With every AP News alert I get in the News 4 newsroom I'm hoping and praying it's the announcement of the contract to keep Albert Pujols in St. Louis the rest of his career. But instead I just read about light snow from the National Weather Service. Oh boy. And I get even more anxious. Not helping the matter is the fact that Pujols is the consumate pro and perfectionist. ESPN reports he will report to Spring Training on February 16th now instead of the 19th. Great. Now there's a smaller window of time to lock up a new contract. Pujols has said once he's playing ball he's not talking contract. That means an excruciatingly anxious week for Cardinals fans which could turn into a season of "will he stay or will he go."
I have heard many fellow fans say the Cards don't need to sign him to the long term record setting deal he's likely demanding. They (and maybe you) don't want to jeopardize the next 10 years by overpaying someone who might be passing his prime. The points are understood. But as a Cardinals fan I really don't want to hear about and worry about this contract all season long. The Cardinals are set up to make a great run at their 11th World Championship, and Albert wants that to be the focus. Me too. I can't stand the possibility of hearing about the upcoming free agency every time Albert steps in the batters box. He says he won't talk about the contract, but those darn broadcasters won't stop talking about it! And I should know, I'm a darn broadcaster.
While we read about February snow reports in St. Louis, Cardinals fans are supposed to let our minds take us to sunny Jupiter, Florida. But this week our minds will be consumed with visions of Albert signing a piece of paper with an official St. Louis Cardinals letterhead. If he does, February will have never felt so warm. If he doesn't, I'll be getting chills all summer long.