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Angels bring out the devil in Albert Pujols

Nobody wants Albert Pujols to play his entire career with the St. Louis Cardinals more than I do.

But, with news that Pujols is nowhere near making a decision while enteratining a new offer from the Angels as well as existing proposals from the Angels and a mystery team, I'm starting to think that it's time to move on.

If Pujols really wants to be on a competitive team he has to understand two things: 1) He can't grub for every last dollar if he wants the Cardinals to be able to compete for future playoff spots and World Series rings. 2) He needs to make up his mind quickly so the Cardinals know what the rest of their budget picture looks like and they can address holes at shortstop, on the bench and in the bullpen.

If it is true the Cardinals have a $220-million offer on the table, be it for nine or 10 years, the club has made a reasonable effort to step up and keep Pujols in red. (I have my doubts because of reports that qualify the deal as worth "UP TO $220 million" and "AS MANY AS nine years."

Bottom line is that the Redbirds need to make their best offer now... And they need to put a deadline on it. Give Pujols until Sunday night to make a decision and be prepared to move on.

St. Louis GM John Mozeliak apparently thought the club was close enough to a deal yesterday that a planned 5:30 media availability was delayed. But, as things apparently fell apart, the press conference was canceled altogether. And what looked like it was going to be a great day in Cardinals history evaporated into more uncertainty.

Right now it appears Pujols and his agent are more interested in playing hardball than Albert is in continuing to play baseball in St. Louis. Depsite reports that it would take $40 million more than the Cardinals are offering to move Pujols out of St. Louis, Albert is willing to gamble in his never-ending quest to hit the $250 million mark,

I want Albert to remain with the Cardinals. But not at that price.

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