When it gets down to it, I wonder if Albert Pujols is really a big market kind of guy.
I'm not talking about whether he can handle the spotlight. I'm talking about if he wants to raise his family in the size of city that could pay him the mythical 10-year, $30-million contract he is said to seek.
Why? Because Pujols didn't start his life as an American in Missouri. He started it in New York City where as a young man he witnessed a person be shot to death.
After that incident Pujols' family pulled up stakes and headed to the Kansas City suburbs to live a quieter, safer life. So, I wonder, now that he his kids of his own, would Pujols want to put his family on the streets of New York, Chicago or Los Angeles?
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Seeing someone murdered on the street tends to have a profound impact on a person.
Yeah, I know about the skewed crime statistics that paint St. Louis as America's most dangerous city. But I think Pujols has lived here long enough to establish a comfort level with the area. His kids have friends here. And they go to school here. St. Louis is also an easy drive to his second home in the Kansas City suburbs. It may not look like it on a map, but it's a heckuva lot tougher to drive from Chicago to Kansas City than it is to drive from St. Louis to KC.
Sure, the Pujols clan will live in a big house in a safe suburban neighborhood where ever he plays in 2012. But it's a lot closer and easier to get from the cushy suburbs to downtown St. Louis than it is in New York, Chicago or LA. And I suppose his family will want to continue to come see him play home games. You can't just factor out the city in which he plays.
For a guy whose religion and family means so much to him, I think those factors would have to weigh heavily on Pujols' eventual decision. And if that doesn't sway him, I have heard from a couple of sources that Albert's wife isn't keen on the idea of moving.
We all know that if mama ain't happy, ain't NOBODY happy.