I heard one of the most amazing sports interviews I have ever encountered on the way into work this morning.
St. Louis Cardinals General Manager John Mozeliak was talking about Albert Pujols.
You would think Mozeliak, who had just seen the centerpiece of his Cardinals’ team turn his back on the franchise, walking away to accept a $10-year-, $250 million deal with the California Angels, would be bitter.
You would expect to hear words like traitor, betrayal, ingrate.
I heard none of those.
What I heard was a man who showered superlatives on Pujols, who certainly was disappointed at losing his superstar, but understood why he did what he did.
I heard a man who clearly had hoped for a different outcome (and was willing to put a boatload of money behind it), only to be rebuffed by his best player.
Mozeliak talked about what Pujols had meant to the Cardinals, including that World Series win back in October (after they dispatched the Phillies in the NLDS).
He talked about the future, and all the money he now had to spend on other players.
He went on to talk about what baseball – in particular the Cardinals – means to St. Louis.
It was extraordinary.
I can only imagine what the reaction would have been if something similar had occurred with a superstar here in Philly.
Maybe that’s why they call the place “baseball heaven.”
Pujols may now be wearing an Angels’ halo, but he left heaven behind in the Midwest.