St. Louis, in a phrase, feels jilted.
Albert Pujols, the slugger whose decade with the St. Louis Cardinals was capped with a World Series win this year, is now coming to the Angels, and many Cardinals fans aren't happy.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said he was "disappointed" that Pujols opted "to take the dollars and head to California." Others speculated that Pujols' departure ensured that Hall of Famer Stan Musial would remain the greatest Cardinals player ever.
More than 400 readers left comments on the website of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Read one: "The hardest part of today was telling my 9 year old who cried when she heard the news."
The website also reported that one Pro Image Sports store in the St. Louis area was giving away its Pujols Cardinals jerseys that once fetched up to $129.99.
"It wasn't going to do any good to knock them down to $5 or $10," said the franchise owner, Paul Russo. "So I decided to prove a point that it's not about the money."
Cardinals Chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. said in a statement that "I would like our fans to know that we tried our best to make Albert a lifetime Cardinal, but unfortunately we were unable to make it happen."
Meanwhile, a guard was stationed at a bronze statue of Pujols in the Maryland Heights section of St. Louis, just in case.
-- Jim Peltz
Photo: Albert Pujols, right, holding his son Ezra, gestures toward a bronze statue of the ballplayer in St. Louis on Nov. 2 as sculptor Harry Webber, between Pujols and the statue, looks on. Credit: Jeff Roberson/Associated Press