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The Albert Pujols chapter closed. He moved on to become a lesser light on his new team. An expensive, just above pack, player. He will regret the move and perhaps already does. A lock for the HoF, but no longer iconic.

The decision to let Albert walk was an outstanding move by Cardinal leadership. Albert's departure presented Allen Craig an opportunity to play First Base when injury prevented Lance Berkman assuming the responsibility.

Carlos Beltran, a bat they wouldn't have had with Pujols . . . and like Berkman last year, performed better than expected.

On field, Molina blossomed as the onfield leader with bat, glove, and handling the pitching staff. Well enough, one must point out, to be in the discussion for NL MVP.

The Cardinals continue their high quality reputation both between and outside the lines. I'd hope all those St. Louis fans on this board and elsewhere who said they'd rather go to Disney movies rather than Redbird games with their children to avoid explaining the absence of Pujols came to their senses. It's the quality of the team, not the individual.

If not, what a loss for them and their children.
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