Last week, at the Major League Baseball winter meetings in Dallas, the unthinkable happened – the Florida Marlins actually spent money. But almost as remarkable, Albert Pujols signed a contract with a team not named the St. Louis Cardinals. As we all know all too well by now, Pujols signed a 10-year, $254 million guaranteed contract with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, presumably because it’s a team so Christianly nice it has Angels in it twice.
The real reason that the Angels made the splash was that they had just signed a $3 billion TV deal with Fox Sports, so owner Arte Moreno, despite previously lambasting his fellow owners for long, guaranteed contracts, was playing with house money. Also, it helped nab C.J. Wilson at a bargain, so why not do it? The reason the Cardinals didn’t match the offer is because they didn’t just sign a $3 billion TV deal and it would have meant that ¼ of the team’s payroll would be locked up in a soon-to-be 32-year old for a decade.
But now we’re in that awful aftermath period, like the complete opposite of orgasmic bliss, as the Cardinals are trying to focus on remaining competitive and Pujols and his camp try to save some face with a community that now questions his motives. So of course his wife, Deidre, went on the St. Louis Christian radio station that they help fund, and she offered some insight.
“The devil has overplayed his hand because I have Christian folk trying to throw the Word in my face,” she said.
The couple acknowledged Saturday afternoon that local support for their St. Louis-based Pujols Family Foundation has already eroded. Deidre Pujols said she has “never seen hatred spread so fast, and I understand why. Let me say that Albert and I never, not one time, intended to leave the city.”
(Via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
That’s true. In fact, here’s the wildfire quote of the week that is also being thrown in Pujols’ and his wife’s faces.
“Do I want to be in St. Louis forever? Of course. People from other teams want to play in St. Louis and they are 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 or 4 more million a year? It’s not about money. I already got my money. It’s about winning, that’s it.” – Albert Pujols (February 15, 2009)
Now, 2 years can change a lot. Maybe he thought the Cards would win back-to-back World Series and he was disappointed by only winning one. But people don’t know that so they read the quote and then they wonder, “Hey, wasn’t the difference between the Angels’ and Cardinals’ offers 3 or 4 more million?” Kind of. Pujols and Co. claim the Cardinals’ 10-year, $220 million wasn’t guaranteed – the team says it was – and that it was loaded with deferred money, which it also was.
But then Deidre also stated that she and her three-time MVP bread-winner were insulted by a 5-year offer from the Cards that would have paid him $26 million annually, more than any first baseman in baseball. They were insulted because it showed a lack of faith. Others will argue that Pujols stressed repeatedly that it was about business now, and the Cards were simply making a business offer, as a team does when a player becomes a free agent.
Regardless, I think I speak for most Cardinals fans and probably all baseball fans when I say, Enough already. Just let it die. People are going to be pissed. That’s sports. For instance, I think Al is full of sh*t. Oh well, he’s a pro athlete. But next year, the year after, and even 10 years from now? I’ll still be thankful I got to enjoy the better part of his career. Most Cards fans will. So just stop talking about it and making it worse, and let us be the bitter ex-girlfriends until we find a new man. Also, I’m glad I can finally say this – hehehe, poo holes.