So is this what it’s like to be a Yankees fan? To have the entire sports media world hanging around for days, hyperventilating and speculating and talking and talking and tweeting and speculating some more and writing and writing and tweeting yet again and having live reports from Jupiter to let me know that this is how you feel right now because you’re a Cardinals fan? Even my local TV station is tweeting to tell me how disappointed I am Albert is leaving the Cardinals.
The truth is I’m not planning to jump off any high structures. Not planning to boo Albert during the next Cardinals game I attend. Not saying this is all Bill DeWitt and John Mozeliak’s fault because they let it reach this stage. Not blaming anyone, actually. And, as Derrick Goold reminded us yesterday, Albert is still a Cardinal in 2011. (Shocking, isn’t it?) And he can still be one after this season too. Free agency doesn’t necessarily guarantee he’s leaving.
So maybe there is some common sense out there among all the madness. Then again, Goold’s employer, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, posted an article on its website from a Chicago Tribune writer about the possibilities of Albert becoming a Cub.
Since it’s impossible to keep up with everything being said about Albertageddon, I’ve mostly concentrated on those who get the situation: the Cardinals beat writers and members of the United Cardinals Bloggers. And Dennis at Pitchers Hit Eighth captured it all perfectly yesterday, while also reminding me of the song still running through my head: “Every Little Thing Gonna Be Alright.” (While I won’t let the national media and my local TV station tell me how I feel right now, I will let Dennis. And Bob Marley.)
Today promises to be another frenzy in Jupiter, since Albert actually arrives at Roger Dean Stadium to start spring training. (Although he’s actually there already, arriving at 7:30 a.m. Does that ruin any planned MLB Network live specials?) So now maybe, hopefully, the focus can be back on preparing for the 2011 season. That’s what I care about the most right now.
Through all this craziness, though, I keep thinking of one person: Stan Musial. Of course he’s been on the minds and in the hearts of all Cardinals fans this week since he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House on Tuesday. Everything about it, from seeing the video of the ceremony to reading all the coverage I can, has moved me to tears. (And that includes this wonderful post from G9 Blues writer and fellow Cards fan Ann Warner.) He’s the greatest Cardinal of them all, baseball’s perfect warrior and perfect knight — and quite obviously played in a much different time than Albert does today. So maybe it’s not fair of me to wonder what Stan would have done if this contract situation had somehow presented itself to him back in the 1950s.
So instead I’ll wonder about Albert’s legacy. How will we look back on his days as a Cardinal in 20 or 30 years? I know what I’ll say about the first 10 seasons: he’s right up there behind Stan the Man. Now it will interesting to see how much longer that legacy extends.
Christine Coleman is the lead writer for Aaron Miles’ Fastball. Follow her on Twitter, @CColeman802, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Also follow @AMilesFastball for the latest updates.