For eleven seasons Albert Pujols wore the Birds on the Bat. During that time he amassed 81.2 fWAR, third all-time in Cardinals history. Home run after home run, play after play, Albert Pujols etched his way into the hearts of Cardinals fans and the history books...
but it did not last forever.
After the conclusion of the 2011 season, Pujols signed a deal with the Los Angeles Angels — a deal that made a lot of sense for him. With it he earned a lot of money and was able to go to an American League team that can play him at designated hitter. Even though it was probably in the best interests for both the Cardinals and Pujols to go separate ways, it was still very sad and understandably, Cardinals fans felt hurt — perhaps even a little slighted. For the next few years, fans were bitter with resentment, but over that time, Pujols never returned to St. Louis to play against his former team and that resentment was never demonstrated in an audible display. He was never booed.
Since signing that contract with the Angels Pujols has been mediocre to below replacement level. It would be nice to say that St. Louis has grown and matured during the time Pujols has been gone, but the truth is probably closer to his decline in ability lessening the sting of his departure. Perhaps it is a combination of both. Time heals all wounds, they say.
With Albert Pujols set to return to St. Louis for the first time since 2011, the question of his reception has been on many folks’ minds. Even the folks at TMZ, who reached out to Matt Carpenter for his thoughts. Per TMZ Sports:
Don’t do it ... so says Cardinals star Matt Carpenter, who tells TMZ Sports Pujols deserves to be treated like a king in his first game back in STL.
”Like a hero coming back to town,” Carpenter says.
Of course, Matt Carpenter is right and as far as I can tell, most Cardinals fans agree with him.
The full video in the link below!
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