December 8, 2011

There's a Traitor Among Us

By - Kris Fletcher

Three-time NL MVP Albert Pujols agreed Thursday to a $254 million, ten-year contract with the Los Angeles Angels.

Photo by: Getty Images
I'm sure no one is happier about Pujols' decision than LeBron James. Maybe now LeBron is no longer #1 on a certain "most hated" list.

Do I think that's really the case? Probably not. But, it damn well should be.

While Pujols didn't go on ESPN and have an hour-long special to announce he was taking his talents to the West Coast, he still proved to be just as big of a liar as LeBron James ever was.

All along Pujols was just leading his legion of followers, and an entire organization for that matter, down the primrose path. He led them to believe the only team he had ever played for was still in the running for his services, when in all actuality, he already had a foot out the door the entire time.

Sound familiar?

One source who spoke with Pujols' camp Wednesday came away with the impression the two sides were never anywhere near as close to a deal as had been widely reported earlier in the day.

Of course they weren't. Why? Because in the end, when it wasn't supposed to be about the money, guess what it was about? The money.


The thing that gets me in all this isn't the fact that money rules all, because I already knew that. It isn't the fact that Pujols turned out to be nothing but a complete sellout, because I've come to expect that from athletes. No, it's the fact that now all the St. Louis faithful want to take the, "it's no big deal, we didn't really want to have to give him a ten-year deal anyway," high road.

You can't be serious.

At least Cleveland fans didn't hide their anger. They didn't take the denial approach. They let LeBron know, and still do to this day, that they hate him for what he did, which was nothing short of reaching into their chests, ripping out their hearts, and eating it right in front of them.

Photo by: Phil Masturzo
Pujols just did the exact same thing to all RedBird fans. They should be letting him know exactly what they think of him, not playing it off as if still having David Freese (yeah, since obviously he's equivalent to Pujols) somehow negates the fact that the greatest hitter of this generation just walked out of their lives forever, laughing all the way to the bank.

You just got played for fools St. Louis. Royally.

The least you can do now is own up to it, and be heard.


  1. We St. Louis fans aren't savages like Cleveland fans are. But, I will go on record as saying I think Pujols is a total bitch. There, I've said my peace. Now I'm over it.

  2. Couple differences here.

    1. LeBron didn't leave for more money.

    2. As a devout Cardinals fan, this is a pretty team oriented organization AND fan base. The last time we had our hearts broken by a franchise player was in the 1920s by Rogers Hornsby.

    As saddened as I am by this, there's no reason for me to think Pujols will continue to be worth $25.4 million a season for the next 10. Of course the reality is that I'd much rather MY team overpay for him than see him leave the best baseball town in America, but think about how much we can get to surround the already World Champion team we have in place?

    When LeBron left the Cavs, who was left on the team? Because this Cardinals club has 2 Cy Young Award contenders, the best catcher in baseball along with Matt Holliday, Lance Berkman and World Series MVP David Freese.

  3. ROFLMFAO!!!!!! I subscribed to the site back in October JUST SO I would know when this kind of post went up so I could come back on here and rub it in all of your damn faces. I TOLD ALL OF YOU 2 months ago that Pujols was gone, but everyone told me to shutup and that I didn't no what I was talking about. If I'm not mistaken, Todd Stepp was one of those people. Kiss my ass now bitch!

  4. Glad to see we have classy readers! Great work, TJ!

  5. I'm SHOCKED that he left St. Louis. I thought when Miami fell out of the running, it was a done deal he'd be back with the Cardinals.

  6. Oh thats all you've got as a come back Todd? Here, I've taken the liberty of copying and pasting some of the conversation from that October post on here as a reminder-

    T.J. said...
    My mother is a real estate agent in Creve Coeur, Missouri - where Pujols lives - and according to her, his house has been "secretly" up for sale around a month. Mark my words, he's gone.

    Todd Stepp said...
    TJ - I'm sure your mother saw that in a chain letter, didn't she? How does one "secretly" put their house up for sale? Would Pujols "secretly" hope someone picks up the "secret homes for sale" magazine at the local grocery store? Give me a break.

    T.J. said...
    No, it's actually fairly common for athletes to do that if they're preparing to leave a city but don't wanna cause a stir before they actually do. Alex Rodriguez and LeBron James for example, both did the same thing. The agent calls around trying to sell the house and property to prospective buyers, as in, people that could actually afford such a high priced home. Agents get names of possible buyers off a computer generated list. The list actually has a name, but I'm not sure what it's called because I myself am not an actual real estate agent. Anyway, my point being, it's a pretty common practice. So no, my mother didn't get the info off a "chain letter." I'm dealing in actual facts dude.

    Anonymous said...
    TJ shut up. You don't know what your talking about. Do everyone a favor and go back to your mom's basement and keep your two cents to yourself. Pujols isn't going anywhere.

    T.J. said...
    We'll see smartass.

    So yeah, I'm sure all you dumbass St. Louis fans spent your entire summer bashing people like me, all along thinking your precious Pujols was in the bag for resigning with your team.

    You just got donkey punched asshole!

  7. I'm not going to take the time to argue with someone who makes speculation on a sports blog based on "secret" real estate knowledge because that's not my forté. I can see that your life revolves around it, so I'll be gentle with my words instead of making this blog NSFW like you're trying to do.

    Let's face it, you had (at best) a 50/50 shot to get this right. So, congrats. You did it. Nice work.

  8. When I heard he signed with the Angels, I got sick. Like, literally threw up. I can't believe he'd do this to the city of St. Louis. I'm heartbroken.

  9. I've never gone from loving an athlete to hating one as fast as I did this morning. Your right Kris. All Cardinal fans got played on this one.

  10. I don't believe that Albert Pujols has left the Cardinals to go to the LOs Angeles Angels of Anaheim. A sad day for Cardinal fans.

  11. it's a slap in the face... enough said... he's a bitch and that's all there is... man of god he claims to be... but his morals aren't very 'righteous'... i will be proud of this organization if they give a new player his number 5 because it better not be retired... because you have to end your career here albert to be cherished....

  12. Pujols didn't owe St. Louis a DAMN thing. He honored his contract by finishing it out. If they wanted him back so bad, they should have paid him. They didn't, so he left. Why should he have given them a "home discount" of any kind? That's right. He shouldn't of. Have fun finishing third in the division next year Red Birds. Lol

  13. Damn! T.J. put Todd's ass on blast big time. Lmao And I agree with Scott. Pujols didn't owe St. Louis anything, so stop whining about it Cards fans.

  14. Let me start by saying, I never condone the use of foul language on this site, because my 10-year-old frequents it regularly.

    Still, I'll give you credit T.J., your little spiel did make me laugh. As a matter of fact, it may be the most original comment we've ever had left on here.

    Having said that, you still have a lot of nerve ranting and raving to such an extent, considering that had Pujols actually resigned with St. Louis, I'm sure you would have been nowhere to be found. As in, you wouldn't have been back on here to concede to the fact you were wrong about him leaving.

    But hey, like Todd said, congrats. Nice work.

    Btw, say hi to your mom for me. (*wink)

  15. I've had all day to try and get semi over this, and I'm just getting madder and madder. Pujols could have stayed in St. Louis and went down as an all-time great. Instead he turns out to be the next generation of A-Rod. Even the pic you used for this post is pissing me. I feel like he's smiling at me to rub in it. Like "HA HA HA I PLAYED YOU LIKE A FIDDLE." Maybe I shouldn't take this so personally, but I have a feeling I'm not the only Cards fan going through these feelings tonight. On top of it, I've had to deal with people like A.J. making their smart comments all day. This is a nightmare.

  16. There's a special section in hell reserved for traitors Albert. Remember that.

  17. I can see St. Louis fans being disappointed, but it's a tad bit much to think Pujols is going to burn in hell simply because he switched teams isn't it?

  18. It wasn't speculation Todd. I had first-hand knowledge of what was going down. So no, I didn't have an "at best 50/50 shot of getting it right". It was a 100% guarantee I was going to be right. People don't put their house up for sale unless THEY PLAN ON MOVING. He knew AT LEAST 3 months ago he wasn't resigning! Wake up dude! All you St. Louis fans are the same. A bunch of cry babies. Cry me a river.

    And no one was talking to you Kris. But way to jump to the defense of one of your boys. Real noble. An asshole watching another assholes back. Cute. Which one of you picks up the soap in the shower? Or do you just wrestle for it?

  19. T.J. screw you. It's normal for a true fan to feel hurt by a player they feel has stabbed them in the back. That doesn't make them a "cry baby" as you put it. Get off your soapbox jerk.

  20. As a Cubs fan, I'm throughly enjoying watching all these Cardinals fans suffer. Thanks Albert! You are now my hero!

  21. I don't think anyone in St Louis should be pissed at Albert. He gave us the best he had during his prime. He loved the city and will no doubt CONTINUE to love the fans who supported him. If someone asked you to switch jobs for double your salary, you'd do it too. Even if you loved your coworkers.

    I certainly won't be ashamed to keep my Pujols jersey, but it probably won't be worn again until he retires.

    Also, I love that Cubs fan are rejoicing. This is one of the best rivalries in sports. And, as a Cardinals fan, I'd be excited if a great player ever left the Cubs but I haven't been able to do that since... uh... Sosa? :)

  22. T.J. - First off, it doesn't matter if anyone was talking to me or not. This is my website, so I'll get involved in any conversation I feel like getting involved in. I don't need your permission to interact with our readers.

    Secondly, it's pretty apparent that you've been holding this little grudge you have for several months (for some reason), and hey, that's fine. You've made your point. You were right. Yay. You want a cookie or something? Because really, in the grand scheme of things, who even cares? (Besides you of course)

    Lastly, if you want to insult me, that's fine. I'm a big boy. Trust me, I can take it. But I do have a problem with you insulting my colleagues. Todd just so happens to be a friend of mine. He's a good guy. However, just because HE'S a good guy with standards and morals, and is big enough to walk away from an argument with you without completely going off, don't make the mistake of assuming I'm the same way.

    My standards are minimal, and my morals are even less than that, so believe me, if you choose to get on here and engage in a war of words, you have no chance of winning.

    I'm the MacGyver of trash-talk bro. Get me started and I'll have you wantin' to kill yourself within about ten minutes.

    Have a nice day.

  23. Initially, I felt like Cardinal fans should riot or something. But now, after spending the last 24 hours thinking about it, I agree with you Todd. There's really no point in being mad at Albert. The guy played his butt off for us, but now he's moved on. There's still plenty to be excited about in St Louis. We are still the World Series champs last I checked. :)

  24. It might be kind of easy to just turn the other cheek right now, but it's going to be hard to replace his .325 average 35 homers and 120 rbis next season. He was the heart and soul of the team.

  25. You are the one that brought yourself into the conversation Kris, so that made you fair game for a smart comment in my book.

  26. D. Pope - the Cardinals just need to replace .299/30/99 with sabermetric-type players like Jimmy Rollins and Kelly Johnson are still on the market and can probably be picked up to help fill the void. Well, maybe not Rollins as the Phils will try to keep him. But still...

    T.J. - You should start writing on here with us. We like to keep things fresh and I like your attitude. Whadda ya say?

  27. Hey Guys, here's my thought on the Albert situation. I think this whole thing speaks volumes about the way the Cardinals operate as an organization. They didn't know how to deal with an Albert Pujols type player, because it's against their organizational policy to ever have players like Albert.
    If all the teams in baseball knew how good Albert was going to be, he never would've been on the Cardinals, because the Cardinals stay away from superstars. If you look at the history of the organization, the Cardinals have never ever paid out a contract that guys like Arod and Pujols command. The Cardinals all stars are either via rejuvinated careers, ie Jim Edmonds and Mark Mcgwire or trades like Scott Rolen, Matt Holliday, Adam Wainwright, and Chris Carpenter. We never ever pay free agents the ability of an Albert Pujols. If we did, we would immediately go and bid for a guy like Prince Fielder, but Mozeliak has no intention of even coming close replacing Albert. I'm actually happy with Albert leaving as a Cardinals fan because it reveals that the organization's philosophy is to win with no names, old veterans, and players acquired via trade, not Bathroom Can Wait players like Albert Pujols who are brands in themselves. The Cardinals will never ever again have a player like Albert, Ryan Howard, or Alex Rodriguez because they don't like to pay those type of guys. The only way it will happen is if another Albert comes up through the farm system, and if that is the case, history will most likely repeat itself. He will play half his career with the Cardinals and then go get more money just like Albert did. I know we can't ever be the Yankees, but if you're not, don't fool the fans into thinking you are. The Cardinals ownership should just admit they don't pay out huge contracts, because they use the Cardinals fan loyalty against them, thinking the games will still be sold out regardless of whether or not they let a guy like Albert leave. Fans have more power than they think, and they need to let Cardinals ownership hear it if they just pocket the money that was going to be used for Albert and not try to make up for his loss. Watching a team that is a bunch of B to B plus players is not acceptable, a team like the Cardinals should always be able to have an A player who is not already 32 years or older.

  28. Kyle, I see what you're trying to say. However, you're way off. Every 15-20 years, the Cardinals have a franchise type player. Rogers Hornsby, Dizzy Dean, Stan Musial, Red Schoendienst, Enos Slaughter, Bob Gibson, Lou Brock, Ozzie Smith and Albert Pujols were all the exact player you said St Louis didn't keep around. The only difference is that Albert and Hornsby left. That's it. The rest of those guys played the rest of their lengthy careers in The Lou.

    While all clubs use older guys to fill voids, you've mistakenly added a few guys to your list that certainly weren't in need of career rejuvenation. Jim Edmonds didn't rejuvenate his career in StL - he made 3 of his 4 All Star Game appearances there. Adam Wainwright hasn't played anywhere OTHER than StL. Matt Holliday played 5 years before joining the Cards and he's gone to 2 of his 5 AS Games since he joined the club. Chris Carpenter played 5 years before joining the Cards NINE seasons ago and has been mostly lights out since, making ALL of his AS Game appearances since joining the club.

  29. Hi Todd,Thanks for your reply. I like debates, so don't take this like I'm trying to prove my point, just explaining my thoughts better. I'm a huge Cardinals historian and I know about all the greats, but that was a different time and era. What I meant is that like a guy like Bob Gibson. Today's Cardinals wouldn't be able to keep a guy like him. Once he hit free agency, the Yankees or Red Sox would pay him a fortune and he would leave St. Louis just like Albert did. What I meant with Jim Edmonds is that when we got him, he wasn't a type A player. He was a darn good player, but it's not like we beat the Yankees for him. Wainwright was a Brave that we traded JD Drew and Eli Marrero for. And my point with Carpenter is that he was injured during his Toronto Career. If people knew he was that good the Cardinals wouldn't have got him. Larry Walker was great, traded to Cards past his prime. Mark Mulder traded to Cardinals past his prime. Name one guy besides Holliday that teams like the Yankees and Red Sox were in for hard that the Cardinals signed. And I don't think Holliday was a good deal, I think he's way overrated. The Cubs always lose, but I guarantee they wouldn't have let Albert leave. I'm not saying the Cardinals didn't make the right move letting Albert walk, but it ticks me off that they want to be the New England Patriots of Baseball. I use the NBA Dunk Contest as my example. If a no name player makes a great dunk, it's good, BUT if Lebron James makes the same dunk its freaking awesome. That's what Albert gave the Cardinals. A guy that even if the Cardinals lost the game, it was still fun because maybe Albert hit a mammoth home run. The Post-Albert era will not have this ambiance. Matt Holliday doesn't have this same power, when he comes to the plate, fans aren't thinking Walk Off Home Run. It's like the post Jordan Bulls or what the Indianapolis Colts will be experiencing Post Peyton. Superstars change the game, and like it or not, the Cardinals cannot become the Reds. We need to remain relevant with at least one superstar. Carlos Beltran does not count as this if we add him. I can understand this, if we were a team like the Rays, but the Cardinals have made a ton of money off of Albert, but act like were sisters of the poor. Gimme a Break Bill Dewitt, you cheapskate.

  30. Kyle - I love the back and forth as well! Unfortunately we can't have a drink and talk sports over the internet. Although clicking on your name I saw that you're a KU fan, which nearly discredits you altogether (Go Mizzou!).

    I don't disagree with you except for when you said that the Cards will be the same as the Bulls post-Jordan or the Colts post-Peyton. Much I like I said earlier, the Cardinals club has 2 Cy Young Award contenders in Waino (who was drafted by the Braves but has only suited up in the bigs for the Cards) and Carp, the best catcher in baseball in Yadi along with Matt Holliday, Lance Berkman and World Series MVP David Freese. I certainly don't think it's a discredit to compare the franchise to the Patriots. Good Lord, they've won their fair share of games and I'm ok to use a few veterans to fill the void - it hasn't hurt the club so far!

  31. You make some good points Todd, I can't disagree with all of them. I'm actually from Illinois and only a KU fan because I go there for graduate school. Thanks for the discussion. I love your site, I'll be a regular poster if that's ok. Keep up the good work.

  32. Is it so simple that you all missed?...Tony stays, Albert stays. 10 more years? To pad the retirement...if Tony Stays, more rings.without Tony, no rings... so why not go for the money???
    Easy math, try it...
    Louis Luketich