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Spring Training 2011: Albert Pujols Reports

The Albert Pujols contract negotiations may have shaken your faith in The Way Things Are, but I offer this as proof that some things will remain the same: Pujols is headed to Spring Training a day ahead of when position players officially report, presumably so he can lift really heavy things in a field somewhere—he just seems like that kind of strength-trainer, the montage-and-hard-work type—and teach A.J. Pujols the secrets of making an entire city extraordinarily dependent on you after 10 years. Albert Pujols. Spring Training 2011. I'll remember it as the year fans looked at Pujols like he was always about to throw a no-hitter, and required total concentration. 

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Some options for soothing the inevitable post-Pujols distraction:

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1. Mark McGwire could admit to taking steroids again. This time he could add, "And if anybody thinks it helped me hit home runs instead of just staying healthy, I'll fight em! Come at me, Buster Olney!" 

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2. Brendan Ryan could just show up and start appearing late at things. Fox Sports Midwest will probably prove reluctant to record a second season of Boog and Bombs, but if he brings Joe Mather with him I will personally buy Ryan a Flip camera. 

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3. Rick Ankiel, who's been hanging out at Cardinals camp all week, could be traded back our way just in time to announce his intent to return to the mound as the team's fifth starter—and his intent to not negotiate on a new contract until the end of the 2011 season. Albert Pujols will be hard-pressed to top that one.

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