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Good, bad and ugly thoughts about the 2011 season

Good:

-- Matt Holliday is going to have a monster year. A year removed from the hype and controversy of his $120-million Cardinals contract, he's settled in. Holliday took a while to get started in 2010. But he looked like he was in mid-season form with the bat by mid-March this year. He'll be a serious candidate for National League MVP this year.

Bad:

-- Yes, Albert Pujols will be motivated to put up big numbers in his contract walk year. But that's not necessarily a good thing for the Cardinals. At least not over the long haul. Every homer Pujols hits threatens to drive his value beyond what the Cardinals can afford (or at least what they are willing) to pay. Pujols, with a locked in Holliday behind him in the batting order, could be a legitimate threat to be the first National Leaguer to win the triple crown since Joe Medwick did it for the Redbirds in 1937.

Ugly:

-- I know that tattooes are popular these days and it seems like more major leaguers have them than don't, and that's fine. It's their choice what they do with their bodies. But the neck, Yadi? What's wrong, you weren't committed enough to get some ink on your face? I know I'm an old fuddy duddy, but I think ballplayers should look like ballplayers. I'm so tired of the on-field fashion statements like the droopy drawers, pant legs that come down past the bottom of players' shoes, the long hair and the "I can't afford a razor even though I made $12 million last year" look. Chris Carpenter has more ink on him than most novels. But he has it on his shoulders and legs and they're covered by his uniform. It probably shouldn't, but it just bothers me when professional athletes seem like they're more concerned with fashion and style than trying to be the best ballplayer they can be.

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