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Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Pujols has knee surgery, likely out for season

From MLB.com:

The surgery, which was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles, generally keeps players out for 6-8 weeks. Pujols, 38, is batting .245/.289/.411 with 19 home runs and 64 RBIs in 117 games this season.

Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: August 29, 2018 at 08:30 PM | 139 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: albert pujols, angels

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   1. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: August 29, 2018 at 08:34 PM (#5735932)
I know this isn't how Pujols will want to go out, but I hope for everyone's sake that he just calls it a career.
   2. cardsfanboy Posted: August 29, 2018 at 08:39 PM (#5735938)
I know this isn't how Pujols will want to go out, but I hope for everyone's sake that he just calls it a career.


I hope not, the Angels are playing in St Louis next year, he deserves his three game series back home.
   3. RMc Has Bizarre Ideas to Fix Baseball Posted: August 29, 2018 at 08:45 PM (#5735947)
I hope for everyone's sake that he just calls it a career.

Considering he's really 61 years old, I guess so...
   4. PreservedFish Posted: August 29, 2018 at 08:45 PM (#5735948)
99.9 WAR
   5. eric Posted: August 29, 2018 at 08:52 PM (#5735958)
bbref has him at 99.9 career WAR. If nothing else he should play next season until he has 0.1 and then call it quits.

Last year he was .241/.286/.386. This season it is .245/.289/.411. So now he's at over 1100 PAs of 85 OPS+ performance. I think it's safe to say that not only is the Pujols of old never again walking through that door, the 113 OPS+ Pujols of 2016 is no longer walking through that door.

So I retract my initial comment. He should retire. Or maybe the team doctor can convince the insurance company that he just had a career-ending injury and so he still gets paid and the team isn't saddled with the remaining $87 (!!) million on his contract.
   6. Stormy JE Posted: August 29, 2018 at 08:54 PM (#5735962)
bbref has him at 99.9 career WAR. If nothing else he should play next season until he has 0.1 and then call it quits.
So you're predicting he'll never retire?
   7. Srul Itza Posted: August 29, 2018 at 09:15 PM (#5735987)
Or maybe the team doctor can convince the insurance company that he just had a career-ending injury and so he still gets paid and the team isn't saddled with the remaining $87 (!!) million on his contract.


He has pulled in 257 Million in Salary, and I'm sure a few more bucks here and there in endorsements.

He has been playing in pain since forever.

Yeah, the money is rightfully his, but if there ever was a case for shutting it down, this is it.

   8. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 29, 2018 at 09:23 PM (#5735998)
I think it's safe to say that not only is the Pujols of old never again walking through that door, the 113 OPS+ Pujols of 2016 is no longer walking through that door.
Given that the Pujols of new can barely walk at all, I think that's safe.
   9. The Duke Posted: August 29, 2018 at 10:08 PM (#5736035)
#6 I laughed so loud all three of my dogs woke up

He’s on a trend line back to 0 WAR. Doubtful he can do as much damage as Ted Simmons did to himself but he’s still got time.
   10. SoSH U at work Posted: August 29, 2018 at 10:36 PM (#5736040)
bbref has him at 99.9 career WAR. If nothing else he should play next season until he has 0.1 and then call it quits.


So you're predicting he'll never retire?

I don't know. I think if the Angels keep playing him regularly, he can get to 0.1.

   11. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: August 29, 2018 at 10:40 PM (#5736042)
I don't know. I think if the Angels keep playing him regularly, he can get to 0.1.
He's at -1.3 the last two seasons. $87 million is a lot of money to walk away from, but I'm hoping Pujols will do just that. I'm not gonna bet on it, though.
   12. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 29, 2018 at 11:27 PM (#5736068)
$87 million is a lot of money to walk away from, but I'm hoping Pujols will do just that. I'm not gonna bet on it, though.

If Pujols is hurting the team, the Angels can release him at anytime. Why is on the player to give up what was mutually contracted for?
   13. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: August 29, 2018 at 11:41 PM (#5736079)
It's not. It's just hard for a team to say, "Oh well, I guess we're so stupid, we wasted $240 million on this guy!" It's both a giant admission of stupidity and a big slap in the face to that player. Hard to pull the trigger on that.
   14. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 30, 2018 at 12:11 AM (#5736090)
It's just hard for a team to say, "Oh well, I guess we're so stupid, we wasted $240 million on this guy!" It's both a giant admission of stupidity and a big slap in the face to that player. Hard to pull the trigger on that.

Well, it's a giant admission for a player to decide the better move is to forgo $87M rather than embarrass himself playing. It's the team that has the say on who is on the roster and who plays - hoping a player relieves a team of its contractual obligations is putting the onus on the wrong party.
   15. Cooper Nielson Posted: August 30, 2018 at 01:14 AM (#5736098)
bbref has him at 99.9 career WAR. If nothing else he should play next season until he has 0.1 and then call it quits.

So you're predicting he'll never retire?


Another possibility is that BB-Ref will make some tweaks to replacement level or to the formula and he can get back over 100 retroactively.
   16. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: August 30, 2018 at 01:25 AM (#5736100)
hoping a player relieves a team of its contractual obligations is putting the onus on the wrong party.
I don't disagree. I'm just playing Billionaire Franchise Owner Psychologist. As we're seeing all over the place, one of the great things about being a billionaire is never admitting you're wrong about anything, ever.
   17. The elusive Robert Denby Posted: August 30, 2018 at 08:02 AM (#5736111)
He's so close to 400 GIDPs. Hopefully he'll recover.
   18. manchestermets Posted: August 30, 2018 at 08:11 AM (#5736115)
Another possibility is that BB-Ref will make some tweaks to replacement level or to the formula and he can get back over 100 retroactively.


Is replacement level fixed, or does it depend on actual player performance across the league within the season? That is, if a player does play the first part of a season and then quit with 0.1 WAR, is it possible that value can change over the remainder of the season?
   19. bunyon Posted: August 30, 2018 at 08:12 AM (#5736116)
I think they should re-adjust the calculation so that Pujols is set to 100.000000.

Make him the standard. It would help bring WAR to the masses. Instead of saying so and so has 57 WAR, you can say, so and so is 0.57 Alberts.
   20. DavidFoss Posted: August 30, 2018 at 08:14 AM (#5736117)
Another possibility is that BB-Ref will make some tweaks to replacement level or to the formula and he can get back over 100 retroactively.

Small tweaks are the norm with this type of metric anyways. They wrote an essay comparing the process to estimating economic data. There are always small after the fact revisions as they get more information and better data. So it doesn't make sense to quibble about 0.1 over the course of a career.

For one thing, the final 2017 and 2018 park factors will use three year windows, so they won't be finalized until the ends of 2018 and 2019 respectively.
   21. Nasty Nate Posted: August 30, 2018 at 08:19 AM (#5736118)
I don't disagree. I'm just playing Billionaire Franchise Owner Psychologist.
If we play Hundred-Millionaire Legendary Player Psychologist, it's hard to admit you're not good enough, especially when you have to miss out on $80 million to make that admission.
   22. Greg Pope Posted: August 30, 2018 at 08:27 AM (#5736122)
He has pulled in 257 Million in Salary, and I'm sure a few more bucks here and there in endorsements.

He has been playing in pain since forever.

Yeah, the money is rightfully his, but if there ever was a case for shutting it down, this is it.



87 is about one third of 257. I think that's still a lot to walk away from. None of us is in Albert's head, of course, so we don't know how he values the money.
   23. McCoy Posted: August 30, 2018 at 08:33 AM (#5736126)
In my baseball fantasies I somehow develop quantum leap like time travel abilities and go back to 1992 or so and play SS for the Cubs. I then also inform the front office of who to draft. I always draft Albert Pujols in all of my different scenarios and sign him through 2011.
   24. Swoboda is freedom Posted: August 30, 2018 at 08:33 AM (#5736127)
87 is about one third of 257. I think that's still a lot to walk away from. None of us is in Albert's head, of course, so we don't know how he values the money.

There is probably a number south of 87, which Albert takes to walk away.
   25. bunyon Posted: August 30, 2018 at 09:08 AM (#5736139)
He might also really enjoy playing. I get that we, as fans, don't want to watch the all-time greats flounder around at replacement level but, if he retires, what does he do? It's not like he can take a couple of years off and comeback. If he walks away, that's it, he never plays baseball again.

I think that's a much harder decision to make than fans let on. It's why David Wright keeps trying to come back, it's why Willie Mays went to the Mets. Baseball players want to play and until everyone says no, they'll keep playing. It's probably how all of us stopped playing. I'd love to see Pujols over 100 WAR. But, if I were him, I'd play as long as I could. 45 years of retirement isn't much different than 48 years.
   26. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 30, 2018 at 09:16 AM (#5736143)
There is probably a number south of 87, which Albert takes to walk away.

Sure. But, I doubt it's that far south. Maybe we walks for $60M? Or more likely, defer the $87M over 20 years at a decent interest rate.

If I was guaranteed a third of my lifetime earnings, with no performance expectation, I'd drag myself out there on hands and knees.

Do the exercise yourself. Multiply your salary by 40 (assuming you'll work from 25 to 65), and divide by 3. That's the relative amount of money people are asking Pujols to walk away from.
   27. McCoy Posted: August 30, 2018 at 09:18 AM (#5736144)
I walked away from the game before the game asked me to walk away. I'm guessing most people who played baseball as a kid went this route as well.
   28. Swoboda is freedom Posted: August 30, 2018 at 09:19 AM (#5736145)
He might also really enjoy playing.

But the lifestyle must be hard. Lots of training, lots of travel (even if first class). Few days off during the season and the work days are long. Separation from family.

You might be right though that a lot of them are scared of what to do with their lives afterward. They have honed one skill over all others and I am sure that a lot of them are scared of what to do to get purpose from life.
   29. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 30, 2018 at 09:19 AM (#5736146)
But, if I were him, I'd play as long as I could. 45 years of retirement isn't much different than 48 years.

This is a great point. Work's a pain, but I'm in no rush to retire. I already have no idea what I'm going to do from 65 to 85.
   30. McCoy Posted: August 30, 2018 at 09:22 AM (#5736149)
Do the exercise yourself. Multiply your salary by 40 (assuming you'll work from 25 to 65), and divide by 3. That's the relative amount of money people are asking Pujols to walk away from

My wife and I are sort of doing this math now. We're expecting and I will probably be the one who quits his full time job to watch the child. At least for the first handful of years. When you're used to a certain lifestyle based on a certain amount of money coming in removing a portion of that money is going to change things.

Sure Albert has made a ton of cash but if he's spending 10 million a year or had some downturns in his portfolio he might not be in a position to walk away from the paycheck. Especially if he wasn't planning on walking away after this year.
   31. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: August 30, 2018 at 09:24 AM (#5736151)

Sure. But, I doubt it's that far south. Maybe we walks for $60M? Or more likely, defer the $87M over 20 years at a decent interest rate.


There are people here who know better than me but I don't think the Angels/Pujols can do this. I don't think they are allowed to change the contract to a lesser value by the CBA. If Pujols retires he walks away from his money, if the Angels want to give him money I think they have to give it all to him.

But I'm not certain of that.

With all of that said I see no reason to expect him to be anywhere but playing for the Angels next year. He's been bad but not horrendous (0.5 WAR) and I assume he'll go into next year saying "I hit 19 homers last year with my legs feeling like that. Yeah I'm hitting 30 in 2019" and the Angels will say "well #### it, we gotta pay him anyway may as well see if we get a dead cat bounce."
   32. Greg K Posted: August 30, 2018 at 09:27 AM (#5736153)
I love it when former stars keep playing long after they've lost their edge. How can you not root for Jason Kendall, squatting behind home plate in AA in his late 30s?

I guess I'm not a huge fan of my team paying them millions of dollars to do it...but I won't hold that against the guy.
   33. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 30, 2018 at 09:33 AM (#5736156)
If I was guaranteed a third of my lifetime earnings, with no performance expectation, I'd drag myself out there on hands and knees.

Do the exercise yourself. Multiply your salary by 40 (assuming you'll work from 25 to 65), and divide by 3. That's the relative amount of money people are asking Pujols to walk away from.
The analogy is flawed, since I need that money if I want my kids to have a roof over their heads and college degrees, while Pujols can live comfortably w/o the extra money. (It should go w/o saying that I am not making a moral argument about need here - just a practical one.) So the better way to look at it is exactly the opposite: if someone offered you, say, $20,000 to unproductively suffer in physical agony for the next few years, would you do it? Sure, an extra $20k would be nice to have, but is it worth it to you?
   34. McCoy Posted: August 30, 2018 at 09:37 AM (#5736160)
It is a contract between two parties. They can do anything they want. The union can want one thing but outside of asking Pujols not to do something there isn't much they can do. Historically a player has no incentive to take the buyout because their salary is guaranteed. Showing up and doing what is defined in the contract will get them paid and if they don't want to show up an athlete's body is basically held together with duct tape and pins so it should be relatively easy to go on the 60 day disabled list with a permanent injury.

It isn't a similar situation that most of us might find ourselves in where we would want to take the buyout. Being stuck at a job that doesn't want you means no promotions no raises or minimal raises at that. Could mean sitting in a basement cubicle for 8 to 10 hours a day with HR and your bosses looking for any slip up that they can use to get out of the contract. Meanwhile all that time being spent in a dead end job that could end at any moment could be used either looking for employment or working for someone else and building and furthering your career so that you can get that raise or promotion.

If you get to the top of your profession and at the end of your employment line there is very little reason to walk away from guaranteed money and that is where Pujols finds himself.
   35. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: August 30, 2018 at 09:39 AM (#5736161)
I love it when former stars keep playing long after they've lost their edge. How can you not root for Jason Kendall, squatting behind home plate in AA in his late 30s?
I was just perusing some International League rosters and saw that Jarrod Saltalamacchia is playing for the Toledo Mud Hens. BBRef tells me that he's sitting at 9.063 years service time, so he's down in AAA and 161 days short of maxxing out his pension. That's close enough that he can taste it; all he needs is a couple of half-seasons as a backup catcher somewhere. But it's still a world away for a guy who's hitting 154/275/269 in Toledo. It's vaguely poignant.
   36. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 30, 2018 at 09:44 AM (#5736165)
The analogy is flawed, since I need that money if I want my kids to have a roof over their heads and college degrees, while Pujols can live comfortably w/o the extra money. (It should go w/o saying that I am not making a moral argument about need here - just a practical one.) So the better way to look at it is exactly the opposite: if someone offered you, say, $20,000 to unproductively suffer in physical agony for the next few years, would you do it? Sure, an extra $20k would be nice to have, but is it worth it to you?

Umm, we're not talking an extra $20K. For a typical NYC area professional who makes $200K a year, their lifetime income is something like $8M. 1/3 of that is $2.7M.

I'm guessing if someone offered me $3M to exercise 2 hours a day (I hate exercise with a passion and it hurts my kness and back) for the next 3 years, I'd take it.

If it was just to suffer pain for 3 years, and I can take all the opiates I need, I'd agree in a heart beat.
   37. Nasty Nate Posted: August 30, 2018 at 09:47 AM (#5736167)
I don't think they are allowed to change the contract to a lesser value by the CBA.
I think that only would apply in certain other situations. Michael Cuddyer and the Mets negotiated something less than his contract value when he wanted to retire.
   38. Swoboda is freedom Posted: August 30, 2018 at 09:51 AM (#5736169)
I was just perusing some International League rosters and saw that Jarrod Saltalamacchia is playing for the Toledo Mud Hens. BBRef tells me that he's sitting at 9.063 years service time, so he's down in AAA and 161 days short of maxxing out his pension. That's close enough that he can taste it; all he needs is a couple of half-seasons as a backup catcher somewhere. But it's still a world away for a guy who's hitting 154/275/269 in Toledo. It's vaguely poignant.

What is the difference between 9 and 10 years in terms of pension?
   39. McCoy Posted: August 30, 2018 at 09:55 AM (#5736172)
I'm thinking the difference between 9 and 10 years for the pension is not a lot of difference. I think right now the difference is about 500 dollars a month.
   40. McCoy Posted: August 30, 2018 at 09:56 AM (#5736174)
Sorry that is for older vets from way back in the day. For the current crop of players retiring with 9 years of service time would cost you $1,500 a month.
   41. BDC Posted: August 30, 2018 at 10:05 AM (#5736178)
if someone offered you, say, $20,000 to unproductively suffer in physical agony for the next few years, would you do it? Sure, an extra $20k would be nice to have, but is it worth it to you?


But isn't it more like: they've already guaranteed you the money, however much. You're not actually being compelled to hurt yourself; in fact you are welcome to run slower and slower till you have a BAbip of zero. At a certain point they will cut you from the roster and you will still get your money.

Some guys have walked away from big contracts, usually when they can still play (Ryne Sandberg), but psychologically they are fed up, and then the money no longer matters. Oddly, it's far more straightforward to keep showing up for work when you clearly can't work anymore: Belle, Bagwell, Fielder. Prince is getting $96M over 2017-20 not to play baseball. Pujols will end up with something analogous if the Angels release him.
   42. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: August 30, 2018 at 10:11 AM (#5736182)
Salty made ~$30 million in his career, so he should be OK if he wasn't stupid with it. An extra $18K a year is nice, but I think that the big thing is that there's a bit of prestige that goes along with being a 10-year veteran. Sergio Romo passed 10 years earlier this year and viewed it as something of a big deal, even though he's made as much as Salty and seems likely to be good for several million more.
   43. Swoboda is freedom Posted: August 30, 2018 at 10:13 AM (#5736184)
Salty made ~$30 million in his career, so he should be OK if he wasn't stupid with it.

That is a big if. We don't know but he already gets free lifetime health insurance.
   44. PreservedFish Posted: August 30, 2018 at 10:17 AM (#5736189)
Baseball players are made of different stuff than we are, but I would have a difficult time showing up to a job where I routinely disappointed tens of thousands of people, many of whom more or less despised me.

   45. PreservedFish Posted: August 30, 2018 at 10:22 AM (#5736193)
I wonder if a baseball team ever considered loaning out its players, soccer-style, to Japan or elsewhere, or even to another MLB team. Got an outfield logjam? Let the Padres have Clint Frazier for a few months. I presume it's impossible, but fun to think about. In soccer it's common to loan out a failing veteran, thereby removing the distraction on the big team, possibly defraying the cost slightly, and allowing the player to perhaps enjoy himself in a new setting with lower expectations, dropping some of the emotional baggage. Perhaps the Yakult Swallows would be interested in a year of Albert Pujols' services?
   46. Nasty Nate Posted: August 30, 2018 at 10:23 AM (#5736195)
Baseball players are made of different stuff than we are, but I would have a difficult time showing up to a job where I routinely disappointed tens of thousands of people, many of whom more or less despised me.
Lots of baseball players are routinely disappointing thousands of people every season, it's only because of the contract that people think Pujols should retire.
   47. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 30, 2018 at 10:26 AM (#5736198)
Umm, we're not talking an extra $20K. For a typical NYC area professional who makes $200K a year, their lifetime income is something like $8M. 1/3 of that is $2.7M.

I'm guessing if someone offered me $3M to exercise 2 hours a day (I hate exercise with a passion and it hurts my kness and back) for the next 3 years, I'd take it.
Umm, I can do math. I am challenging the premise of your question, and all you did was restate it. “Percent of lifetime earnings” is not the right framework from which to examine the question. I would certainly care about losing $2.7 million in future earnings, but not because that represents 1/3 of my lifetime earnings. Rather, I would care because I need that money to avoid a drastically lowered standard of living. But assuming Pujols has been reasonably prudent so far in his career, he doesn’t need this money for that purpose. It would be nice money for him to have, in much the same way an additional $20,000 would be nice money for me to have.

(And, to avoid misunderstanding, I must once again reiterate that I am challenging neither Pujols’ legal nor moral entitlement to the money. I am questioning only its utility to him, relative to the effort to obtain it.)
   48. BDC Posted: August 30, 2018 at 10:26 AM (#5736199)
I would have a difficult time showing up to a job where I routinely disappointed tens of thousands of people, many of whom more or less despised me


Don't take up a second career in teaching. Unless it's just the volume that bothers you, and you don't mind disappointing mere scores of people. :)
   49. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 30, 2018 at 10:27 AM (#5736200)
Lots of baseball players are routinely disappointing thousands of people every season, it's only because of the contract that people think Pujols should retire.
False. That may be a factor, but it is certainly not the only or even main one.
   50. PreservedFish Posted: August 30, 2018 at 10:31 AM (#5736206)
Don't take up a second career in teaching.


Good quip, but a disappointing teacher can at least tell himself that he's actually helping the disappointed students. A shitty baseball player knows that he's shitty, I think. Not always, probably, but often enough.
   51. Batman Posted: August 30, 2018 at 10:31 AM (#5736207)
Pujols might disappoint Angels fans 81 times a year, but fans on the road are thrilled to see him both for what he has done and for what he's doing now.
   52. Nasty Nate Posted: August 30, 2018 at 10:31 AM (#5736208)
False. That may be a factor, but it is certainly not the only or even main one.
Well, Angels fans might not want him on the team because of his performance, but in terms of Retire vs Release, I think the contract is the driving factor.
   53. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 30, 2018 at 10:32 AM (#5736211)
For a typical NYC area professional who makes $200K a year, their lifetime income is something like $8M. 1/3 of that is $2.7M.


Not that it makes a huge difference, but we're actually talking about a quarter of Pujols' lifetime income, not a third. He's already made $257 million, and he's owed an additional $87 million.
   54. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 30, 2018 at 10:33 AM (#5736212)
Umm, I can do math. I am challenging the premise of your question, and all you did was restate it. “Percent of lifetime earnings” is not the right framework from which to examine the question. I would certainly care about losing $2.7 million in future earnings, but not because that represents 1/3 of my lifetime earnings. Rather, I would care because I need that money to avoid a drastically lowered standard of living. But assuming Pujols has been reasonably prudent so far in his career, he doesn’t need this money for that purpose. It would be nice money for him to have, in much the same way an additional $20,000 would be nice money for me to have.

You're making a fundamental mistake on how consumption effects happiness. Once you pass having your basic needs met (decent housing, clothes, food, etc.) happiness doesn't vary much, if at all, by income level. i.e. people making $1M a year are no happier on average than people making $100K. This result is very consistent in studies.

What does impact happiness is changes to your level of consumption. So, going from the ability to spend $4M a year to $3M a year is going to make Pujols equally unhappy as you going from $200K a year to $150K a year in spending.

   55. Howie Menckel Posted: August 30, 2018 at 10:33 AM (#5736213)
Professional athletes get to where they are by being hyper-competitive.

you guys are making logical arguments, but applying them to a unique breed of cat. this is the same reason that athletes leave a city where they are beloved, and uproot their family for a bigger paycheck - even though either way, they will finish with more money than they ever dreamed of having and more money than even their great-grandchildren will ever need. there might even be a case to be made that descendants are more likely to turn out badly because of the excess of wealth.

to these athletes, all that matters is MORE. there is no "enough."
   56. PreservedFish Posted: August 30, 2018 at 10:34 AM (#5736215)
Pujols might disappoint Angels fans 81 times a year, but fans on the road are thrilled to see him both for what he has done and for what he's doing now.


I think that's actually a good point. Everything is hunky dory half the time.

I do wonder what the clubhouse atmosphere is like for Pujols. I would imagine that he's extremely respected and probably pitied and faces almost zero open resentment. But is that true of, like, Chris Davis?
   57. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: August 30, 2018 at 10:45 AM (#5736222)
It is a contract between two parties. They can do anything they want.


That isn't true. A team and player may very well both want to put an incentive clause in a contract paying out, say, $5 million if the player hits 30 home runs--but they can't, because the CBA forbids it. The CBA dictates what the two parties may and may not contractually agree to.

But I actually don't *think* the CBA forbids a team and player from negotiating a retirement buyout. Could be wrong, though.

Professional athletes get to where they are by being hyper-competitive.

you guys are making logical arguments, but applying them to a unique breed of cat. this is the same reason that athletes leave a city where they are beloved, and uproot their family for a bigger paycheck - even though either way, they will finish with more money than they ever dreamed of having and more money than even their great-grandchildren will ever need. there might even be a case to be made that descendants are more likely to turn out badly because of the excess of wealth.

to these athletes, all that matters is MORE. there is no "enough."


This is definitely true of most pro athletes.

There's also the matter that IT'S EIGHTY-SEVEN MILLION ####### DOLLARS. Okay, it's taxed so to Pujols it's really something more like fifty million dollars. But I don't care how much money you have, $50 million is not a sum anyone on Earth walks away from if they can help it.
   58. McCoy Posted: August 30, 2018 at 10:51 AM (#5736226)
That isn't true. A team and player may very well both want to put an incentive clause in a contract paying out, say, $5 million if the player hits 30 home runs--but they can't, because the CBA forbids it. The CBA dictates what the two parties may and may not contractually agree to.

But I actually don't *think* the CBA forbids a team and player from negotiating a retirement buyout. Could be wrong, though.


True and I meant in regards to a buyout. I would guess if you are allowed to restructure a contract that you could buy somebody out by restructuring the payments into annual payments without interest or with low interest or something like that at the very least.
   59. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 30, 2018 at 10:55 AM (#5736230)
if he retires, what does he do?
Don't forget his ten-year personal services contract.
   60. DavidFoss Posted: August 30, 2018 at 10:56 AM (#5736231)
Are the Angels payroll constrained? Baseball seems to be the only sport where fans root for owners when it comes to contracts. Pujols certainly deserves to have one of the highest career earnings of all of his contemporaries. How do we fix this so that the players get their money without ticking off their fans?
   61. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 30, 2018 at 10:56 AM (#5736234)

You're making a fundamental mistake on how consumption effects happiness. Once you pass having your basic needs met (decent housing, clothes, food, etc.) happiness doesn't vary much, if at all, by income level. i.e. people making $1M a year are no happier on average than people making $100K. This result is very consistent in studies.

What does impact happiness is changes to your level of consumption. So, going from the ability to spend $4M a year to $3M a year is going to make Pujols equally unhappy as you going from $200K a year to $150K a year in spending.
First, happiness studies as a field doesn't work, because there's no way to measure happiness. Studies show that even losing a limb does not affect happiness, which shows either that legs are overrated or the methodology is flawed.

Second, I didn't say anything about happiness, so I'm not sure why you're bringing it up. I talked about utility.

Third, the point is that the extra money won't significantly affect Pujols' level of consumption.
   62. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 30, 2018 at 11:02 AM (#5736239)
Third, the point is that the extra money won't significantly affect Pujols' level of consumption.
Says you. For all you know he might be saving up to buy a rocket or an isthmus or something.
   63. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: August 30, 2018 at 11:02 AM (#5736241)

Baseball players are made of different stuff than we are, but I would have a difficult time showing up to a job where I routinely disappointed tens of thousands of people, many of whom more or less despised me.


Part of this is I think guys like Pujols (or Pedroia who is in somewhat similar circumstances) genuinely believe they are going to turn it around. Like I said earlier, Pujols is probably sitting in his living room this morning thinking that if he can hit 39 homers over two seasons with these injuries a bit of surgery and he will hit 30 next year alone. Players are the last ones to know they are done.
   64. bunyon Posted: August 30, 2018 at 11:07 AM (#5736243)
No one ever gets to the level of Pujols thinking they won't be able to get it done. Once you have that thought, you end up in front of a classroom. I'm sure he does think he'll be better after some surgery.

And I'm happy to find out. No, he won't be prime Pujols ever again. That's true of everyone who has had a prime. It'd be a much different league if we forced people to retire as soon as they peaked.
   65. BDC Posted: August 30, 2018 at 11:09 AM (#5736245)
I do wonder what the clubhouse atmosphere is like for Pujols. I would imagine that he's extremely respected and probably pitied and faces almost zero open resentment. But is that true of, like, Chris Davis?


Just speculation, but I would imagine that there's only a small percentage of players arrogant enough to resent a guy who's working hard and simply failing. Not many ballplayers on any roster, even a good team's roster, stay securely above the failure line long enough to justify that kind of resentment. And those that do have some maturity and perspective. I would imagine there's some esprit de corps when it comes to failure. Bullpens always seem very comradely places, probably because every single guy sitting out there knows it could be his night to get lit up.

Particularly on the 2018 Orioles, about the only guy with any standing to resent Chris Davis would have been Machado, before his departure, but even Machado has had some ups and downs (his early injury and comeback, e.g.). Adam Jones knows what it's like to lose a step once you hit 30 (plus Jones seems to me like a genuinely nice guy, just to watch him on the field before games). And nobody else on that team is playing much better than Davis anyway :(

   66. Nasty Nate Posted: August 30, 2018 at 11:11 AM (#5736246)
For all you know he might be saving up to buy a rocket or an isthmus or something.
This isthmus is on his christmas wish list.
   67. Batman Posted: August 30, 2018 at 11:16 AM (#5736248)
His first thought when he signed the Angels contract was "I no longer have to choose between the rocket and the isthmus."
   68. Howie Menckel Posted: August 30, 2018 at 11:16 AM (#5736250)
66, your lisp is not helping
   69. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: August 30, 2018 at 11:17 AM (#5736251)
Particularly on the 2018 Orioles, about the only guy with any standing to resent Chris Davis would have been Machado, before his departure, but even Machado has had some ups and downs (his early injury and comeback, e.g.).


Well, younger guys who are stuck on the bench or in the minors and know damn well that they're better than Davis right now, but have to sit on the bench or play in the minors because Davis makes a bazillion dollars and ownership wants him on the field, have understandable cause to resent him.
   70. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 30, 2018 at 11:19 AM (#5736255)
Just speculation, but I would imagine that there's only a small percentage of players arrogant enough to resent a guy who's working hard and simply failing. Not many ballplayers on any roster, even a good team's roster, stay securely above the failure line long enough to justify that kind of resentment. And those that do have some maturity and perspective. I would imagine there's some esprit de corps when it comes to failure.
Heyward's teammates love him, by all accounts.
   71. Zonk is a Doorknob Whisperer Posted: August 30, 2018 at 11:21 AM (#5736258)
First, happiness studies as a field doesn't work, because there's no way to measure happiness. Studies show that even losing a limb does not affect happiness, which shows either that legs are overrated or the methodology is flawed.


Plus, I would think that to actually measure happiness as a function of money - you can't actually compare the happiness of rich individual A vs not-rich individual B.

You would need to measure not-rich individual B's happiness when not rich vs now-rich individual B's happiness when s/he became rich (and vice versa).

For the good of science, I will volunteer to be not-rich to now-rich individual B and allow people to measure my happiness.
   72. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: August 30, 2018 at 11:22 AM (#5736259)
Heyward's teammates love him, by all accounts.


Yeah, we never really know what is going on. John Lackey was as popular with the fans as a fart in an elevator during his Boston tenure and during his year after Tommy John surgery he was in the clubhouse and dugout all year. Sports media and fans ranted and raved about it but by all accounts the players were delighted to have him around.
   73. Swoboda is freedom Posted: August 30, 2018 at 11:24 AM (#5736260)
This isthmus is on my christmas wish list.

And when you get it, you will say "Isthmus be my lucky day!!"
   74. Nasty Nate Posted: August 30, 2018 at 11:28 AM (#5736262)
And when you get it, you will say "Isthmus be my lucky day!!"
...and then when I go to see it, I'll arrive and say "Isthmus be the place!" and hum Talking Heads.
   75. Zonk is a Doorknob Whisperer Posted: August 30, 2018 at 11:28 AM (#5736264)
Why would you want an Isthmus?

People constantly knocking on both your front door and your back door asking if they cross over, the canal lobby bothering you at all hours, etc...

   76. jingoist Posted: August 30, 2018 at 11:29 AM (#5736265)
An isthmus? I always thought that guys with FU money always wanted to buy an island.
That said how many isthmuses ( or is that isthmui; I never can remember the rules for plural words that end in the letter s ) exist in the world and how many might be for sale?
   77. BDC Posted: August 30, 2018 at 11:33 AM (#5736268)
Well, younger guys who are stuck on the bench or in the minors and know damn well that they're better than Davis right now, but have to sit on the bench or play in the minors because Davis makes a bazillion dollars and ownership wants him on the field, have understandable cause to resent him


I think situations like that can certainly develop, and that's why teams should promote better players no matter the contract situation. At the same time, every team is different every year in terms of a mix of personalities and attitudes, as people have noted. I don't know what the Orioles' organization is like; Davis may be blocking some notable prospect who deserves a job. Most of his current major-league teammates are of course terrible this year.
   78. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 30, 2018 at 11:34 AM (#5736269)
Well, younger guys who are stuck on the bench or in the minors and know damn well that they're better than Davis right now, but have to sit on the bench or play in the minors because Davis makes a bazillion dollars and ownership wants him on the field, have understandable cause to resent him
In theory. In practice, this years Orioles didn’t have anyone else on the bench or minors who merited playing time anyway.
   79. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 30, 2018 at 11:39 AM (#5736274)
There are people here who know better than me but I don't think the Angels/Pujols can do this. I don't think they are allowed to change the contract to a lesser value by the CBA.
A player can’t renegotiate a contract to simply take less money than he is owed, no. But that is not the situation we’re discussing. If Pujols retires, he is owed $0.

EDIT: I guess a couple of people made that point b
   80. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 30, 2018 at 11:40 AM (#5736275)
An isthmus? I always thought that guys with FU money always wanted to buy an island.
The Pujols Archipelago.
   81. Nasty Nate Posted: August 30, 2018 at 11:43 AM (#5736277)
The Pujols Archipelago.
He will forbid geologists from determining when volcanoes formed it.
   82. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: August 30, 2018 at 11:47 AM (#5736278)
In theory. In practice, this years Orioles didn’t have anyone else on the bench or minors who merited playing time anyway.


Cedric Mullins seems pretty good, although it's not exactly Davis who was keeping him in the minors.
   83. Zonk is a Doorknob Whisperer Posted: August 30, 2018 at 11:50 AM (#5736281)
I'd like to own a steppe... not to live there or anything - seems fairly dreary - but just to be able to tell people I own a steppe.
   84. bunyon Posted: August 30, 2018 at 11:51 AM (#5736282)
Isn't Pujols also very well liked (by reports) in the clubhouse?

Not being an ####### is probably a big part of this calculation. I'd rather work with nice overpaid co-workers than ######## who I think are paid fairly.
   85. simmer down Posted: August 30, 2018 at 11:53 AM (#5736285)
Pujols is also very active with his foundation. That $87 million might not make a lot of difference in his standard of living, but it could make a huge difference in his foundation and what he may want to accomplish with that long after he does retire.
   86. The Duke Posted: August 30, 2018 at 12:15 PM (#5736295)
85. Ding, ding ding! This is the correct answer

If the angels deem him a drag they can and will cut him at some point. Why does Albert have to take a pay hit ? Why are we rooting for the owner ?

I’m excited to see him come to Stl next year so I hope he sticks around.

It’s sad that he has declined so much but when your lower half goes, there’s nothing you can do. He’s been fighting foot and leg injuries for years and I also suspect his babe Ruth eyesight started to go a while back as well.
   87. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 30, 2018 at 12:17 PM (#5736297)
But isn't it more like: they've already guaranteed you the money, however much. You're not actually being compelled to hurt yourself; in fact you are welcome to run slower and slower till you have a BAbip of zero. At a certain point they will cut you from the roster and you will still get your money.
You don’t have to play well, or even competently, but you have to work. You have to show up to every workout and travel on every trip. If you’re hurt you need to do the physical therapy and receive the treatment. The only way to avoid it is to have a doctor certify that you can’t play and there’s no hope of your injury responding to treatment.
   88. Morty Causa Posted: August 30, 2018 at 12:21 PM (#5736305)
I don't know. People with money rarely get so much of it that they don't grab at the opportunity to continue making money.
   89. Banta Posted: August 30, 2018 at 12:25 PM (#5736309)
It seems to me the richer you are, the more likely you are to take the additional money. For reasons like 85 says, at times... but once you're making Pujols-type money, it's not about being able to go on extra vacations or buy more #### like most of everyone here would do. It's more "important" than that. Pujols is a brand like most public entities and it's against the purpose of his existence to decline additional revenue. It's all some variation of "look at what I can do"... whether that's for personal glory or the benefit of mankind or something else. Most people are pretty entranced with that, history would show.
   90. Swoboda is freedom Posted: August 30, 2018 at 12:41 PM (#5736320)

If the angels deem him a drag they can and will cut him at some point. Why does Albert have to take a pay hit ? Why are we rooting for the owner ?


I am not rooting for the owner. I am imagining myself in his place. If I had $100 million put away, I might not want to put my body through it. I think in his case, the money is so much, I probably might do it. I don't care about the Angels, and I am not a fan (except I like to see Trout). I would much rather have 50 of the 87 if I walked away, then spend 3 years more putting myself through it.
   91. BDC Posted: August 30, 2018 at 01:04 PM (#5736362)
Everybody's conception of pain and effort is different, but I think we may overstate the punishment involved in training and playing baseball. I mean, sure, for me it would be inconceivable at 59 and would have been at 39. (Cripes, at 19 or 29, what am I saying.) But we all know aging amateur athletes who are paid nothing, in fact put lots of money into their sports, who spend half their time injured and half abusing themselves to run the next marathon or similar challenge.

Somebody like Pujols, in retirement – all he's done his whole life is play ball; it's quite possible he will spend half his day in his lavish home gym and the other half learning some new sport that he can adapt to his abilities or disabilities (I think of Barry Bonds and his cycling). If you're going to be working out anyway, why not collect a few more millions?

   92. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 30, 2018 at 01:10 PM (#5736373)
So the better way to look at it is exactly the opposite: if someone offered you, say, $20,000 to unproductively suffer in physical agony for the next few years, would you do it?

I don't think Pujols is "suffering in physical agony", and if he were, I don't believe he'd be required to take the field to get paid. He's had plantar fasciitis for a while, and now the balky knee requiring surgery, but it's not like he's using a wheelchair away from the park. He doesn't run well, and I assume there is some discomfort or even pain when he runs, but I'd be surprised if it's more than what many professionals athletes endure.

$87M isn't like $20,000, even to someone already fabulously wealthy. This isn't just about whether Pujols can still afford the finer things in life if he walks away on the last 3 years of his contract, Pujols can provide for generations of his descendants to never have to worry about money if things are well-managed. He has a contract contributing significantly to that goal. He'd be crazy to stop playing just because of diminished skills. If he's no longer worthy of a roster spot, it's up to the Angels to put him on the A-Rod plan.
   93. Rally Posted: August 30, 2018 at 01:30 PM (#5736396)
I do wonder what the clubhouse atmosphere is like for Pujols. I would imagine that he's extremely respected and probably pitied and faces almost zero open resentment. But is that true of, like, Chris Davis?


From everything I've read, he is well respected by his teammates, absolutely no open resentment. I wonder how much they keep hidden though. It must be hard busting your butt trying to win and watching a teammate keep getting written into the lineup despite some rather obvious deficiencies. When you see a player swing at a pitch out of the strike zone, pull a ground ball past where the shortstop normally plays, only to see the shortstop grab the ball 20 feet back on the grass and casually throw out Pujols, it kind of makes you wonder how much the organization is committed to winning.
   94. Nasty Nate Posted: August 30, 2018 at 01:38 PM (#5736404)
It must be hard busting your butt trying to win and watching a teammate keep getting written into the lineup despite some rather obvious deficiencies.
For Pujols' situation, that was more true last year. This year, there were many Angels players who played worse than him.
   95. Rally Posted: August 30, 2018 at 01:41 PM (#5736409)
If he's no longer worthy of a roster spot, it's up to the Angels to put him on the A-Rod plan.


Absolutely. Pujols has to do what's best for Pujols and I understand that 100%. Angels at some point are going to have to make the tough decision to do what's best for the Angels.

Don't think he hurt the team this year, in comparison to a situation where they cut him, pay the full salary, and give playing time to someone else. Pujols only had a 0.5 WAR season, but for 2018 that would have been better than giving more time to Jefry Marte (-0.6) or keeping Valbuena (-0.9) a bit longer.

They could have improved by a win by releasing Pujols and keeping C.J. Cron (1.6 WAR), but one win doesn't mean much in context of what else went wrong this year, and the return on that trade is looking very promising. Luis Rengifo is a 21 year old middle infielder who started this year in A ball, advanced to AAA, and hit 303/401/461 with 41 steals and more walks than strikeouts.

Looking to next year, you've got a (maybe) 39 year old 1B/DH trying to come back from a knee injury who has hit for an 85 OPS+ the last two years. Have to think you can find a way to upgrade on that, especially considering the weak market for bat only players the last two years.
   96. phredbird Posted: August 30, 2018 at 01:47 PM (#5736411)

i will make a bold prediction.

albert will do the surgery/rest/rehab, and finish his contract.

his injury history has involved feet/legs, and the only way to come back from that kind of stuff is rest.

this surgery will allow him the kind of rest his feet need. by next year, their may be an announcement that he needs 'more time'. he'll get more time.

2019: when he's back in the lineup, he will have a mild comeback, it will be enough to convince everyone he should stick around.

2020: then he will mercilessly regress to his previous poor productivity levels, but he'll be given a whole season to see if he can turn it around.

2021: in his last season he will be benched because by then the new manager will have built up enough cred to get a pass from the fans. he will announce his retirement.

after a bunch of ceremonies in different parks, he'll finish up with a big gehrig-like farewell in angels stadium.

he will be placed in a rocket and shot into space to become a constellation.
   97. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 30, 2018 at 02:00 PM (#5736426)
he will be placed in a rocket and shot into space to become a constellation.
"Look, Daddy! It's Orion's Pujols!"
   98. Zonk is a Doorknob Whisperer Posted: August 30, 2018 at 02:47 PM (#5736460)
"Look, Daddy! It's Orion's Pujols!"


Where?

Right next to the Chatwood Suckitarius!
   99. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: August 30, 2018 at 02:52 PM (#5736465)
I think that's a much harder decision to make than fans let on. It's why David Wright keeps trying to come back, it's why Willie Mays went to the Mets. Baseball players want to play and until everyone says no, they'll keep playing. It's probably how all of us stopped playing.
I'm 46, and I recently changed my diet and exercise routine dramatically because I was having problems playing softball. I'll sacrifice a lot to play rec league softball, so I can understand why someone would want to sacrifice beyond what's reasonable to keep playing major league baseball.
   100. jmurph Posted: August 30, 2018 at 04:30 PM (#5736522)
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