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The Cardinals And Pujols Will Be On The Same Field Again

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Monday, July .1st 2013

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Albert Pujols led the St. Louis Cardinals in nearly every statistical category for over a decade. He was well on his way to being touted the greatest Cardinal of all-time, which would be a substantial honor given the history of the franchise. But all of that changed when the man from Kansas City shocked the baseball world and packed his backs for Anaheim, California on December 8th, 2011.  Since signing the 10 Year Deal with the Angels, Pujols has regressed both years in OPS (.859 in 2012, .752 in 2013 – which pales in comparison to his St. Louis Career OPS of 1.037 – or even his 2011 campaign of a .906 mark. It looks like letting Prince Albert go was a great decision!

By Landen Crouch (Cardinals Correspondent)

After a year and a half, 243 regular season baseball games, and 13 Postseason games, the time has finally arrived.  The St. Louis Cardinals and Albert Pujols will finally be on the same baseball field again.  

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim will host the St. Louis Cardinals at Angel Stadium on Tuesday night at 10:05 ET.

I believe that at this point, Cardinals fans have moved on from the sting of the Pujols situation.  This is not the same level of hatred as the LeBron James saga in his return to Cleveland.  But, in a way, it is similar.  

Pujols signing with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (of California of the United States of North America of the Northern Hemisphere…etc) shocked everyone.  No one saw it coming.  It was literally as if he packed his bags and snuck out in the middle of the night.

Pujols tells reporter “[St. Louis] is where I wanna be.”

Carlos Beltran

Carlos Beltran jumped right into the middle of the Cardinals lineup in 2012 and collected 32 HRs and 97 RBIs. His incredible production has invaluable for the St. Louis Cardinals the last two years, who desperately needed production after the departure of Albert Pujols. Beltran’s production led the Cardinals all the way to Game 7 of the NLCS, where they fell just one win shy of another World Series appearance. In 2013, Beltran is batting .308 with 19 HRs and 50 RBI, well on his way to another All-Star appearance.

After 11 years of total domination in a Cardinal uniform, St. Louis fell in love with Albert and his family.  The city really thought that this guy was one of their own.  He was a legend in the midwest.  Cardinals fans honestly never imagined that this guy would ever wear another uniform.

Whether or not Cardinals fans want to admit it, it was a very painful process.  It felt like Albert took complete offense to a small little situation (negotiation), and made an emotional decision that he may later regret.

 It was awkward, and it really just did not sit right with me when it happened.  One thing that has been amazing about the last year and a half, though, is remembering that hindsight is 20/20.  And as of right now, it sure looks as if the Cards franchise got the better of it.

When Pujols walked, St. Louis acted quickly in the Free Agent market.  The Cardinals immediately took action and signed Carlos Beltran, a move that has likely worked out about as good as it could possibly work out.  

There is no denying that Beltran has been nothing short of fantastic for the St. Louis, and has replaced Albert Pujols on the roster quite nicely. Here is the proof.

Since Albert Pujols walked out on the Cardinals, here are his numbers in comparison to how Beltran has filled in his spot:

Carlos Beltran

  G        AB        AVG        HR        RBI

225     833       .282          51         147

Albert Pujols 

  G        AB        AVG        HR        RBI

234     924       .273          43          154

As the numbers clearly communicate, Carlos Beltran’s production has clearly been more valuable than Pujols’.

 As a Cardinals fan, I could not be more proud of the front office and GM John Mozeliak for an incredible job they have done in surviving losing one of the greatest hitters in franchise history.  

It could have been a much bigger blow than it ended up being.  For the Cardinals to lose a player like Pujols and just one year later be in a position to go back to the World Series (lost NLCS to Giants 4 games to 3) is beyond words.  

The front office deserves tons of credit for where the organization is right now. 

When the Cardinals 2013 schedule was announced, it was very exciting to see the Angels on the schedule.  And like most St. Louis fans, I have been looking forward to this for a long while.

But to me, it is a shame that Major League Baseball did not make this series happen in St. Louis.  Just how long will it be before Albert Pujols plays baseball in Busch Stadium again?

 Outside of the small chance that the Cardinals and Angels meet in the World Series, it will not happen for a couple of years.

Even though the upcoming series is not as intense as it could be (if it were held in St. Louis), it is going to be quite a sight to see Albert Pujols step in the box AGAINST the St. Louis Cardinals for the first time in his career.   Will the Cardinals spend three days regretting not signing him?  Or will his tendency to be over-anxious get the best of him?  Where you are a fan of the Cardinals or the Angels, I think we can all agree with this statement:  I can't wait to find out.

Even though the upcoming series is not as intense as it could be (if it were held in St. Louis), it is going to be quite a sight to see Albert Pujols step in the box AGAINST the St. Louis Cardinals for the first time in his career.
Will the Cardinals spend three days regretting not signing him? Or will his tendency to be over-anxious get the best of him? Where you are a fan of the Cardinals or the Angels, I think we can all agree with this statement: I can’t wait to find out.

*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of www.mlbreports.com and their partners.***

A big thank-you goes out to our Cardinals Correspondent Landen Crouch.  Landen is a huge fan of the St. Louis Cardinals.  He has followed them almost religiously since he was 7-Years-Old.  In recent years, though, he has discovered how deep his passion for the game of baseball is.  His dream is to visit as many ballparks as he can in his lifetime. 

Landen does not currently cover sports professionally, but as a hobby.  He is studying Vocal Music Education at Arkansas Tech University and is his final year in the program.  He is set to graduate in December of this year.  Follow and Interact with Landen on Twitter

 a landen crouch

Please e-mail me  at: mlbreports@gmail.com with any questions and feedback. To subscribe to our website and have the Daily Reports sent directly to your inbox, click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage.

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About LandenCrouch

My name is Landen Crouch. I am a husband, dad, and follower of Christ. I work as Worship Pastor and Youth Pastor at The Refuge Church (myrefugechurch.tv) in Russellville, AR. I am passionate about Jesus, leadership, and just about all things sports.

Posted on July 1, 2013, in MLB Player Profiles, MLB Teams: Articles and Analysis, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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