"I'm way past that. I have a new family, new teammates."
Friday, April 13, 2012
Albert Pujols says he does not miss St. Louis
The St. Louis Cardinals have their home opener on Friday afternoon, weather permitting, against their hated rivals, the Chicago Cubs. The home opener, which is always an event in St. Louis and practically an unofficial holiday in the Gateway City, will be particularly special this season.
It will be the first time the Cardinals play in front of their home crowd since claiming the franchise's eleventh World Series Championship last fall.
It will be the first time in 16 seasons that future Hall of Fame manager will not be calling the shots from the home dugout. Cardinals fans will have their first close-up view of Mike Matheny as manager.
It will be the first time ace starting pitcher Adam Wainwright will take the hill in front of the Busch faithful.
It will be the first game played in "Baseball Heaven" in eleven season without Albert Pujols on the roster.
Speaking of Pujols, on the same day the Cardinals return home for the first time in 2012, the L.A. Angels first baseman will host a press conference in New York in order to appease multiple media requests in the Big Apple.
The Pujols press conference in New York occurring on the same day as the Cardinals home opener feels like more than a coincidence to some. How often does a visiting player host a press conference in a different city? Pujols is a special player, but to host a press conference before a road game just seems strange.
But then again, the actions of the Angels first baseman have been strange since he left the Cardinals, highlighted by a comment made by Pujols on Thursday to reporters in Minneapolis. Here is how Pujols responded when he was asked if he missed the Cardinals and St. Louis.
Pujols has struggled at the plate thus far this season and it has been well documented, especially after he signed the monster ten year, $254 million contract with the Angels. Pujols has just five hits in six games and just two RBI's and no home runs while playing for his new family. And the Angels have struggled, going just 2-4 in their first six games while the Cardinals are sitting pretty at 5-2.
Pujols continues to take shots at the Cardinals and seems bitter and angry towards the franchise. Rather than take the high road, like most professional athletes do, and wish the Cardinals well and only answer questions about his new team, Pujols continues to make comments like the one on Thursday.
Friday afternoon's home opener will be different without Pujols there and likely will be the climax of sadness for fans who adored the slugger. While the Cardinals play their first game in front of the home crowd, Pujols will be answering questions from a rabid New York media who be hoping he has more negative things to say about the City of St. Louis and the Cardinals franchise.
While it be sad not to see Pujols on the field, the "Sea of Red" that will be at Busch Stadium to support Adam Wainwright and the Cardinals will signal that Cardinals fans have moved on as well. Their ballclub is 5-2 and most are way past missing Albert Pujols and his huge bank account too.