L.A. Ahmad's Blog
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Albert Pujols made his decision to sign with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, after spending the first eleven years of his career with the St. Louis Cardinals. He signed a 10-year, $254 million contract, rejecting the Cardinals offer of a 10-year, $210 million (with $30 million deferred) contract, as well as the reported 10-year, $275 million bid by the Miami Marlins.  

There have been mixed feelings about Pujols leaving the Cardinals, with Cardinal fans upset, and even burning Pujols jerseys.  I understand the fans being upset, but it is Albert's life, and like any normal human being, he is allowed to make decisions that he thinks are best for himself and his family.

Albert Pujols, during his time in St. Louis, helped the team win three pennants and two world championships, along with representing the Cardinals in nine All Star games, and winning three league MVP's.  The man gave the Cardinals eleven great years. It is rare that a professional athlete plays eleven years with one team, let alone eleven GREAT years. Rather than shoot the guy down and be disgruntled, celebrate and remember all the great memories he brought as a member of the Cardinals.

Pujols decided to sign with the Angels, because he see's an organization that is locked and loaded for the next 6+ seasons. The Angels are also managed by one of the best managers in the game in Mike Scioscia, and this may have factored in Pujols' decision with the retirement of Tony La Russa.  Going to the Angels also allows Pujols to play DH later in his career. The intrigue of competing in the American League, and playing in the west coast may have factored even more into coming to Anaheim.  

Whatever the case(s) may be, in the end, Pujols gave the Cardinals eleven years of his life.  What more can you ask of him? Threatening him with no statue? Burn jerseys? Should I repeat all the accolades he helped the Cardinals reach? Give it a break, people. At the end of the day, it's just baseball, and if I were a Cardinals fan, I'd be sad with the departure, but also thankful for all that he did for the organization.    

 

December 13, 2011  02:20 PM ET

agree whole heartedly that he did tons for St Louis and the fans should celebrate his accomplishments there. I also know and feel for the fans there because the man carried Musial like reverence among them, and to see that end over money is hard to swallow.

I personnally would never burn his jersey or the likes but I felt the same when Tom Glavine went to the Mets. At least here AP is moving to a diffferent league where the fans don't have to see him rotate through for 12 or so games each year.

December 13, 2011  06:00 PM ET

Nice job, Ahmad.

I think a hometown fan(atic) will always feel a little betrayed at first in these situations. But I also think most Cards fans will come around shortly and share your perspective.
Pujols didn't LeBron them with a public spectacle on the way out - and more importantly he helped deliver championships to the city which provide lasting value to the organization and fanbase.

December 14, 2011  01:56 PM ET

Thanks for the comments, guys. I think it all depends on how someone looks at this unique situation, where a sports best player leaves after winning a championship. I have always felt that with the changes to free agency the past couple decades, it's almost impossible for an athlete to stick it out with one team. It also shows how intrigued Pujols was with a move to the Angels if the Marlins bid was in fact $275 million.

Personally, I would have love to have had Pujols on the Dodgers his first 11 seasons (or my second team, Angels ;-)). It's hard to point a finger at someone like Albert and say that he betrayed the Cardinals, because he didn't. He spent more than twice as long with the same franchise as the average player, and was nothing short of amazing. You hit the nail with the Lebron comparison, Yoda. Pujols did everything with class, and went out a winner.

December 14, 2011  03:49 PM ET

Good blog, and here is this Card fan's perspective: I obviously wanted him to stay, and would have loved to see him retire as a Cardinal. That being said, I'm glad the Cardinals didn't extend out to that length and dollar amount of a contract. He's simply unlikely in my opinion to be worth that contract in the last 5 years or so.

I don't begrudge Albert going for the most cash he could get. I find the victim card that he is playing a little annoying, but I don't have hatred or animosity toward AP. I wish it would have worked out in St Louis, but it didn't, so move on. Pujols gave the Cardinals a ton of great years and memories, and it has been a privilege to watch him play every day. He's also done a ton of charity work in St. Louis and been a great part of the community, not to mention that he helped bring couple of championships to town.

December 14, 2011  09:21 PM ET

^^I think you're right about what he's worth, versus how much Pujols should be overpaid with length of years, Ten/ElevenRings. I thought the Cardinals gave him a fair contract offer, but it so happened that two other teams gave him bigger offers. Besides getting more money, I firmly believe that Pujols just wanted a change and experience something different: team, league, city, position changes to DH, etc. He hasn't really played the part of the victim as much as his wife has, but I think that's uncalled for. Will be interesting to see how the Angels do, and also how the Cardinals bounce back. Still world champs!

 
February 22, 2012  02:55 PM ET

and the fans have their lives and they don't have to l;ike his decisions. in fact, making the kind of money he makes and claiming he is an entertainer make it even more ok as now he is a public figure who has put himself out there, and his personal life, willingly. there is no longer any expectation of privacy. He is an entertainrer. So hate on him all you like.

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