62 or Playoffs?

20 Jul

From the FOX Sports MLB Power Rankings:

“Albert Pujols is making a fierce bid at hitting more HRs than the Mets. It’s 36-34 in favor of New York heading into this week.”

I made a comment on my Facebook profile status about this stat and it sparked some interesting conversation.  I admitted that I’m rooting more for Albert to beat Maris’ 62 then I am for a legitimate play-off run. 

Barring any major moves from Mozeliak, we have multiple bat questions with Ankiel (5 HR, .213), Duncan (5 Hr, .228), and our rotating third-baseman position, as well as at least one starting rotation position in question. I just don’t see this Cardinals team taking the best of 5 and 7 from a team like the Dodgers (most wins in MLB currently, 58), Phillies (51 wins, same as Cardinals), or the Giants starting rotation (namely All-Star National League Starter Lincecum plus Johnson, Cain, and Zito).

What does seem possible, and I really mean possible, is a pure, honest run at one of the most glorified and controversial records in baseball, Roger Maris’ single season home run record of 61.

How phenomenal would it be to have the Home Run Title return to St. Louis?  And this time, without the extra baggage?  And truthfully, as much as I would be beside myself to watch Albert chase this epic record, I would be even as much, if not more, elated to see baseball officially remove the tainted title from Barry Bonds as the single season record holder.  Barry Bonds makes me cringe–his smug nature, his cocky attitude, and his self-elevating lifestyle…oh, did I mention he’s a big, fat, CHEATER?  He doesn’t deserve Maris’ record and I think baseball is aching for someone to remove the home run badge from Bond’s self-stitched sash. 

McGwire is in the same boat.  Sosa is in the same boat.  I just hope that ship has sailed and we can wave a brief, but final, goodbye to the ugly steroids era with a new affinity and respect for America’s pastime. 

I can think of no better man then El Hombre himself, Albert Pujols, to surge us into a future of baseball the way it ought to be.  I know, if asked the question, Pujols would undeniably prefer a play-off run for his teammates and his city.  But there is so much potential good for baseball, as a whole, that could grow from a new home run king.  The 2009 season would be remembered for the greatest man to play the game in this generation, and his epic achievement in being a true Home Run King. 

 

 

Now I just hope that in 10 years I don’t read this post with the same disgust that I have for McGwire, Sosa, Bonds, and the lot of them.  Oh, please no.

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