My Evolving Thoughts on Albert
As I recently wrote on Facebook, “I’d like to say I’m feeling a vague dissatisfaction with Albert Pujols, but it’s not very vague.”
If you haven’t yet heard (or have forgotten already), former St. Louis Cardinal Albert Pujols has left the Cardinals to join the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, being wooed away by a contract valued at 254 million dollars over the next ten years and perhaps other as yet unknown motivations.
Bernie Miklasz, of the St. Louis Post Dispatch, sums up some of my disappointment in a recent article. Bernie writes:
I’m genuinely saddened by Pujols’ departure because I wanted to believe that he’d be different, that he would stay, that he would fully appreciate what he had here. Cardinals fans and Pujols simply adored each other for the last 11 years.
I sincerely wanted to trust Pujols when he offered this testimony during a 2009 interview: “Do I want to be in St. Louis forever? Of course. People from other teams want to play in St. Louis, and they’re jealous that we’re in St. Louis because the fans are unbelievable. So why would you want to leave a place like St. Louis to go somewhere else and make $3 million or $4 more million a year? It’s not about the money. I already got my money. It’s about winning, and that’s it.”
In the end, Pujols went for the money.
So, I’m disappointed that now, a few years after stating the above, when push came to shove and the millions were being offered, the millions won out.
You might think that’s a little harsh, coming from some one that’s never turned down a 5 million a year raise. However, while the scale is somewhat different, I have turned down more money in favor of other lifestyle choices. Like Bernie, I was hopeful that Albert would, too, especially in light of his own comments on the subject. But he didn’t, and that disappoints me.
Some have suggested that Albert’s pride was wounded by the negotiating process and tactics. That may be. We all know what it’s like to have our pride wounded. Sometimes our pride then encourages us to go somewhere where “we’ll be appreciated”. I hope that this wasn’t the case with Albert.
The situation reminds me of three biblical truths.
- Money is not the goal, and stuff doesn’t bring satisfaction. Watch out and guard yourself from all types of greed, because one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions. (Luke 12:15 NIV)
- Pride is a problem. Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought (Romans 12:2 NIV), Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves Philippians 2:3 (NIV).
- I am not the judge. Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls (Romans 14:4 NIV).
As I reflect on Albert Pujols “defecting” to the Angels, I am reminded that I should be more concerned about applying these principles to my life, than being disappointed when I don’t perceive these principles being applied in another’s life.
So, as Albert Pujols joins the Angels, I send him off with these words: “May you continue to be generous with the world’s riches, may your testimony be strong, may you abound in Kingdom treasures, and, yes, I’m disappointed to see you go.”