St. Louis Cardinals Win World Series: Is Albert Pujols Coming Back for a Repeat?

John MillerCorrespondent IIIOctober 29, 2011

Will Pujols be back to defend the Cardinals World Championship in 2012?
Will Pujols be back to defend the Cardinals World Championship in 2012?Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Hide your spouse! Hide your offspring! The St. Louis Cardinals just won the World Series, as reported by New York Times. Congratulations, Cardinals fans. Y'all deserve it. Albert Pujols did right by everybody and losing Adam Wainwright did not even matter.

But of course it did. Everything matters. And yet, nothing mattered. The Texas Rangers decided that their major move at the trade deadline would be to shore up their bullpen.

Yet in the postseason, Uncle Ron opted to use a combination of starters and relievers in the bullpen. Neftali Feliz will be stretched out as a starter in 2012. But he wasn't allowed to go more than one inning when one inning was all that mattered?

The Cardinals are a perfect example of what sports can be. A flawed team beat unbelievable odds to win, right through to being down to their last strike twice in Game 6. It's completely unreal. But what does it say for the overall model of building a World Series-winning MLB franchise?

The Cardinals had Albert Pujols, the best hitter in baseball. Maybe one of the best hitters in baseball history. Probably one of the best hitters in baseball history.

But who was the World Series MVP? David Freese? A nice player, no doubt. He helped me win my NL-only roto league. But World Series MVP?

Get into the tournament and get hot. That's all you can hope for. That's all you can do.

If you want to make sure you make it to the World Series, you have to have dominant hitting AND pitching. Or just get hot at the right time. Even when you get there, one bad game and that's that. It's brutal, yet perfectly poetic at the same time

So the Cardinals are the World Series champions. With Chris Carpenter, Jamie Garcia and Kyle Loshe anchoring the rotation. With Jason Motte closing games, when it was apparent two years ago that Tony LaRussa HATED Jason Motte. What did we learn?

Never ever, ever, ever, ever, ever pay for relief pitchers not named Mariano Rivera!

And we learned that Albert Pujols just can't leave the St. Louis Cardinals. They will offer over $22 million a year for seven years. Can he really leave for $25 million per season and say it is because he wants to win a World Series?

Not going to happen. The hometown discount just came into effect, in the guise of World Series Champion revenue. The Cardinals made enough extra money to increase their previous best offer by 10 percent. It's not their fault that the Yankees overpaid A-Rod by 250 percent, right?

Congratulations to you all Cardinals fans. Pujols will return. Wainwright will start slow, but prove to be an excellent value for his salary. Young, talented pitchers await their call in the minors. But for tonight, soak it all in. Love it. Enjoy it.

But don't be fooled. The team that the Cardinals field in 2012 will be BETTER than the team that won the World Series in 2011.

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