He is an important part of baseball history, especially for st louis. I don't see him as being upper echelon anymore, but I would like to see it again. I think he is the one beacon of light during that steroid era, which pulled me away from a lot of my childhood idols.
The whole reason I am a fan of baseball is because of following my childhood idol mark mcgwire over from oakland. Jose Canseco was my brother's favorite player. I used to watch baseball whenever it was on tv after getting into the oakland athletics, the one channel that seemingly always had baseball games was WGN, watching WGN introduced me to Sammy Sosa, who seemingly always hit home runs.
Believe it or not, I actually liked Barry Bonds at one time (until a hr derby in which barry bonds was rubbing it in about beating mcgwire at the homerun derby, possibly foreshadowing later choices he would make.)
Catcher was the position I played, and Pudge Rodriguez was the best I had personally seen play it.
You even had pitchers implicated! I've been privileged enough to have the St Louis Cardinals as my favorite team, so I could watch Albert's historic first 11 seasons of his career. He is fortunately still free of steroid association, and the most recent criticism coming from the media was met with successful denial by Pujols, I thought he handled that very well.
He may not be a cardinal anymore, but I am very thankful for his presence in one of the darkest eras of baseball. I don't think I would be a fan anymore if not for him.
"If you find yourself in the majority, rethink your position" - Mark Twain