Fans of all sports typically love to see David slay Goliath. They usually root against the haves and in favor of the have-nots. They must really enjoy attending MLB games so far, because unpredictability has been the norm in April. Albert Pujols, Justin Morneau, and the Boston Red Sox are all prime examples of conventional wisdom being useless thus far when analyzing the early portion of the season.
While the regular season is only about ten percent complete, the relevance of the Kansas City Royals and Cleveland Indians is refreshing to observers all over baseball because it shows the league is not in danger of turning into the NBA.
In that I mean there are only about a half dozen teams in basketball that have any chance of matriculating through the postseason.
-The Pujols situation dominated talk in spring training. It does not make one iota of sense for players not to discuss contracts during the season. They often say that it is a distraction, but when you get to the heart of the matter, it is more of a hindrance to drag out the process even further than necessary. It is blatantly obvious even to the most casual of fans that he is pressing.
It didn’t help the St. Louis Cardinals that Matt Holliday was lost from the line-up for a substantial period of time with appendicitis. Baseball is not a game where one player can carry a team on his shoulders. A hot goalie may be able to take his club to the Stanley Cup Finals, but a prolific hitter will not have that type of impact for a major league team. Pujols must come to the realization quickly that his next contract is not for his past accomplishments.
The organization will pay him for the promise of what he could do for them in the future. He is on the wrong side of thirty and his best years are behind him. He has little chance of hitting the Derek Jeter jackpot because St. Louis is certainly not New York. His best bet is to pit the Cubs against the Cardinals in negotiations. Their fan bases hate each other so much that it will inevitably lead to one of them overpaying him and offering an excessive amount of years.
-There is already mumbling about the status of Terry Francona. This is the treatment that a man gets for lifting the curse of the Bambino. His employment status should not even be in question and listeners to sports talk radio must let the season transpire. They are making assumptions to what will take place instead of seeing what happens in the games. When temperatures rise and balls start flying out of Fenway Park, I like their chances to be playing in October. The top two teams in the American League East punch their postseason tickets perennially.