Effort to Sign Number Five Is Not Malfunction

April 8, 2011

Self-imposed, arbitrary deadlines have come and gone. The regular season has started with a bit of a speed bump to say the least. Cracks in Tony La Russa’s sullen, joyless façade have already started to appear.

What once seemed like the unthinkable to the St. Louis Cardinals and the team’s loyal fans – Albert Pujols wearing his signature Number Five on a uniform other than one comprised of two parts bird and one part bat – has started to slowly creep into the realm of the imaginable.

In fact, there hasn’t been this much buzz over a Number Five since a cute, quirky robot starving for input shared the silver screen with Steven Guttenberg and Ally Sheedy, and later foiled bank robbers in an obligatory yet underappreciated sequel.

Even talk of Albert joining the dreaded Chicago Cubs has started to make a modicum of sense.  I mean, why else would the Cubs sign 32 year-old Carlos Pena to a one-year deal, unless they were hoping to be able to make a run at Pujols the free agent this winter? Everybody knows the Cubs like to overpay for terrible players. Alfonso Soriano in left field makes Chris Duncan look like, well, Shelley Duncan. Just imagine what they would be willing to pay a future Hall-of-Famer still in MVP form?

Come on mang, this can’t be happening, can it? Won’t somebody do something? Please, think of the children!

Actually, somebody has. A local St. Louis group has started a website called SignPujols.org. Its mission:  keep the career of Number Five alive and with the Cardinals.

How do they propose to do this? By selling metal signs featuring a skillfully crafted sketch drawing of Prince Albert with the phrase “Sign Pujols” in big, bold lettering:

Sign Pujols Sign

The idea is that fans will buy the signs, bring them to the game, or otherwise prominently display them, thus letting Albert know we’d like him to remain a Cardinal. The best part is that all proceeds from sales of the signs go to Albert’s charity, the Pujols Family Foundation.

So buy a sign, cross your finger and pray to Gah, and maybe just maybe, we can get Albert Pujols to stick with St. Louis. Because letting Number Five go to another team, especially the arch-rival Cubs, could very well make the Cardinals look like numskulls for years to come.