Albert Pujols, Part 2
A few days ago, in a previous article I wrote:
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.
Some of the “other as yet unknown motivations” are now becoming a little clearer, based on a St. Louis Post Dispatch article by Joe Strauss, which includes extensive quotes by the former St. Louis Cardinal star.
“I don’t want to talk about negotiations. But to tell you the truth, it wasn’t about money. I’m going to die saying that, because it wasn’t about the money. It was about the commitment. It was about the way he made me feel. [Angels owner] Arte [Moreno] made me feel like he wanted me to be with the Angels forever. He doesn’t want me to be 37 years old and have to go somewhere else. It was a commitment. It was something I expressed myself, and I kept expressing during the conversation that I didn’t want to go somewhere else, that this was going to be my last contract. And whether people want to believe if it was about the money, I can’t control that. … [Moreno] wasn’t talking about the 10 years. He was talking about life after Albert Pujols’ career. That was something that touched me. It pushed me to my decision.”
Read the full article here
So, it’s not about the money. It’s about the feelings. During the negotiation process, Albert didn’t feel wanted by the Cardinals’ ownership or management, so he went somewhere where he would be wanted.
I understand wanting to feel wanted and appreciated, but surely the city of St. Louis and the vast majority of fans showered Albert with adulation and appreciation. Stan the Man stated publicly that all he wanted for Christmas was for Albert to be a Cardinal for life, voicing the desires of many fans. And it wasn’t enough?
“I wanted to play somewhere where I was wanted, so I took a pay cut to play for them” is an easier sell than “I wanted to play somewhere where I was wanted, so I took the offer worth more than $4 million more per year.” It makes it hard to swallow that it wasn’t about the money.
Yet, I’m willing to swallow it. Somehow, this became an emotional decision for the Pujols family. We fans thought that emotion would be on our side, encouraging Albert to pass on more lucrative offers and be a Cardinal for life.
Instead, it looks like Albert may wear an Angels cap into the Hall of Fame.