st inning of the game.  There wasn’t a single player involved in the actual game who was mentioned that many times during the 1st inning.

I’m over it.  The greater part of Cardinal Nation is not the least bit worried about what some guy named “Pujols” is doing.  It’s not that we all hate the guy, although I’m sure a few people sitting on hundreds of dollars in Cardinals merchandise with his named plastered on it might disagree.  It’s just that we’ve moved on.

We haven’t necessarily forgiven the man, but that’s because there really is nothing for us to forgive, and it is probably isn’t our place to offer anyone forgiveness, either.  We are Cardinal Nation, and we are unyielding about a few things.   We like free stuff, we love Cardinals baseball, and we root for the team represented by the front of the jersey and not the player-specific name on the back.  In other words, “Holliday”, “Freese”, and “Molina” could have just as easily been “Black”, “White”, “Redallover”, and we would still be fine.

Players come and go.  Managers and coaches come and go.  Seemingly, the only 2 real constants are Fredbird and the fans, and I could honestly live with avoiding the “beaking” I somehow endure almost every year.

The harsh reality is that we already understand Albert’s place in St. Louis history.  We will inevitably honor that, and we will honor him for it.  We’ll give him a huge pat on the back for all he has done through his charitable organization.  If we’re feeling charitable ourselves, we’ll even stand up and give him a solid ovation when he is next announced at Busch Stadium.  We’ll probably stand and cheer again before he comes to the plate, and he’ll likely pause or maybe even tip his helmet.  Then he’ll dig in and go through his ritual.

So will we.  As soon as he’s ready to go, we’ll be cheering for him to strike out our finally ground into a double play that doesn’t have us pulling out what little hair some of us have left.  He may blast one 450 feet to dead centerfield, or he may halfheartedly run out a ground ball back to the pitchers.  As long as the good guys come out on top with some “crooked numbers” on the board, we’ll be fine.

And Albert will be just another player we respect but wouldn’t necessarily follow unless he was on our fantasy baseball team.  We’ve basically moved well past the drama, and every time some analysts brings up his name for the sake of “ratings”, our response will be “PuWho?”

TIDBIT:  If you use Twitter and wish to express your displeasure with the media coverage that skews to all things Pujols, please use the hashtags #PuWho?, #PuTangClan, and #WhinyThePu.

Follow gr33nazn on Twitter for more not-so-clever hashtags.


Cardinals fan since I could hold a fishing pole steady. Accidental blogger. Opinionated. I could care less about what you think of me. Constantly confounded, bemused, and confuzzled (ie I'm a pc and a mac). I'm an IT infrastructure analyst with a penchant for breaking tech toys. I ate a sabermetric primer for breakfast. I love playing "All-powerful GM of MLB". The 2010 Cardinals represented a good, practical definition "cognitive dissonance". The 2011 version got by on duct tape and a prayer, and I'm fine with that. They just need new tape for #12 in 12.
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Kevin Riner April 7, 2012

Very. Well. Said!

Dennis April 7, 2012

Thanks, Kevin. Appreciate that and thank you for reading.

Pete April 7, 2012

Agreed. Well said. Good luck to Albert, just done whine in public about things you gave up here. Retired jersey, statue, etc…Move on, like we have.

Dennis April 8, 2012

That pretty much sums up my stance on it. So many fans are over it and have moved on, but the process is greatly delayed by having his daily line pushed in our faces.

Mike H. (@mrh61988) April 7, 2012

I hate to say it but I think we’ll be forced to deal with this BS all season long, especially on all of the national broadcasts.

Dennis April 8, 2012

I agree about the national broadcasts, but I’m really disappointed with how Fox Sports is handling the issue already. It’s kind of like the basebrawl with the Reds. They will just keep going with the theme until there is no mileage left in it….years from now.

Robbin April 8, 2012

Could not have said it better.

Dennis April 8, 2012

Thank you, and thank you for reading, Robbin.

OtherScreen April 8, 2012

I’m a sound “off” guy anytime a non Morgan / Miller ESPN crew does a Cards game so I missed the Pu-a-thon in Miami but I’m with you on the general sentiment: Albert was awesome. He’s gone now. I’m rooting for this year’s Cards just as intently as I would have if he’d have stayed.

Good luck, Albert. Let’s go, Cards.

(really looking fwd to mcarp, cruz, shane and greene today, too #WinningWithTheSecondTeam)

Dennis April 8, 2012

I’m often a sound “off” guy even when Ricky/Dan/Al do the game sometimes. The audio from Shannon and Rooney works for me.

As forward to the “SecondTeam” part, I’d have to say that those guys are legitimate first team players. There are several teams that would have each of those guys starting, and that is a great indicator of bench depth.

OtherScreen April 9, 2012

Well, they’re our second team. 🙂

Dennis April 9, 2012

Maybe so, but the phrase seems a little negative to me. Having guys like Felipe Lopez, Aaron Miles, Pedro Feliz, and Nick Stavinoha seemed much more like an actual second team to me.

Sir Sci April 9, 2012

You said three loyal readers? Previous posts said two loyal readers, didn’t they? Who gets to count as the third loyal reader?

Also, ya, it surprised me how quickly I got over Pujols leaving. I don’t really care what he does. I wish him the best, but I will definitely be rooting for the Rangers to win it all this season (unless, of course, they run into the Redbirds there again), simply because they earned a lot of respect from me this last WS.

Dennis April 9, 2012

Pretty sure we’ve stuck with the “3 loyal readers” theme for quite a while, but there could very well be a mistake in a previous post of mine. We’ve never identified the 3 by name, and it truly is for their own protection.

I can get over just about any player leaving under the circumstances under which Pujols left. The Andy Benes deal annoyed me, but I was more annoyed with the front office that time.

For the record, I’ve picked the Rangers to win it all this year, although I think the Cardinals are one of the teams that could certainly give them all they can handle. It’s just that the Rangers are built for getting there again in my opinion. I think that the Cardinals would have a tougher road.

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