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Imagine yourself as one of the biggest fans in a sports teams history.
A die-hard fan as many would put it. Imagine your team drafting the best player to ever play his sport in the 13th round with the 402nd pick. You may already know where this is going.
Albert Pujols, once the face of the Cardinals and now the dirt under Cardinal Nationâ€™s feet, played in St. Louis for his first 11 professional seasons. Pujols is unarguably the best player to hold a bat in his era. Born in 1980 in the Dominican Republic, Pujols had nothing but baseball as a child. He was moved to Missouri where he graduated from Fort Osage High School in 1998, three years before turning pro in 2001.
He has been loved by millions of Cardinalsâ€™ fans that pay really good money to see his electrifying swing and ungodly defense. Cardinalsâ€™ fans gave him everything and treated him like the â€śBaseball Godâ€ť that he once was.
Over his career, Pujols has already accomplished more than nearly anyone in baseball history. He is already a hall-of-famer and still has at least six really good seasons left.
But, not with St. Louis. The â€śPujols Sweepstakesâ€ť started way back in April when the Cardinals failed to sign the nine-time All-Star and three-time MVP to a multi-year deal, sending him to free agency at the end of the the 2011 season.
Nearly all of Cardinal Nation and the media were sure that Pujols would not leave his beloved town of St. Louis.
They were all wrong. At the beginning of the week, the newly renamed Miami Marlins set their sights on landing the biggest fish in free agent history in Pujols.
Miami signed star shortstop Jose Reyes to a six-year, $106-million dollar contract early in the week and then singed all-star closer Heath Bell to a three-year $27-million contract while keeping the cross-hairs stuck on Pujols.
Miami had spent $114 million over the last 14 seasons combined on free agents in the off-season and have already spent $191-million this year alone.
They signed starter Mark Buehrle to a $58-million contract on Wednesday after announcing that they were out of the running for Pujols.
That means the Cardinals were good to go and that Pujols would not be going anywhere but back to St. Louis right?
The traitor decided to go against everything that he has ever preached as a Cardinal. â€śIts not about the money. I just want to play baseball.â€ť
That was a quote that Pujols used hundreds of times over his 11 years as a Cardinal.
Then, what does he do first thing bright and early Thursday morning? Turn down a 10-year, which is more than he should have gotten, $220-million contract offer from the Cardinals to sign with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for 10 years and $250-million plus.
Pujols originally wanted a $300-million contract, but settled for the Angelsâ€™ offer which will only pay $3 million more per year than the Cardinals offered. Come on man, you are 31-years-old and definitely donâ€™t have 10 seasons left in you. Why not stay where the people love you and finish your career as the best Cardinals and overall player ever? Why not do it all in one uniform, just like your so-called hero Stan Musial. I guess that quote was just for show as well, huh? I never thought that I would be sitting at my desk typing the words â€śI hate Albert Pujolsâ€ť for as long as I live. He was â€śThe Cardinal.â€ť
He was the face of the organization and a player that every pitcher feared to pitch to. But, most of all, he was the fanâ€™s number one star. He was the reason that we came to the ball park. The reason we bought the over-priced, front row tickets. We did it because he said he would not leave. He would always be the heartbeat of Cardinal Nation.
Now he is the toilet seat to us all. Traitor does not even begin to describe the hatred that I have towards Pujols right now. Iâ€™m sure it will die down after a year or so, but my goodness. Why sign with another team when your current team treats you like God? It make no sense to me. Everyone thought Lebron James made a bad choice in leaving his home state. Pujols has done the same thing and I think he should be shown the exact same way as James was. Pujols is the biggest traitor in Cardinalsâ€™ history and a traitor to all of Cardinal Nation.