My season ticket check has cleared and the hard part is over. So, despite the unpleasantness that was Albert Pujols' defection from the Cardinals, I am finally looking forward to the upcoming season with or without the big guy.
But some people aren't willing to let the past go. And, unfortunately, one of those people lives with me. My nearly 5-year-old son reminded me over the weekend that he is no longer interested in going to see the Cardinals play at Busch Stadium thanks to the Birds' failure to re-sign Pujols to a contract extension.
"Which team is the one that Albert Pujols plays for now?" he asked me to remind him. When I told him it was the Angels of Anaheim his eyes lit up. "Right! That's my new team. When do they play?"
Despite the fact that I informed him the Angels play far, far away and that their games start after his 8 p.m. Central Time bedtime, he didn't seem moved. It's a bummer because my little man really took a shine to baseball late last season as he could sense the excitement build around the team as it made its run to glory. He was over the moon to get to go to the World Series -- even though he didn't know what the World Series was other than a really cool thing that a lot of people were excited about. And I was over the moon to get to take him. But, as I feared would happen, he cried terribly when we had to tell him that Pujols played for his favorite team no more. And it was impossible to explain to a little kid that life goes on and that there will be other star players.
I figured he'd forget about it after a couple of weeks and by the time they started playing Grapefruit League games, he wouldn't recall that Pujols ever existed. Wrong.
Fortunately for the local nine, my pre-schooler seems to be in the minority. According to Cardinals Vice President of Season Ticket Sales Joe Strom, the club is on pace to equal its season ticket sales of a year ago with a month and a half to go before the start of the 2012 campaign. Strohm said existing season ticket holders renewed their ticket packages at a rate greater than 90 percent while there has been a swell of calls from people interested in signing up for new season tickets.
I guess winning the 2011 World Series trumps losing one of the best players in the history of the game -- especially when you've got a roster that most prognosticators seems to think gives the club a decent shot at a repeat performance.