KERBER: Pujols Does Owe Cardinal Fans Something

Chris Kerber

KMOX – Now that the post-season is over, open up Pujols season.  Albert Pujols is officially a free agent and it’s a matter of time before we find out if he remains a Cardinal or spurns one of baseball’s best fan bases and winning traditions for the almighty dollar.  If he stays, he remains the baseball hero in St. Louis.  If he leaves, he easily becomes the Lebron James of baseball.  Either way, one thing is perfectly clear to me.  Cardinal fans owe Pujols absolutely nothing.  While Pujols made it perfectly clear during the World Series that his only responsibilities were to his god and his family, I beg to differ.  He has a responsibility to the fans in St. Louis as well.


Pujols owes it to the fans of St. Louis not to drag this thing out and milk it every step along the way.  If he’s going to leave, leave.  If he’s going to stay, stay.  But either way, Pujols needs to make a decision and not drag Cardinal fans through the proverbial wringer Lebron did to Cleveland fans.


For 10 years Cardinal fans have paid the ticket prices to watch Albert play.  The support from the fans is a major reason he was able to receive a 100 + million dollar contract after just three seasons in the big leagues.  The fans are the major reason the Cardinals are willing to throw around another 200 million his direction now.   For 10 years both fans and the corporate community here have supported his charitable efforts, allowing him to do great thing back home.  The ovations down the stretch were not only earned but deserved, and Cardinal fans one final time demonstrated why players enjoy playing in front of them so much.


Look, I get the other argument.  For 10 seasons Pujols has performed like no other in the history of baseball.  Many will argue fans got their money worth and Albert has earned it all.  I don’t argue with that one bit.  But the bond between St. Louis fans and their sports teams and athletes are special.  It’s what makes this a great sports town to be in.  The relationship between the fans and Pujols should be more than just – Pujols plays, fans pay.  It means something more to the fans than just that and I hope it’s the same for Albert.


He has said it’s not about the numbers he puts up, it’s about winning championships.  We are about to find out though if it’s still about winning or the number of zero’s on a paycheck.  Is it about winning or the selfish ego of needing to be called the highest paid player in the game?  Should he be paid a lot?  Yes.  Should it be comparable to some of the best in the game?  Sure.  No argument here.  In the end, the Cardinals will be committing over 300 million to one player over the course of his career.  If that’s not enough to stay in a wining environment, so be it.  Good Bye Albert.  St. Louis fans deserve competitive winning baseball.  They pay for it.  They should demand it, and their demand for it is no less important than the demand for excellence Pujols puts on himself.  The Cardinals cannot trade the financial ability to deliver on their commitment to Cardinal fans to satisfy one player.  Do the Cardinals win the World Series without Freese?  Do they win it without Carpenter, Motte, Berkman, Dotel, Furcal and others?  Nope.


Pujols has said winning is important.  Well the Cardinal’s organization and their fans have put their money where their mouths are.  Now it’s Albert’s turn.  Whatever his decision becomes, and whether he believes it or not, he owes the fans here the respect they have showed him.  He owes it to them not to pull a Lebron.  Cardinal fans deserve that much.

  • Don Terrill

    Why to hit the nail on the head!

  • Jan

    Do I want Albert to stay? Yes. Do I think he’d be a fool to leave STL? Yes. But we won without him once, we’ll win without him again if it comes to that. Thanks Chris for an insiteful article.

  • Ed Golterman

    He owes the St. Louis fans-nothing.

  • Nate

    i think this article is a bit silly in terms of him owing his services to the city of st. louis. it is a 2 way street, he has been the best bargain in baseball for the last 11 years. look at other players who put up less #s that king albert. he has made about 9 million a year avg in his career, for what is the best 11 years ever and beyond that gave 3 world series apperances and won 2. So the blame is not only on albert it is also on the owners to take care of him for what he has done. the comparison to lebron is ridicolous. albert is not leaving st louis for a better chance @ winning like lebron did. lebrob actually took less to play for miami and left just to win a championship huge difference. so no i dont think its cut and dry to just blame albert if the owners offer him @ least more than ryan howard make (25 mil a year) and he does not accept than i understand the fact that he is abandoning st louis. but lets just say its 50/50 albert needs to stay in st louis cause the owners give him a salary that at least makes him the best paid first baseman ssince he deserves it. if he wants 300 million a year i agree that while he might deserve it based solely on #s its a unreasonable request by albert.

  • J W Majors Majors

    There is a lot of tax planning and creative financing that could be done here that would allow the Cards to stay in budget. And they must do that for the good of the team. But no good thing lasts forever. If He goes ,He goes. The Cardinals will still be the best team and God will still be on His throne.

  • herb wyand

    just remember on thing chris as great athletes get older and their skills start to diminish for even a short period of time..” derek jeter”.it doesnt take long for an owner or a gm to start and listen to offers or even put the word out that they are entertaining the thought of trading a player the bottom line chris is sports is a business and business has no loyalty………..its a process it would be great if certain players stayed in one uniform for their entire careers but that is not the case anymore.. your own curt flood took care of that decades ago……….

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