Uh-oh: Cardinals’ contract talks with Albert Pujols are not going well

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With two weeks to go before spring training, this isn’t what Cardinals fans want to hear.

Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com writes that while most “baseball people” believe that the Cardinals will sign Albert Pujols, the club is currently balking at his asking price.

According to Rosenthal, Pujols wants a contract that “reflects his status as the game’s premier player,” one that would likely surpass Alex Rodriguez’s 10-year, $275 million contract as the richest in baseball history, at least in terms of annual salary. Meanwhile, the Cardinals are reportedly frustrated that Pujols’ negotiating stance hasn’t met his public comments of loyalty to the organization.

Rosenthal notes that talks remain fluid and that a breakthrough could come at any moment, but this sure doesn’t sound good.

By the way, if you want to see the most frightening countdown clock ever (at least for Cardinals fans), check this out.

Umpire admits he blew the call that got Joe Maddon ejected last night

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Last night in the top of the eighth inning of the Dodgers-Cubs game, Curtis Granderson struck out. Or, at the very least, he should’ve. After the game, the umpire who said he didn’t admitted he screwed up.

While trying to squelch a Dodgers comeback, Wade Davis got Granderson into a 2-2 count. Davis threw his pitch, Granderson whiffed on it, it hit the dirt, and Willson Contreras applied the tag for the out. End of the inning, right? Wrong: Granderson argued to home plate umpire Jim Wolf that he made slight contact with the ball, Wolf, after conferring with the other umps agreed, and Granderson lived to see another pitch.

Before he’d see that pitch, Joe Maddon came out to argue the call and got so agitated about it all he was ejected for the second time in this series. He was right to argue:

It all ended up not mattering, of course, because Granderson struck out eventually anyway.

Normally such things end there, but after the game a reporter got to Wolf and Wolf did something umpires don’t often do: he admitted he blew the call:

It’s good that the bad call ended up not affecting anything. But the part of me who likes to stir up crap and watch chaos rule in baseball really kinda wishes that Granderson had hit a series-clinching homer right after that. At least as long as it didn’t result in Cubs fans burning Chicago to the ground.