Major League Baseball needs a savior. Whether it is a feel good story about a young, up-and-coming team rising from the ashes of failure to contend with with big money spending traditional powers or a shining star that happens to be detached from any links to performance enhancing drugs.
Right now, all six of the division leaders are in the Top 10 of spending as teams have still been able to make it rain on free agents despite an economy that limits me to a passing shower here and there. And with no upstarts off in the distance, baseball is hitching its wagons to Albert Pujols.
This is my opportunity to tell the head honchos at the MLB to be wary of where you hitch your wagons. Big Papi's big bust yesterday proved that even one of baseball's most popular players, who offered up a year-long banishment from baseball as punishment for steroid use could be a suspect. Between Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz, Boston fans should feel duped. And somewhere, Cardinals and Rockies fans should feel as if former dopers had stolen a World Series title from them. Of course, that means those teams' fans are assuming everyone on that team was clean.
If losing Papi's veil of perceived cleanliness was a punch to the gut of baseball, then losing Pujols would be like being on the receiving end of a blow from Mike Tyson in his prime.
The only reason Pujols is in this category is because of his link to Dominican trainer Angel Presinal, who (as pointed out via The Big Lead) has worked with many Latino baseball stars. Names that litter the list include Ortiz, Miguel Tejada and Alex Rodriguez -- all of which have been linked at one point or another. Pujols leads the parade of players that have not (yet) been linked to the PED movement which includes Vladimir Guerrero, Pedro Martinez and Robinson Cano.
So here's my plea to Phat Albert. Please do not find yourself on that list, may The Baseball Gods so help your soul. If not for the sake of the game, for the sake of St. Louis Cardinals fans who would look like total hypocrites for giving Manny Ramirez a resounding chorus of boos for the last four days, but gave a thunerous standing ovation to Rick Ankiel.
Oh wait, that already happened.
More on that later.