It's official: Albert Pujols has snubbed the St. Louis Cardinals for glitz, glamour and real housewives.
Signing with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim is not only a huge move for the Angels, the Cardinals and Pujols himself; it's also a major statement northbound to Chavez Ravine and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Dodgers won't like this one bit.
As a longtime resident of both Orange and Los Angeles counties, I assure you that the Dodger faithful, management and most importantly, media outlets, wont like the fact that their step-brother 45 minutes (well, optimistically...around midnight) down the I-5 have gone out and bagged themselves a superstar.
Imagine, as impossible as it may seem, that the Yankees had a disastrous ownership crisis, and over the course of a few seasons saw a fall from grace. In an offseason full of optimism regarding a rebuild surrounded by talented anchors in the bullpen and outfield, the Mets go out and sign arguably the best free agent available on the open market.
That would be declaring war for baseball supremacy in New York.
The Dodgers and Angeles are no different. Let's not forget that the whole reason behind professional sports is to garner a profit. Anaheim just spent a lot of money to make a whole lot more. They'll see a rise in ticket sales, merchandise sales--every Angels fan will want a Pujols jersey and the sharp increase in television viewership as this blockbuster signing will surely bring a national media circus to Orange County.
It comes down to this: Dodgers, you need to sign Prince Fielder. If not for his talent, then just to save face as the dominant team in Southern California. Despite the "Los Angeles" being sloppily tagged on to the Angels' handle, the Dodgers are LA's team.
In an upcoming season as crucial as this one, there's no room to allow the Angels to steal your thunder.
Get out there and make a splash! Oh yeah, and get an owner willing to make it, too.