Since I started this website three years ago, I can’t ever remember a crazier week in the world of sports than this past one. We had the Major League Baseball's winter meetings mixed with the opening of NBA training camps, which just so happened to be fused into a fun week of college hoops, and the college football coaching carousel nearly spinning off its axis. My only wish is that we could’ve had the WNBA playoffs as a cheery on top of this week’s sports sundae.
I’m kidding on that last one of course. But in all seriousness though, all this sports madness left me in a tough conundrum yesterday morning. At the time, there wasn’t a whole lot to write about; all was quiet on the home-front in basketball (where training camps opened today, and where- at the time- Chris Paul was still comfortably a Hornet), and in baseball things were quiet too, with no apparent player movement beyond “Mark Buehrle going to Florida.” So instead, I wrote a column about Tim Tebow. The timing was nothing, if not weird. Even I’ll admit that.
Still, the column did have some relevance. ...at least for about 30 seconds, until, just minutes after I posted it news broke that Albert Pujols had spurned the Cardinals and was headed to Anaheim (or is that Los Angeles?) to play for the Angels. Could it be true? Could the best player in baseball really be switching leagues and teams at the tail-end of his prime, and doing it in large part to spite the only organization he’d ever called home? It sounded like it couldn’t be real. Until it was.
Which brings us to today, and brings us to our eventual reality: Baseball’s power struggle has shifted out West, and done it on the big bat, and bigger contract of Albert Pujols. Ultimately, I don’t know what it means. Could it be that the Angels are guaranteed their first World Series win since 2002? AL West dominance for years to come? Or are they only guaranteed a week’s worth of headlines in April, followed by 10 years’ worth of big payments into Pujols’ direct deposit account from then on out? Only time will tell.
What I do know though, is that this is big. Like really, really big. And ultimately, it’s also the best thing that could’ve happened to the sport of baseball.