The Focus is About to Shift to Actual Games

Hopefully, we’ve reached the end of our Albert Pujols contract talk for a while.I admit that I’m intrigued by the situation. I’m certainly not bored by it, but since it’s been virtually the only thing on the St. Louis sports scene since the Super Bowl ended, the whole thing has been frustrating.

Because of the tedious nature of the Blues season, there hasn’t been a lot to discuss on their front. They’re still fun to watch, but they simply disappoint too much.When I buy a Blues ticket these days, I’m buying entertainment value more than hope of a post-season berth.

Mizzou’s basketball team has just one really good win, and no Big XII road wins, so they aren’t attention grabbing. The Billikens have been a disappointment and haven’t captured the fancy of fans like me.After a promising start, Illinois, while competitive , has been a disappointment.

And we have another negotiation, another instance of billionaires fighting with millionaires over money, on the NFL labor front and that’s another discussion that becomes banal very quickly.Enough of the e-mails and website statements from the NFL and the NFLPA. Just get a deal done, and tell us when you’re ready to play again.

Like most sports fans, I’m interested in competitions. In games. In the intrigue of how teams come together. And for that reason, I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to spring training games.

I have tons of questions about the Cardinals. How will David Freese come back from his ankle injuries? Is Ryan Theriot the less-than-stellar defender that the sabermetric crowd disapproves of or is he the “plus defender” that Tony La Russa has lauded? Is Lance Berkman the 14-homer, 58-RBI fading star of last season or the 29-homer, 46-double , 106-RBI stud of 2008? Is Kyle Lohse completely recovered from his forearm surgery, and is Jake Westbrook really the pitcher we saw down the stretch last year?

The Cardinals have plenty of questions that are intriguing. Because of the number of games I can see, I’ve made Arizona my spring training destination of choice. I’ll be able to get a look at the Giants, A’s, White Sox, Padres, Indians, D-Backs and Angels.Every single team, including the World Champs, have questions that beg to be answered.

We’re only a week away from getting sports that we can have some hope about back on the field.And that will be much more enjoyable than talking about negotiations and who gets how much money.