At some point, the Los Angeles Angels will have to play a road series at Busch Stadium against the St. Louis Cardinals - it just won't be during the 2016 season.
The schedules for next season were announced this week, and even though AL West clubs will match up with NL Central teams, the Angels are not scheduled to head to St. Louis.
Thus, a return engagement by Pujols at Busch Stadium will have to wait.
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Pujols, of course, spent 2001-2011 with the Cardinals before signing a lucrative free-agent deal with the Angels. As a result, many have wondered what a return trip to Busch would look like in terms of the fans' reception.
The next time the Angels would have a chance to play a road series in St. Louis, then, would be 2019 - but Pujols joked with MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez on Tuesday that 'I might be retired by then.'
The slugger went a bit further, explaining his mindset regarding the chances of a trip back to St. Louis: "I don't really look at the schedule and think, 'Man, I can't wait to get back to St. Louis. When that time comes, it's going to come and it's going to come at the right time. I live in St. Louis in the offseason, so I'm there pretty much half the winter."
It seems feasible to imagine that Cardinals fans would give Pujols a warm reception when he steps in to the batter's box as an Angel, but you never know.
He conveyed as much to Gonzalez, saying, "I don't know. I don't like to think too far ahead of myself. I can't tell you how people are going to react, whether they boo me, whether they clap. I can't control that. I know it's going to be loud. It's probably going to overwhelming. … It'll be weird, you know? I'll probably take my first at-bat and I'll be fine. The nerves will calm down."