Dear Cardinals fans,
I get you. You’re in a dark place this morning and you just need everyone to shut up and let you think.
Don’t listen to all the lunatics telling you that Albert Pujols is Lebron James. He isn’t. He didn’t engage in some ridiculous recruiting session nor did he lead on any fan base (well, maybe Miami, but they actually GOT Lebron so they don’t get to complain about Pujols. Am I right?). He made a financial decision for his family that made perfect sense. That doesn’t have to ruin all the good memories. (Although, I suspect that Brad Lidge and Alexei Ogando would appreciate it if someone forgot at least two of those Pujols memories).
That said, don’t listen to the lunatics telling you that it isn’t ok to be upset this morning. Of course it’s ok. Just because you understand the decision doesn’t mean that you can’t grieve for an incredible era in Cardinals history. He was your guy for a long time. This is shocking. I get it.
Here’s the thing. It’s going to be ok. Trust me on this. Last winter, the best player we ever had skipped town for a deal he couldn’t refuse. And, to make it worse for us, he went to an inter-division rival. No, CC was never Fat Albert but, he was ours. He was a legitimate star and, for almost the entire history of our franchise, he was the ONLY legitimate star.
I was in the Savannah airport when the CC story broke and I was stunned. I knew he was leaving. I knew he was leaving before 2010 even began. But that didn’t make it hurt less. I was mad. I called him names. I booed my TV when he first showed up.
But then, during his second Red Sox at bat, I stopped caring. I don’t know if it was just because CC sucked so hard for Boston that it felt mean to root against him or, if I just moved on. Either way, it felt like CC was never a Ray. He was just another guy that I didn’t root for.
You’ll get there with Albert too. You won’t see him in that other uniform every night. (Just think, you’ll be asleep before 70% of Anaheim’s first pitches). But you will see your new guys. And, even if the new guys aren’t as good as the old one, it won’t matter. Because the new guys will be your guys. And you’ll root for them.
(And then, the baseball gods will reward you for your loyalty by punishing your ex with a historic collapse that propels you into the playoffs and leads to the implosion of your ex’s entire career and organization. Or maybe that only happened to me. Whatever.)
Trust me on this. It gets better.