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Where will Albert call home

Posted Wednesday, December 7, 2011, at 10:43 AM

Longtime Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols is clicking his heels this morning as we all wait to see where "home" turns out to be.

Baseball reporters from around the nation blew up social networks last night with reports, rumors and opinions of all shapes and sizes. The vast amount of information, as always, made it difficult to discern fact from fiction.

This morning, we still no little of what is actually taking shape for "Team Albert".

Here is my most recent update from the information I've gathered. The Cardinals are meeting again with Pujols agent Dan Lozano this morning and ESPN states "it is possible the deal gets done this morning." By the time this comes out in the paper, it could be done. Don't hold your breath yet though.

To just humor the idea of the potential, I thought I would share a handful of oddities that would take place following a potential Marlins signing.

* Don't forget that the Cardinals and Marlins share Roger Dean Stadium as their spring training home in Jupiter, Fla. Imagine the oddity there?

* The homerun celebration "mechanism" in the new Miami stadium is absolutely atrocious. If I was Albert, a stipulation of ANY contract there would involve the removal of that goofy piece of construction that reminds me far too much of Care Bears bouncing over a rainbow. When you hit a homerun, nothing "pink" should be involved in the celebration. Just Google it and you'll see what I mean.

* The Cardinals opening day match-up is against the Marlins in the news stadium. Talk about an awkward and ugly way to open the baseball season.

If I was a betting man, I'd still put my money on him staying in St. Louis. I think the Marlins have a lot to compete with before they will be able to pull him away. A move to another city will all but remove his legend status within the game. In St. Louis, as he gets older, he could bat .199 with 45 RBIs and still be treated like a king. The people will still love him. They will still buy his T-shirts, jerseys, bobble-heads, toe nail clippings or anything you can slap a "5" on.

In Miami that won't be the case. They don't have the emotional attachment to him that the Cardinals fans do. From the game's most amazing rookie season to winning championships and breaking massive records, those are St. Louis memories. Miami fans won't care at all about what he "has done" for us; they want to know what he "will do" for them.

There's a HUGE difference in being a born legend in a city, and being signed after your early glory days. I'm not saying his glory days are past, because I don't believe they are. With that being said, the numbers have began to creep down. Even if they do continue a slow decline, you're still looking at several years before you would downgrade the status from legendary to "great."

The fact that Albert slept on the decision is also a good sign for Cardinals fans. I truly hope that by the time you read this column, we know what is going to happen. If Albert decides to be a Cardinal, wonderful, let's get it over with. If not, then so be it. Regardless of how it goes, dragging this thing on until Christmas or even January is not good for anyone involved, well, with the exception of Lozano. To wait too long would leave any team in the bidding forced to wait until the market is dried up before they can move forward with a new plan.

Something tells me that by this time tomorrow, all will be said and done. I think he'll still be a Cardinal. I believe that both he and owner Bill Dewitt, Jr. will still be very, very rich. I'll still be at every game I can get to. I'll still buy their overpriced goodies.

Most of all, I'm sure that I'll still be a Cardinals fan when the sun rises tomorrow.

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Corey Noles, staff writer for The Daily Statesman and Editor of The North Stoddard Countian, is the author of a regular baseball/St. Louis Cardinals column and also uses his blog to sound off on various happenings in sports. He also operates a weekly baseball mailbag column.

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