Stan Musial will receive his Presidential Medal of Freedom on Tuesday, February 15th, from President Barack Obama at 1:30 EST in the East Room of the White House. It is going to be a great thing for MLB, Stan and St. Louis Cardinals fans all over the country. However, Albert Pujols is going to steal the moment from Mr. Musial, as both the local and national media will be caught up in what is now a deadline of Wednesday at noon for his contract negotiations to end. That’s all that will be talked about on the local and national level. It shouldn’t be this way, but it will be.
The President stole the show when St. Louis hosted the 2009 All-Star game. It should have been a time for the rest of America to really see what a great man and player Stan was. It was a time for America to realize that Stan Musial should always be mentioned with names like Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio, Lou Gehrig and other greats. Instead, the moment was short lived, and President Obama became the attraction. Now, Albert Pujols is going to do the same thing. I’m not sure if Pujols has given much thought to the timing of his deadline, but he should have. For all the talk about his respect for Musial, this won’t be a good way to show it.
Like I’ve said many times now, the deal with Pujols is not going to get done. It appears he has rejected the Cardinals offer of a 7 year contract, and he and his agent Dan Lozano are going to be insistent on 10 years and $300 million. The only other thing I want to say for today is that I think the Cardinals are making a wise decision. Albert Pujols is going to start to decline in the next few years, 5 years at best in my opinion. Players not on steroids always have and always will decline in their late 30′s. I’m sure the details will be flowing from both sides after noon on Wednesday. It’s time for the Cardinals to start looking at possible trades and free agents for 2012.