So long, #5. You gave us a decade of great memories, and for that we’re thankful.
I hope you know how much you meant to this city, and recognize what you’re leaving behind. I hope you know that the city in your windshield will never treat you the way the city in your rear-view mirror world have- home runs or no. One day you won’t be “the machine.” You’ll be a man. You’ll have longer slumps, someday will not produce like the quarter-billion athlete you’ve just become.
Someday, when the “City of Angels” begins to look more like the city of shadows, I hope you remember you had the chance to be king. Had you re-signed here, there wouldn’t have been a thing we wouldn’t have forgiven you for. You could have mugged an old lady, or burned a women’s convent to the ground, and we would have turned a blind eye. But now you’re going to have to prove yourself again, and you’ll have to prove you are work 254 mil (a tough task for anyone- machine or not).
For what it’s worth, we always knew what you were worth.
We just hoped you didn’t have to prove it through a paycheck. After all, not all kids can sit at the rich kids table.
In the end, though, I hope you succeed and have a healthy second decade in the “other” league. I hope you break your records, and in the end, stand alone on top. I hope you feel you made enough money, and feel your financial future is secure. Maybe you’ll even win another World Series. If it’s not against us, some of St. Louis might root for you….
…probably not this person, though.
But, Albert, know this- after these winter meetings in Texas, the city of St. Louis knows where it stand.
And this knowledge changes things between you and it’s people forever.