Really Albert?

With Albert Pujols signing a 10-year $250 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, I find it a disrespect to the tradition of the game of baseball. Is it right for a player to have become a staple for the St. Louis Cardinals to bolt to another team because of money.

Albert Pujols is regarded as one of the best players in the game now. He played for the Cardinals for 11 years, hitting .328, 445 home runs and 1329 RBIs. He is also a model citizen off the field by setting up charities and helping strengthen the St. Louis community.

I thought that Albert Pujols was a player that personified baseball. Playing the game the way it was meant to be played. Not cheating the game with the use of drugs and staying away from off-field problems. Look at Derek Jeter, the captain and 17-year shortstop for the New York Yankees. He has played with the same team all his life and will retire as a Yankee. He is a pillar in his community and a shoe in for the Hall of Fame.

Jeter is and will be a life-long Yankee. He will be considered one of the best players to play baseball and is a player who knows what “tradition” is in baseball. The word “tradition” is defined as the cultural continuity in social attitudes, customs, and institutions (merman-webster) but in baseball it means something else. Tradition in baseball is the seventh-inning stretch, rally caps, curtain calls and  franchise players staying with their franchise team.

Pujols is breaking the tradition of baseball. He signed with a team, the Angels, because of the money. He isn’t signing with the team that he has played with all his life, he isn’t signing with a team with fans that have seen him grow into a Hall-of-Famer and most importantly he isn’t signing with a team that signed him for his personification of the game. They signed him because he IS the best player in baseball, they signed him because he hits a lot of home runs and can win games.

What is this game coming to? I know that being a Yankees fan, I shouldn’t have these thoughts being that Yankees buy many of their players. But is it hard to ask that one of the best players in the game stay with the team he has known all his career. He should have retired as a St. Louis Cardinal. When elected to the Hall-of-Fame what cap will he wear? The Cardinals or the Angels? In my opinion, Cardinals fans should protest his choice of cap when he is elected to the hall.

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