In 2011, for the first time since 2002—that year their leadoff batter was Jose Vidro—the National League's MLB All-Star Game roster won't be headed by a young third baseman/astoundingly talented left fielder/perennially brilliant first baseman named Albert Pujols. Despite leading the NL in votes in the early going, Pujols's fractured wrist means Lance Berkman is the de facto head of the Cardinals delegate, which is exactly as weird as it sounds and exactly as appropriate as it is weird.â†µ
Pujols's string of eight consecutive All-Star appearances is now snapped, which means the team's longest active streak is Yadier Molina's three. (If you were wondering, Stan Musial was an All-Star 18 years in a row, and Ozzie Smith 11 with the Cardinals.)
This would feel like a terrible end of an era or something if I were allowing myself to feel the possible implications of Pujols's early slump and his eventual free agency but I'm not allowing myself to feel that—so right now it feels like nothing at all.