Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak at the Winter Warm-up expressed frustration at the process of negotiating with Albert Pujols. And then he seemed to indicate a sense of relief that Pujols left by saying that things probably worked out the way they should have in the first place.
And that's the part that really sticks in my craw.
Is there anyone who is surprised that Pujols landed a contract in the vacinity of what he said he wanted in the first place? It may be an obscene amount of money. But all it takes is one idiotic owner to pay it -- and there is always at least one. If there were any surprises with the way the Pujols dealing went down it's that there weren't MORE owners willing to pay him in excess of a quarter billon dollars.
So, if the Cardinals knew what the price was and they knew how much they were willing to pay, doesn't that mean they were pretty much jerking us around for the last three years? If they knew they couldn't pay Pujols what he would command on the open market, they should have been honest with the people who buy the tickets and told us there was no chance Pujols was coming back.
I've had a sense of impending doom in the back of my baseball loving mind for the better part of two years. It would have been nice if I didn't have to agnoize over whether the team would sign Pujols or not.
The other problem I have with this situation is that there seemed to be no communication between the Cardinals and Pujols about this matter -- besides the aborted negotiations of last spring. If the Redbirds really wanted to keep Pujols -- and if Pujols really wanted to stay -- the sides needed to get together and have some honest conversation.
Former St. Louis manager Tony La Russa said Pujols was frustrated because the Cardinals wouldn't work with him. Now John Mozeliak says he was frustrated because Pujols was so hard to deal with. I just don't know what the sides expected when they both dug their heels into the ground and refused to even talk it out.