What do you think of this? Is this a HINT? A sign of big things to come? Or was it just two socially awkward guys, not knowing how to appropriately greet one another?
Personally, I have given a man-hug on occasion. For I am a socially awkward man. But I have standards. I generally don't just hug the random man, unless I am drunk. Presumably, neither man was drunk at the time. No, I dole out my man-hugs to men whom I am particularly close to: long-time friends; college roommates; high-school chums; long-lost cousins. Are we to believe that Hendry and Pujols are high-school chums? They may be the same age, according to some. But I don't think Donut Jim attended high school in the Dominican.
So, the hug. It has some hidden meaning, right? These are not two men who are socially close. They are not 'girl scout fathers', their daughters do not sell cookies together. They are not on the same bowling league in the offseason. They don't belong to the same chapter of Rotarians. Surely this means that Albert Pujols and Jim Hendry have spent several long nights whispering sweet nothings to each other over the phone, longing for the days they can work more closely together.
Now, in Paul Sullivan's official recap of the event, Hendry notes that Pujols "hugged him first, and since he's such a big, strong guy..." Well, a few may interpret that as Jim finally coming to grips with his latent feminine side. I, however, think that contrary to his stated wishes, Albert Pujols is still negotiating with his current team for a contract. Oh, he won't do anything as logical as actually sitting down with his agent and the Cardinals' GM and ending the drama like an adult. No, he'd rather seek out the GM of their biggest rival, give him a hug, get the Chicago, St. Louis, and national baseball media wagging their tongues, and totally inflame the Cardinal Nation, which really isn't hard given their weaknesses over shiny objects and paint thinner mixed with Mountain Dew.
Poo Holes is stirring up his fanbase, so that they will DEMAND the Cardinals pay whatever it takes to keep him, thus forcing his club to do something that might be out of character or otherwise contrary to their plan. He hugged big Jim to piss off Cletus Nation, to turn up the drama another notch, to force more years and dollars out of the Cardinals.
I'm all for it. I'm willing to face a world where Pujols prices the Cardinals out of the running for any other decent free agents. If the Cardinals are going to go into this decade with three stars and 22 cheap (slow, dumb, weak, bad) hangers-on, I'll take those chances. Maybe the dickhead can walk out there today and hand Hendry a sealed manila envelope in plain sight of all them toothless rednecks. I love drama, just not when it is happening to me and mine.