Viva El Birdos: The Alternate Universe Of Albert Pujols

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

He was an icon in St. Louis, a hitting-machine that would be revered like the great Stan Musial. But then he bolted town for a huge payday. Viva El Birdos was recently forced to reflect on the career of Albert Pujols.

Much of the time on Blog Huddle we highlight good or unusual events that SB Nation blogs are participating in, or talk about other media singing our praises. But every once in a while, we just like to highlight a great piece of writing. Take this recent piece about Albert Pujols, his legacy in St. Louis and the alternate universe where he chose to remain in St. Louis instead of jumping to the L.A. Angels.

Viva El Birdos covers the St. Louis Cardinals for SB Nation. Naturally, for many years, they placed Pujols on a pedestal, and why not, he was the King of the Baseball Mountain. A player with all the skills on the field and humility off the field. Home runs and charity work, they all worked in beautiful harmony with Pujols. Then their world was rocked when Pujols decided to leave in free agency for an obscenely large contract with the Angles.

Dan Moore has penned an interesting and insightful piece on Pujols from a Cardinals fan perspective. Once Pujols up and left, Moore hasn't spent much time thinking about the wayward star.

It's been easy for me to ignore Albert Pujols's career-to-date with the Los Angeles Angels because that's exactly what I intended to do from the moment he and the St. Louis Cardinals stopped negotiating. It wasn't out of spite, or disappointment, or anything-I just didn't want to spend the next 10 baseball seasons wondering about the kind of career he'd have on his way to the Hall of Fame and one of those standing-O-generating red blazers.

Now the Cardinals are visiting the Angels, and I've got no choice: I have to look at Albert Pujols...

The Cards and the Angels did square off on July 2 -4, but Moore's piece is not about that series, it's about how a writer and a fan deal with the loss of a legend. How should you feel about a player who was held in a warm embrace, but is now viewed with cool detachment? He even delves into thought experiments about how things would be if Pujols had re-signed with the Cardinals, and had continued his downward trajectory that has been evident with the Angels.

It makes for an great read, and I highly recommend you check it out. Moore closes his musings with this thought.

The saddest facet of Albert Pujols's decline is that it's happening far away from anybody who cares about it. It's a fascinating baseball problem, now-what will the Angels do with this enormous contract? If it were happening in St. Louis, we might be angry about it. We might wish, aloud, that somebody else had overbid on him. We'd commemorate each magic number with standing ovations that verged on condescending, because we wouldn't know what else to do. And whatever we thought about Albert Pujols, we'd be thinking it constantly. But until this week I hadn't thought about him at all.

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