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Pujols negotiations seem to already be over

While there has been a lot made of the decision to push back the deadline Albert Pujols has imposed to strike a new deal with the Cardinals until noon on Wednesday, don't get excited that there is new hope for a deal.

The change in date appears to be strictly a courtesy to Stan Musial, the Cardinals superstar who on Tuesday will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, this country's highest civilian honor. Apparently the one thing Pujols and the front office can agree on is that it would be bad form to bring the Great Contract Sideshow to spring training while the President of the United States is honoring Musial.

Meanwhile, Bob Nightengale, the reporter from USA TODAY who reported on Sunday that Pujols had rejected the Cardinals' only contract offer to their modern day slugger, reports that the talks were for all practical purposes cut off two weeks ago when Pujols rejected the Redbirds' overture. He -- and others -- say the two sides haven't had any serious talks since the offer was given the boot.

I find it hard to imagine that, while Musial is in the spotlight in Washington D.C. today that the Cardinals are going to be concentrating on the Pujols problem. Wasn't the time for that months -- if not years -- ago?

The only way I see this getting resolved without heading to free agency is if the Cardinals put a pen in one of Pujols' hands when he walks in the door Wednesday and a 10-year contract in the other.

And I think the odds of that happening, with the way things have been handled so far, are roughly the same as my chances of winning the lottery this week.