Being a Missouri native and one who has lived here her entire life, I can't help but be a die-hard St. Louis Cardinals fan. It's just in my blood. For as long as I can remember, I've been watching the games, whether on TV or with my mom and dad at Busch Stadium - the old one and now the new one! Phrases like, "And that's a winner!" or "Go crazy, folks, go crazy!" are like a part of a person who is a true fan. A Cardinals fan remembers where they were when they saw Mark McGwire hit his 62nd home run on September 8, 1998 - I was sitting in a dorm lobby, on a couch, next to the window with a few friends. We literally jumped out of our seats screaming with excitement.
Yes, I love the Cardinals.
Recently the big news about the Cardinals is whether or not they will keep Albert Pujols. You've probably heard about it. Or maybe not. Maybe it's just plastered all over the St. Louis news like it's the only event happening in the world today. I guess it sort of feels like that to us who are fans. We love the guy. It's hard not to, especially since he's been called the greatest player to have ever stepped on the field.
But here is the problem: he rejected the first offer by the Cardinals, and news reports are saying he wants 30 million over 10 years. Now I'm not an expert on professional sports, but I have watched professional baseball my entire life, and I know enough to say that injuries happen. Signing anyone for that length of time seems crazy to me.
That's not really the issue for me, though.
The issue is this: I am a fan of all the St. Louis news stations on Facebook, and I keep reading people's opinions on the matter. They range from simplistic to complex. Some can say, in just two words, "SIGN HIM!" Others say in three words, "SEND HIM PACKING!"
But then there are those who put his character and belief system into question. "I thought he was different. I thought he was a Christian. What kind of person would expect that kind of money?" Or "I have grandchildren who really look up to him, but all I see from him right now is greed."
I guess I'm not sure what I think. Does this change your view of an individual? I would think that if anyone could make more money somewhere else doing the same job that they love, they would go. But at what cost? Albert has said he loves St. Louis. Is he just thinking dollar signs? What if he goes and hates it?
And the bottom line: does this hurt his integrity? Obviously it has changed how some people see him. Is that worth it?
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