I can remember a few years back, when sports radio luminary (and botched face-lift recipient) Colin Cowherd spewed some rhetoric about how the only rivalries in sports were the Red Sox vs. the Yankees and the Celtics vs. the Lakers. The rest didn't count - not the Dodgers and the Giants, not the Cubs and the Cardinals, none of them, because the nation doesn't care when those two teams play. Cowherd's a dummy, if it's not clear. After all, it's not up to a nation of non Cub and Cardinals fans to determine if the Cubs and Cardinals are part of a heated rivalry. Point of fact, they don't get a say at all.
But if they did get a say, it's pretty obvious that they nation of sports fans would disagree with Cowherd. After all - just look at how many journalists and fans are getting giddy at the possibility of Albert Pujols defecting from St. Louis to play out his golden years in a Cubs uniform.
However, if we may be realistic for a second... a) is there a chance the Cubs may actually pursue Albert, and b) should they?
Answers: no and hellz no.
Make no mistake - Pujols is a gifted player, in the sense that people probably give him steroids. He's extremely talented, in that he is very good at concealing his abuse of performance enhancers. He's the kind of guy every team would want in the clubhouse, in the sense that every team would perform better if they were cheating their way to victory. (I could do this all day.) But none of that is why Pujols shouldn't be a Cub.
The reality is this - while the Cubs and Cardinals are a rivalry, they are not one in the same exact sense as the Yankees and Red Sox. Both rivalries are built on fans who hate each other, and both experience games even in April that are heated and passionate. But the Yankees and Red Sox are such rivals that they actively try to one-up each other in the front office. Cashman and Epstein are probably almost as giddy when they steal a rival player in December as they are when they win a title in October. Neither the Cubs nor the Cardinals have the pockets to play that brand of dirtyball.
Not to mention - is any player worth $30 mil a year? And how many years would this insane, world-breaking contract run for? If the Cubs announced in the off season that they were raising their payroll by $30 million, I'd be giddy. If they followed it up by proclaiming that it was all being spent on one guy, I'd want to turn this into a hockey blog. I'd feel disgusted. That money is better spent plugging many holes, in the bullpen and lineup, not just plugging one poo-holes. (Too much?)
One last thought. Albert is, minimally, 31 years old. All indications - such as the fact that Albert Pujols Jr. is currently chugging his way through Triple A ball - are that he's older than that. What if he was 34 or 35? What if he's only 2 or 3 years away from a decline? What if he gets caught with a trunk brimming with needles and veins filled with roids?
Nuh uh. Nope. No thank you. Let the Cardinals keep that Albertross. No team has the pockets for it, and no team will be better off with Albert on the roster by the end of that ridiculous contract.