Daily Dirt: Albert Pujols returning to the Cardinals is a no-brainer, right?

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Daily Dirt for Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022

Sooner or later this month or early next, the MLB labor fiasco should be resolved, and when that occurs there will be dozens of free agents signing contracts. One of those is Albert Pujols, who SHOULD wind up back in a Cardinals uniform … Welcome to today’s three thoughts and Vol. 213 of The Daily Dirt.

1. Once this ridiculous MLB labor mess is finally resolved, I am expecting one of the early free-agent signings to be Albert Pujols reuniting with the Cardinals.It simply makes too much sense not to happen.

Pujols could conclude his Hall of Fame career with the team he started with, and at a position — designated hitter — that is realistically the only spot he can now occupy in a major-league lineup. Pujols turned 42 in January and long gone are the days of him being an everyday defender. But the man can still hit enough to DH 120 or so games this season, enabling him to hopefully reach 700 career home runs.Pujols needs 21 longballs to get to 700, and should be able to do that in the coming season, the ride off into the sunset and wait five years for Cooperstown to call.

Let’s make this happen, Cardinals. It could be one of the best stories of the 2022 season.

(PUBLISHER’S NOTE: If it happens, fine. If it doesn’t happen, fine. As a die-hard Cardinals fan, I would prefer a couple of arms and a lefty bat at DH. JRG)

2. My son, Geoff, is visiting this week from Ohio and one of our favorite things to do in the evenings when he is here is watch replays of old NASCAR and IndyCar races.

We have watched two dandies the past couple of nights: The 1988 NASCAR Bristol spring race and the 1981 Indianapolis 500.

Longtime NASCAR followers may recall that Bristol race when Geoff Bodine spun out Bill Elliott with five laps remaining, but Awesome Bill from Dawsonville regrouped, caught Bodine a couple of laps into the restart and earned the checkered flag. That was back when Bodine carried the Levi Garrett sponsorship and Coors Light was paying the bills for Elliott. That particular IndyCar race was memorable because the official winner was not named until weeks afterward due to a protest. Bobby Unser “won” the event on race day, but had illegally passed about 10 cars on a yellow flag to a late restart. Runner-up Mario Andretti was initially declared the “new” winner the following day, and even went through all the pomp and circumstance surrounding such a reversal — including a staged trophy presentation at the start-finish line and drinking the gallon of milk that goes to the winner.

The decision wound up in a court of law and Unser was eventually named the race winner a second time because Andretti, too, had passed cars under the yellow flag and no official protest had actually been filed in time.

In addition, that particular Indy 500 saw one of the most horrific crashes in the modern era of the race. Danny Ongais, a.k.a. “The Flyin’ Hawaiian,” smashed into the wall near turn three, destroying his car and leaving him with fractures in both legs, a broken arm, six-inch tear in his diaphragm and other internal injuries. A bone from one of Ongais’ legs emerged through his racing suit. Ongais eventually recovered to race again.

3. The Winter Olympics are winding down in Beijing, but the Summer Olympics of 2024 in Paris are not that far away.

Among the new sports to be showcased in at Paris are breakdancing, skateboarding and surfing. Sadly, sports that will not be included in 2024 are baseball and softball — but both are expected to return to the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

Steve Thought O’ The Day — Pujols wants to play another year. The Cardinals will need a DH. This simply has to happen, doesn’t it?

Steve Eighinger writes daily for Muddy River News. Was Geoff Eighinger named after Geoff Bodine?

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