St. Louis Post-Dispatch sports columnist Bernie Miklasz penned a superb column on how Cardinals Nation feels about first baseman Albert Pujols.
Apr 22, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Los Angeles Angels first baseman Albert Pujols (5) hits a two-run home run during the fifth inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. This was Pujols (5) 500th career home run. Los Angeles Angels defeated Washington Nationals 7-2. Image Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Miklasz places St. Louis Cardinals fans in 5 different categories in his column.
1. Who cares?
2. Pujols bolted from the Cardinals – so phooey on him.
3. There’s the firmly entrenched pro-Pujols sentiment
4. There’s the more moderate and reasonable reaction
5. There are the baseball romantics.
Like Bernie, I’m somewhere in between #4 and #5 when it comes to my feelings on Pujols and his hitting the 500th home run in his career. I also believe that Bernie hits it right on the money when he says this:
"There’s no way Pujols can ever be appreciated in Anaheim the way he was in St. Louis, and he relinquished that special status that’s given to players like Stan Musial and Cal Ripken Jr., who spend their entire careers with one team in one city."
The guys that play on one team for their entire career end up being huge icons. For all that Pujols did in St. Louis, he won’t have the Angels equivalent that will be bestowed upon Mike Trout, assuming Trout retires down the road with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
Pujols is a Hall of Famer and maybe one day, he’ll wear the red coat and come back to see #5 officially retired. In the meantime, I’ll continue to cherish the opportunity to watch Michael Wacha and Stephen Piscotty develop with the Cardinals organization.