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Bullpen Session – Big Jones

By bullpenbrian at 02.17.2011 3 comments.

Damn you, AMC

The Bullpen Session is a weekly round-up of my observations surrounding Cubs baseball and much, much more!

The weekly Bullpen Session comes to a close now that Cubs pitchers and catchers have reported to Arizona. Although, this feature is sure to resurface whenever Cubs baseball isn’t being played, like during the All Star break.

–My Friday Cubs poll asked if the Cubs should pursue Albert Pujols if he remains a F.A. following the season. The results of that poll…

55% said ‘Yes, absolutely.’
44% said ‘Nah, too pricey.’

I’m with the majority that voted ‘Yes.’ The Cubs, of course, would have to pay Albert insane amounts of money. Money that would never make sense for even the best players in the game. But Pujols is the exception as the best player in baseball.

Add Pujols to the lineup and the Cubs immediately become a legit candidate to win a World Series. And I can’t imagine the Cubs wouldn’t more than make up for the $30M (give or take) per year contract they would be paying Pujols if they brought home its first world championship in 100-plus years.

Obviously, there’s some major risk involved. Pujols is no spring chicken and carries a lengthy history of nagging injuries. His production is certain to decline with age and a contract of such magnitude would be nearly impossible to unload via trade.

For me, however, it’s this simple: the opportunity to win a World Series far outweighs the risk of overpaying the game’s best player. If Pujols remains available, the Cubs should be the first in line to sign him.

–I have no qualms with Marlon Byrd’s association to Victor Conte. Byrd has openly addressed his supplement use and answered every question about it from the media.

That’s not to say Byrd’s supplement use shouldn’t be called into question, especially considering he’s working with a man who served jail time for steroid distribution. But until Byrd fails a drug test, he’s not guilty of using any illegal performance enhancers in baseball.

Now, I’m not naive enough to believe Byrd could be cheating the system, but to accuse him of cheating simply because of what others have done with Conte before him, like Barry Bonds, isn’t fair to Byrd either. But if Byrd can live with the criticism of his association to Conte, fair or unfair, I can live with Byrd sticking by his man.

–I wish all professional sports teams in America would become more forward thinking when it comes to building new venues. Many of the new retro-style ballparks in baseball are terrific, but what’s wrong with building a stadium of the future?

The American sports fan is so caught up in nostalgia that we can’t seem to fathom a stadium or arena that doesn’t pay tribute to the ones that stood before it.

Check out what’s happening in Sochi, Russia and tell me this wouldn’t be a great facility for any major league sports franchise in the USA.

Sochi, Russia: Sports Stadium

In preparation for the 2014 Winter Olympics, Russia has designed the sweeping, sustainable Sochi Olympic Stadium to mimic a shell, thus bringing to mind the country’s famous Fabergé eggs. To accomplish that, the stadium’s walls and roof are wrapped in a semitransparent, crystalline skin that reflects sunlight shimmering off the nearby Black Sea and, at night, can be illuminated. Should Olympic events bore attendees, they can content themselves by soaking up gorgeous views of the Krasnaya Polyana mountains.

–If I were king…I’d ban automated phone answering systems. Few things boil my blood like screaming at a computer that repeatedly tells me “I’m sorry, we didn’t get that. Would you say that again.” AHHH!

Monday I spent 15 minutes with an automated system trying to update my heating bill. We got as far as my first name. “Did you say P-R-I-A-N?” Noooo! Not ‘P’ it’s ‘B’, you moron! Now answer your damn phones!

–Add Shawshank Redemption to my list of movies that wipes out any and all productivity. AMC has been airing this classic all week, and I’ve been right there with them, watching the whole time. Damn you people.

–Best meal this week: Big Jones in Andersonville. Took the little lady out for Valentine’s Day. Southern style ranch burger, rice made tater-tots and red velvet cake. We will be back!

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3 Comments

  1. Wow that Pujols poll was seriously close!
    Has he said anything about how he feels about the CUBS! ? Does he like them? What’s his opinion of them?

    • bullpenbrian says:

      As expected, Pujols is saying all the right things.
      He’s quickly gone on the record saying he’s not greedy and wants to stay put in St. Louis.
      And to some degree, I believe him.

      Ultimately, however, we know Albert is trying to lay the ground work to quite this issue over the summer.
      That’s a very diplomatic approach, but this story isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Sorry, Albert.

      Even if Pujols has visions of playing on the North Side, we’ll never hear it from him, at least, not yet.
      But that could change in the next few months if the Cards let this relationship slide any further.
      There’s a good chance Pujols’ relationship with the Cards could sour by season’s end.
      If so, an entire sports nation, not just Pujols, will be talking about Albert to the Cubs.
      Stay patient and we’ll see what happens.

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