See? Someone wants to stay a Cardinal.
(Sorry, couldn’t resist that after watching the “Albert’s An Angel Outdoor Pep Rally Extravaganza — Also Featuring C.J. Wilson.”)
Anyway, yes, Furcal will be back. Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has the news:
The deal has been agreed upon pending a physical, the shortstop’s agent Paul Kinze confirmed to The Post-Dispatch on Saturday afternoon.
Furcal, 34, returns to the team that acquired him at the July non-waiver trade deadline last season. Furcal solidified the team’s defense with his play at shortstop, and he took over the leadoff role until struggling at the plate in the World Series. Furcal hit .255 with a .316 on-base percetnage and a .418 slugging percentage in 50 games with the Cardinals in 2011. He added seven homers and 29 runs scored as the team’s everyday shortstop.
His defense was definitely the biggest benefit, and it will be good to have that steady presence at short.
As for the Albert press conference, it was odd. I watched out of curiosity … and it was certainly a curious production. Bunting on the outside of the stadium, many of the team and coaching staff there and introduced (including Jered Weaver, whom Albert referred to as “Jeff”), A.J. decked out in his new Angels No. 5 jersey sitting on Albert’s lap, Angels fans cheering and yelling and chanting “Thank you, Arte” when Angels owner Arte Moreno was introduced. When asked about St. Louis during the Q/A, Albert repeatedly said it wasn’t the right time to talk about it. He did say he believes the fans of St. Louis will still love him.
I will not comment on that … especially based on the fan reaction via Twitter I saw following his remark. Suffice to say not many are loving him right now.
Anyway, the real news of this post: Furcal is back! Here’s to good health and a very productive two years ahead for him as a Cardinal, wearing the very classy and incomparable Birds on the Bat jersey. Other uniforms may look similar — you know, like a certain West Coast team getting a great deal of attention today — but there’s only one original.
Christine Coleman is the senior St. Louis Cardinals reporter for Aaron Miles’ Fastball. Follow her on Twitter, @CColeman802, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Also follow @AMilesFastball for the latest updates.