It is really going to suck watching Albert Pujols wear a blue uniform.
That’s likely going to be his color for the remainder of his career in Major League Baseball after Pujols signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers Monday.
It was much easier to digest the idea of him finishing his career with the Angels, who were safely tucked away in the American League West, where the Cardinals would see their former star sparingly.
For example, Pujols has only played one series in St. Louis since departing at the end of the 2011 season for California.
However, the Angels ruined that arrangement when they designated Pujols for assignment and released him a couple of weeks ago during the final year of his contract and almost assuredly the last year of his playing career.
Pujols received a hero’s welcome when the Angels came to Busch Stadium in 2019 and even received a curtain call from Cardinals fans after hitting a home run off St. Louis starter Dakota Hudson.
But it will be a lot harder to continue to cheer for Pujols when he plays for a National League club and stands between the Cardinals and the ultimate annual goal of getting to the World Series.
The first time the Cardinals will see Pujols wearing another NL team’s jersey will be Memorial Day in Los Angeles.
The Dodgers come to St. Louis for a four-game series that could have significant playoff implications, Sept. 6-9.
Assuming all goes well and the Cardinals win the NL Central, St. Louis and the Dodgers could butt heads again in the playoffs.
It would’ve been vastly preferable had Pujols landed with another American League team, where the Cardinals might not have even had to play against him unless it was by the happy coincidence of meeting in the World Series.
As it is, Pujols joins the defending World Series champions, a team many still see as the favorite to win the World Series this year despite currently ranking third in the NL West behind the San Francisco Giants and San Diego Padres.
As much as I want to see Pujols add to his 667 career home runs and 3,253 hits and get as close to the likely unattainable goal of 700 home runs as he can, the idea of him doing it in Dodger blue is less than palatable — nearly sickening.
Especially when Cardinal fans were dreaming of a potential reunion between Pujols and his old No. 5 with the birds on the bat.
On the surface, Pujols with the Dodgers is a better fit. There, he can platoon with first baseman Max Muncy and give the lefty slugger the day off against tough left-handed hurlers.
He can potentially play even more than that if the Dodgers are again willing to chance Muncy’s glove at second base, something they’ve been happy to do in the past.
That becomes even more of a possibility with the recent injury to Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager, which could mean second baseman Gavin Lux spending more time as shortstop to open a hole for Muncy to play second and Pujols to play first.
For the Cardinals, Pujols would have likely been relegated to one-pinch hit appearance per game for the most part, only making the starting lineup when Paul Goldschmidt needed a day of rest maybe once every two or three weeks.
The Cardinals certainly wouldn’t move Goldschmidt’s or Nolan Arenado’s gold gloves to another position to make room for Pujols at first base or third base. Pujols is beyond the years of versatility where he could play in the outfield, and the Cardinals don’t have the luxury of playing him at designated hitter like an AL team would have.
This is undoubtedly a great situation for Pujols to land in, and good for him, but it doesn’t make it any easier to see for the St. Louis faithful.