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    Keeping Pujols will be tough for Cardinals


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    Keeping Pujols will be tough for Cardinals Empty Keeping Pujols will be tough for Cardinals

    Post  qiheitiann on Wed Oct 19, 2011 7:34 am

    Albert Pujols is Derek Jeter. Albert Pujols is Alex Rodriguez.
    “Albert is,” in his manager Tony La Russa’s words, “our pivot. He is our anchor.”
    He also is the sum of all of the Cardinals’ fears.
    Because how does St. Louis not re-sign a player as iconic to its franchise as Jeter is to the Yankees? How do the Cardinals not go forward with a player now more probable to break the all-time homer record than A-Rod? But how do the Cardinals, on a payroll half the size of the Yankees’, give a contract in the realm of Rodriguez’s? Especially because we have seen that even icons like Jeter fade and how debilitating a mega-contract such as Rodriguez’s can be even for the Yankees.
    Keeping Pujols will be tough for Cardinals Albert--300x300
    “They have to sign a contract that they know is a problem before the ink even dries,” an NL executive said.
    In what very well could become the lowest-rated World Series ever, Pujols is by far the biggest presence. discount jerseys Which feels right because his greatness, while not ignored, is marginalized by playing in the 21st-largest television market in the country.
    “If he played in a larger market, he’d have a Jordan/Gretzky/Bonds-type buzz about him,” an NL scout said. “As it is, he’s one of the few individuals in a team sport that’s presently worth buying a ticket to see all by himself.”
    Pujols will have his choice where he wants to play once this Series against the Rangers ends. He will go from the largest star of the Fall Classic to the largest fish in the winter market. He turned down a nine-year deal in the $200 million range in the offseason and vowed not to discuss the matter once the schedule started.
    Yesterday he continued to reject all questions on the subject.
    “I don’t think about free agency now,” he said. “I am concentrating on helping the St. Louis Cardinals.”
    But whether he publicly speaks to the issue or not, Pujols’ status is no less than the co-star of this 107th mlb jerseys cheap World Series. Would winning it, for example, motivate the Cardinals to offer more or Pujols to request a little less to stay where he has become an institution over the past 11 seasons?
    “I would hope this would be a tough environment to leave,” Cardinals owner Bill DeWitt said. “I hope that plays into it.”
    Pujols and the Cardinals, though, are not the lone actors in this drama. Agents are driving forces in these matters. Pujols’ man, Dan Lozano, is aggressive and trying to grow his own business after breaking away from the powerful Beverly Hills Sports Council. And one way you attract your next client is by getting your biggest client record dollars. So there will be pressure on Lozano to make sure Pujols, at the least, betters what Scott Boras gets the younger Prince Fielder and, at the most, approaches nhl jerseys cheap or exceeds A-Rod’s record 10-year, $275 million pact.
    The Cardinals will not go there and the big-spending Yankees (Mark Teixeira), Red Sox (Adrian Gonzalez) and Tigers (Miguel Cabrera) already are locked long-term into first basemen while the Mets and Dodgers each has financial issues that make them non-players. Nevertheless, the Rangers act more like a big-market team all the time and now will get a first-hand look at what Pujols might look like in their hitting haven. The Blue Jays, Orioles, Angels, Nationals and Cubs all are viewed as potential destinations.
    Pujols never has dropped below 32 homers, 99 RBIs and a .299 average. But the 99 RBIs and .299 average came this year. Pujols turns 32 in January, and there always have been whispers that he is older. With 445 homers, Pujols is on a trajectory to chase Barry Bonds’ all-time mark. So was Rodriguez, which was one of the main elements in the Yankees re-signing him.
    You see how injuries
    can change that perception. Pujols has been brilliant this postseason, hitting nfl jerseys from china .419 with a .490 on-base percentage and a .721 slugging percentage. But his body has taken a beating the past decade, and you wonder about his physical durability and how much the Cardinals can gamble on that.
    “For me,” said St. Louis hitting coach Mark McGwire, “it would be tough to see him another uniform.”
    It would be like seeing Jeter playing for the Nationals or Cubs. But the Cardinals won’t pay like the Yankees and, unlike Jeter who was definitive that he wanted to stay almost no matter what, there is a chance we are watching the final days of this: Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinal.
    Rangers may not give big bucks to CC
    For those who envision the Rangers as big players for CC Sabathia, just remember that Chuck Greenberg does not work for the organization any more.
    Greenberg led the group that purchased the Rangers out of bankruptcy last cheap nfl jerseys August and served as the brash, visible face of the organization. He badly wanted to retain Cliff Lee and kept trying to meet with Lee and kept upping the bid beyond where Texas initially had set its limit. Two of the strongest dissenting voices against that style — notably how much was being offered to one pitcher — were team president Nolan Ryan and general manager Jon Daniels.
    Greenberg was ousted from his position in the offseason. Ryan and Daniels are now unquestionably the strongest voices in baseball operations. If they were uncomfortable throwing around that kind of money on Lee, the expectation of other executives in the sport is that they will be at least equally uncomfortable to do so with Sabathia.
    In fact, there is a sentiment among executives I have spoken to that the Rangers are not going to bid significant dollars to keep their own free agent, C.J. Wilson, and are more intrigued by Japanese ace Yu Darvish. The Blue Jays and Nationals also are viewed to have strong interest in Darvish. The Yankees like the righty a great deal, but are hesitant to be significant bidders for a variety of reasons, notably their terrible results after winning the post for Kei Igawa.


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