Many St. Louis Cardinals fans were crushed when Albert Pujols decided to leave the team in free agency and sign with the Los Angeles Angels. But now, those same fans are thanking Pujols for leaving when he did. Since Pujols was a Type A free agent when he left St. Louis in 2012, the Angels were forced to surrender a first-round compensation pick to the Cards.
As fate would have it; that pick would later be used on right-handed pitcher Michael Wacha, who was historically good against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS with two huge victories. Who would have thought that Pujols leaving would have such a profound impact on the Cardinals even two years after the fact?
That’s baseball for you.
Meanwhile, the Dodgers head into the off-season without a World Series ring even after they expanded their payroll immensely after gearing up for the 2013 campaign with the likes of Zach Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu making their way to LA. Even still, this is about the Redbirds who managed to overcome the Pujols’ departure and are now in the World Series for the second time in three seasons.
The fans of St. Louis thank you, “King Albert.”