Albert Pujols schadenfreude

Time to let go, folks. It’s been time to let go for a while now. Many of you have. I have. But there seemingly remains this element, a relatively quiet minority really, that gets louder with each mention of Albert Pujols‘ name across the ticker at the bottom of their television.

OH MY GOODNESS JOHN MOZELIAK IS SOOOOOOOO SMART

It’s even coming from jealous Cubs fans these days. That headline is amazing. Go read it again, I’ll wait.

. . . . .

Do you recognize schadenfreude when you see it?

scha·den·freu·de

[shahd-n-froi-duh]

noun

satisfaction or pleasure felt at someone else’s misfortune.

The volume on this has gotten cranked up again in recent days with news of Pujols possibly missing the rest of this 2013 season with foot troubles. John Mozeliak is once again a genius grand wizard general manager and TOTALLY predicted Pujols would miss a third of the season with a bum foot. That Mozeliak sure is a cagey character.

Truth is, Mo tried to make this still be the Cardinals’ problem, remember? I’m not sure he was ever convinced it was the right thing to do business- and numbers-wise, but when you have an all-time great, you have to try. Lest we forget, this latest episode in Pujols’ seeming decline could be the Cards’ $220 million problem instead of the Angels’ $240 million problem. What the aforementioned Cubs Fan Mr. Sterling fails to acknowledge is that Mo looks really smart now (and I do believe he is, hi Mr. Mozeliak!) but could’ve had this nine-figure apparent albatross just as squarely over his head. Mozeliak didn’t so much “decide to let Pujols go to LA” as much as finally screaming uncle when the Angels elected to go higher (and with a reasonable “we tried” story for the fans to go along with it).

Lest you think this is all about one jaded Cubs fan, there are other examples from Cardinal fans as well, a quick Tweeter Machine search reveals them. In this case, not only are there the vocal minority chiming in about Pujols’ torn plantar fascia, but you can scroll back through all of the jabs, the merry-making, the praise for the hometown club’s genius contract assigner just as happy that Pujols is struggling at the plate. Or that Pujols is unable to play first base on even a semi-regular basis because of bad wheels. We all expected that the Angels could commit like they did because eventually Pujols would become a designated hitter in the American League. But I don’t think any of us, Mozeliak included, thought that eventually would be the summer of 2013.

This begs another question that requires addressing – did Mozeliak have some feedback and/or information from the Cardinals’ supremely qualified staff that said Pujols was an injury risk, or at risk for decline because of injuries for so many years put on the back burner in the interest of winning games? He surely did, and I’m certain someone much smarter than I could quantify that information to be worth approximately one year and about twenty million dollars. But to assume that Mozeliak is brilliant because now Pujols will miss time with an injury? He’s not a soothsayer.

Am I over-selling this existence of schadenfreude in this case? Maybe a bit, but that’s what blogs are for. Does it exist? Most certainly.

Move on, Cardinal fans. I know many of you have. I want the rest to join us. Let’s not revel in seeing Pujols struggle. Mozeliak is great, love him, but he’s not able to predict injury. This may be going over a line with some of you, but I actually really want Pujols to succeed. I want him to be one of the greatest of all time and come back to St. Louis to celebrate in a red sport coat some day. Maybe I’m just soft. John Mozeliak would definitely not offer me $240 million. But maybe he could let me know if I’ve got a torn ACL or something coming down the pike?

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