After forging legacies with one team, and then leaving that team for another, most athletes never really look “right” again. And when they are best of the best of those athletes, rarely do they reach the heights they attained while part of their former teams. Could it be the Sport God Karma at work?
Remember Gretzky in a St. Louis Blues jersey? (Never, ever bring this up with an Oilers fan, by the way.) MJ wearing the awful Washington Wizards uni was just sad; LeBron in a Miami jersey, stop there! We don’t include LeBron in this conversation because you can’t be a choking dog to qualify. Hey Oh!
So will Albert Pujols face the same destiny after his move to the Anaheim Angels last week? Obviously, all was not right with Albert and the Cards. If it was, his contract extension would have been locked down long ago. Can you really blame Pujols? He did everything and more for the Cardinals over his 10 years, bringing them two World Series and three MVP Awards (he is the anti-A-Rod).
But the sad reality of sports is that first and foremost, it’s a business. Loyalty left sports a long, long time ago. But I’m convinced that the saddest part is yet to come. Fast-forward to 2020: Albert Pujols is about to break Barry Bonds’s home-run record (this has to happen, end of story and I’m not even a big baseball fan but the idea of Barry Bonds holding this title makes me want to fight him). And he steps to the plate in…an Anaheim uniform. That sound you hear is the collective weeping of every Cardinals fan.
Photos: Michael Jordan by Eliot Schechter/Getty Images; Gretzk courtesy of Getty Images and Pujols, created by Wrapupp.com
If you’re looking for Sport Degree of Style Friday, we posted this week’s edition on Wednesday due to illness at the GoS office.