The hushed voice of KMOX sports reporter Kevin Wheeler has joined the whispers in St. Louis that Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols may be headed for a fall, not merely because Pujols has been playing with foot, leg and various other aches and pains in recent years but because far more serious trouble awaits him.
"Albert is the perfect hitter," says Wheeler, who hosts the weekly program "Rating the Cards" on the 50,000-watt voice of the midwest. "...The only concern about Albert's ability to put up big offensive numbers is his health.
"He was already voicing concern about his right elbow, which probably needs Tommy John surgery, and if that elbow (or the back or the hammies) give him significant trouble...he might not be able to battle through the pain again."
Speculation is growing that Dominican slugger may miss significant portions or perhaps even all of the season, though it doesn't seem to make sense that Pujols would have waited this late to make the decision to undergo invasive medical procedures had he not already committed to try to play in 2008.
Even Wheeler can't come to terms with the idea of Pujols going down, projecting him to hit .330 with 40 homers this year if all goes well.
"The scariest thing I've heard in a long time, relating to the Cards, was Albert saying he can't do what he did last year again. Just hope and pray the offseason of rest did him well," said Wheeler, whose broadcasts can be heard across more than 30 states at 1120 on the AM dial.