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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Albert Pujols’ wife says Cardinals fans ‘deceived’

“The offers that people have seen on television, I’m going to tell you what .... had that offer been the one that was given to us, with guarantee, we would have a bird on the bat. ... What I’m saying is it wasn’t a guaranteed situation. When you have somebody say, ‘We want you to be a Cardinal for life’ and only offer you a five-year deal ... it kind of confused us. ... Well, we got over that insult and felt like Albert had given so much of himself to baseball and into the community that he at least deserved the opportunity to have real life-long—you know, I tell you what—we didn’t want to go through this again. Free agency, it’s stressful.”

After Pujols became a free agent, the Cardinals’ initial offer was five years guaranteed for $130 million, far less than the roughly $198 million they offered Pujols in spring training. Their ultimate 10-year, $210 million offer deferred a significant portion of salary without interest.

Hey, at least they have Matt Holiday and Rafael Furcal

Jack Sommers Posted: December 13, 2011 at 02:04 PM | 52 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: angels, cardinals

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   1. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: December 13, 2011 at 02:45 PM (#4014942)
Is it so hard for these people to be gracious? Just have your lawyers draft a statement about how much you will miss the city, then take out a full-page ad in the paper saying how much you love the fans and thank them. What you don't do is let your loud-mouth wife bad-mouth the team on the local Christian radio station.
   2. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: December 13, 2011 at 02:52 PM (#4014953)
Is it so hard for these people to be gracious?


That's a good question to ask Cardinals' fans.
   3. . Posted: December 13, 2011 at 02:53 PM (#4014955)
Is it so hard for these people to be gracious?

Yes. They're generally maladjusted. See, e.g., "Well, we got over that insult...."
   4. FrankM Posted: December 13, 2011 at 02:56 PM (#4014959)
Pujols didn't owe the Cardinals anything and had every right to take whatever offer he chose. Still, it's stupid to describe an offer of millions of dollars as an insult.
   5. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: December 13, 2011 at 02:58 PM (#4014962)
Still, it's stupid to describe an offer of millions of dollars as an insult.


What would you call an offer that you don't believe was made in good faith?
   6. Zonk Will Be Reinstated in August Posted: December 13, 2011 at 02:59 PM (#4014963)
This is what's leaving a really bad taste in my mouth - and again, I'm anti-Cardinals, not a fan - Pujols and company sound like dicks.

Look - you want to the self-sacrificing 'good guy', guess what... that requires a bit of self-sacrifice. You went to LA for more money.

Delude yourself and attempt to delude St Louis all you want. Tithe 10%. Whatever. At the end of the day, you went west for the bucks -- so suck it up and deal.

It's fairly vomit-inducing the lengths the Pujols are going to try to convince now nominally former fans (at least, from the perspective that they'll certainly not be rooting FOR Pujols on the rare occasions the Angels might play in STL) that they're still buddy-buddy with them.

You don't get to have it both ways - either you want to be the legendary martyr to the local kids or you want to get paid. You choose the latter. Stop trying to sell this gruel about it being otherwise.
   7. Zonk Will Be Reinstated in August Posted: December 13, 2011 at 03:03 PM (#4014968)
Pujols didn't owe the Cardinals anything and had every right to take whatever offer he chose. Still, it's stupid to describe an offer of millions of dollars as an insult.


I don't think I've heard a single Cardinal fan say otherwise - and again, not my people by any stretch - but it's stupid the lengths the Pujols are going to try to convince Cardinal fans that it's they, the Pujols, who are the aggrieved here.

The Pujols need to stop pretending - or stop deluding themselves in that classic Chistianist method of mutated guilt sublimation - that they care.

Enough already.
   8. Joey B. is counting the days to Trea Turner Posted: December 13, 2011 at 03:07 PM (#4014973)
Please, don't drag your wife into this Albert. Take Vito Corleone's advice and act like a man.
   9. phredbird Posted: December 13, 2011 at 03:56 PM (#4015046)
Is it so hard for these people to be gracious? Just have your lawyers draft a statement about how much you will miss the city, then take out a full-page ad in the paper saying how much you love the fans and thank them


he did. there's a link to it at VEB, i think. don't have time to look.

but ya, i think letting the wife play the victim card is kinda cheesy. maybe she did this on her own initiative.
   10. phredbird Posted: December 13, 2011 at 04:01 PM (#4015055)
correction, goold had a snap of it on one of his tweets:

http://twitpic.com/7qum5j
   11. smileyy Posted: December 13, 2011 at 04:10 PM (#4015067)
Women don't have agency.
   12. Nasty Nate Posted: December 13, 2011 at 04:13 PM (#4015071)
Some of you guys may be right regarding the Pujols side, but I do find it kind of sleazy that the Cardinals leaked to the press all of these bogus offer amounts just so they can improve in terms of PR at the expense of Albert. They had the perfect chance - coming off of a world series victory - to just admit to everyone that they had decided that a big mega-contract wasn't in their best interest.
   13. Brad in DE Posted: December 13, 2011 at 04:14 PM (#4015073)
Reminds me of the Reggie White situation - left Eagles for Packers and couldn't just say that it was for the money. Not sure why these guys can't be honest. Must be the guilt they feel, but I think fans would respect them more if they just said I took the money. At least I would.
   14. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: December 13, 2011 at 04:18 PM (#4015077)
Some of you guys may be right regarding the Pujols side, but I do find it kind of sleazy that the Cardinals leaked to the press all of these bogus offer amounts just so they can improve in terms of PR at the expense of Albert.


It sort of reminds me of the Cubs-Greg Maddux situation. The Cubs lowballed him believing that collusion would force him to take it, then upped the offer when Maddux decided to leave for even less just to spite the Cubs.
   15. Morty Causa Posted: December 13, 2011 at 04:22 PM (#4015083)
I hope Albert knows that California is a community-property state--or was, last time I checked.
   16. Barnaby Jones Posted: December 13, 2011 at 04:31 PM (#4015098)
I think he has every right to be insulted when the Cards say "We love you and want you here forever... and by that we mean here is ~50% of what you can get on the open market, and noteably less than we offered you previously." Pujols' "Are you f'in kidding me? Go eat a dick" response makes perfect sense to me. Few things are more aggravating when you make a show of good faith (willingness to sign at a reasonably close number because he'd prefer to stay) and the other party just uses that as an opportunity to try and take advantage of you.

Now, obviously his PR campaign here is tone-deaf, but c'est la vie.
   17. TDF, trained monkey Posted: December 13, 2011 at 04:38 PM (#4015104)
Why does it have to be about the money? Do you guys live in Pujols' head?

Maybe, just maybe, the Cards really did jerk him around. Maybe Arte really did make him feel wanted while DeWitt presented it as just an offer to work for him. Hell, maybe he's just tired of St. Louis weather.

But no. We have to damn the overpaid, unappreciative athlete because it's unimaginable that someone wouldn't love their job enough to want to stay for millions of dollars (even when someone else is offering more millions). We have to see the sinister in the greedy bastard's every word, simply because it's beyond our ability to comprehend the dollars involved.

People constantly use the statement "He's demanding $X to play a game I'd play for free!" Sure, but those people would suck on a stick, just as Pujols would likely suck at being a lawyer, or doctor, or car salesman. Further, the people that say that more than likely don't know what Pujols does every single day to be (and stay) that good. He's not just waking up, playing the game, and hitting the bars - professional athletes spend hours a day practicing, lifting weights, doing all those things couch potatoes don't want to do to "play the game for free".

As for Mrs. Pujols, she's seeing her husband very publicly demonized by thousands of people neither she nor Albert have ever met and who are making value judgements when they have no idea what the circumstances were; how do you expect her to act?

The most ironic thing about those judgements is that so many feel Pujols should have stayed in St. Louis because "money isn't everything". Have any of those people stopped to consider that they may be right, and that's why he left?

I have no idea what really drove Pujols to sign with the Angels, and neither do any of you.
   18. John Northey Posted: December 13, 2011 at 04:38 PM (#4015105)
Agreed with #12 - if the Cardinals had said 'we wish Albert the best but all we can reasonably offer is 5 years due to the risk involved beyond that' then his wife would not be going on air saying that that is all the Cards offered. I remember the mess when Carlos Delgado left Toronto, but at least the Jays didn't claim to offer a reasonable offer (2 years at $9 mil per iirc is what they said they offered), instead just saying they didn't feel he was worth what he was going to get. Not nice, but at least it was honest.

I fully believe Pujols' #1 goal was to sign a deal that would last the rest of his career and lock him down into one city for that deal. After those conditions were met the cash would come into play but from the sounds of it he never got that deal from the Cardinals (not really a 10 year deal) or Marlins (no trade clause was against their policy).

Y'know, after seeing the Marlins refuse to give a no-trade clause I wonder how secure Reyes feels after the 2012 season? 1997/98 winter to be repeated in 2012/2013?
   19. bunyon Posted: December 13, 2011 at 04:41 PM (#4015111)
Y'know, after seeing the Marlins refuse to give a no-trade clause I wonder how secure Reyes feels after the 2012 season? 1997/98 winter to be repeated in 2012/2013?

Meh. If Reyes gets a ring and then traded to a contender, he'll probably be fine with it.
   20. . Posted: December 13, 2011 at 04:44 PM (#4015116)
As for Mrs. Pujols, she's seeing her husband very publicly demonized by thousands of people neither she nor Albert have ever met

Those people paid his salary for many years.

Pujols makes his living in a public vocation, for better or worse. Grow up.
   21. calhounite Posted: December 13, 2011 at 04:47 PM (#4015123)
The low ball wasn't an insult. It was a signal for Pujols to get what he could and not take their pr 210 offer giving them a home town "discount". Simply didn't want Pujols 40 *? + year old good for pinch-hitting only megabuck carcass around. Win win for everybody so long as Pujols and company keep their traps shut...dense.
   22. TDF, trained monkey Posted: December 13, 2011 at 04:49 PM (#4015126)
Pujols makes his living in a public vocation, for better or worse. Grow up.
You might find this hard to believe, but many people take it personally when a loved one is piled on the way Pujols has been.
   23. Meramec Posted: December 13, 2011 at 04:49 PM (#4015127)
After those conditions were met the cash would come into play but from the sounds of it he never got that deal from the Cardinals (not really a 10 year deal)


STL Post-Dispatch reports that he did get 10 guaranteed years from the Cardinals. He was given several options, including a 5 year deal at the highest ever AAV. It seems he just looked at the years and felt insulted. Perhaps the Cardinals mismanaged the process by thinking giving him options would be a good thing.

For the most part Cardinals fans don't care that he took more money or that the Angels can afford more than the Cardinals. We just don't buy this "commitment" bullshit. Just say "Yeah, I loved my time in STL but an extra 3-4 million a year is a LOT OF MONEY and I'm taking it." Nothing at all wrong with that.

(The STL fans who demand him to give up that much money for "loyalty" or whatever are equally misguided.)

I will say, though, that it is in MLB's interest to keep great players with their teams and I think long-term the fact that they cannot do so will hurt MLB. It's truly a shame Pujols will not finish out his career in STL.
   24.  Posted: December 13, 2011 at 04:50 PM (#4015130)
It seems obvious that Pujols wanted:

a) a 10-year deal; had to be 10, not even nine would suffice
b) with a NTC.

When the Cards offered him 5 it soured him on them (I guess.) The Marlins offered the 10-year deal w/o the NTC, and then the Angels gave him what he was looking for. The Cards might have had an acceptable offer at that point but it was too late.

Meh, get over it.
   25. Squash Posted: December 13, 2011 at 04:52 PM (#4015132)
There are right ways and wrong ways to handle situations like this, and Pujols et. al (like so many others) just seem unable to do it the right way. Why not just say "I enjoyed my time in St. Louis, but the Angels made me a fantastic offer and I decided to take it" and leave it at that? I think they go through these spiels mostly to convince themselves that they did indeed do it for the "respect", or the lack of, or the schools, or whatever.
   26. Zonk Will Be Reinstated in August Posted: December 13, 2011 at 04:52 PM (#4015133)

Why does it have to be about the money? Do you guys live in Pujols' head?


Again - we have his and now his wife's statements!

Every statement from them has revolved around either money directly, or, proxies/euphemisms for money.

I'm not saying there's anything with that -- it's this vapid PR campaign about it not being about the money that drives me nuts. Respect obviously equaled money, so it was about the money. The Pujols just need to suck it up and say "Yeah, it was about the money. By offering more money, the Angels showed us the proper respect - i.e., money. So we took the offer that showed more money... and by money, we mean respect."
   27. . Posted: December 13, 2011 at 04:53 PM (#4015137)
There are right ways and wrong ways to handle situations like this, and Pujols et. al (like so many others) just seem unable to do it the right way. Why not just say "I enjoyed my time in St. Louis, but the Angels made me a fantastic offer and I decided to take it" and leave it at that? I think they go through these spiels mostly to convince themselves that they did indeed do it for the "respect", or the lack of, or the schools, or whatever.

Because they're maladjusted people living in an essentially fantasy world. Spending ten seconds on deconstructing their public utterances is a wasted ten seconds.
   28. Zonk Will Be Reinstated in August Posted: December 13, 2011 at 04:53 PM (#4015139)
You might find this hard to believe, but many people take it personally when a loved one is piled on the way Pujols has been.


As Bob Gibson so honestly and well put it -- for another 4 or 5 million, she'll be able to get over it.
   29. Nasty Nate Posted: December 13, 2011 at 05:00 PM (#4015153)
If the Cardinals took advantage of the fact that the public is not so savvy about financial matters and would therefore not realize that deferred money makes an offer much less valuable, that is weak and kind of unnecessarily sleazy.

I wonder if Pujols and the Angels could have structured the deal w/ frontloading and bonuses so that the total amount appeared to be the same as the Cardinals' final offer.

I also think the Pujols side is trying to have their cake and eat it too. They get to claim it was about respect and commitment, while they have their agent conducting negotiations in a manner meant to coldly maximize the money. So they want respect from Cardinals' side of the negotiating table, but aren't requiring their representative to give it back.
   30. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: December 13, 2011 at 05:10 PM (#4015177)
If the Cardinals took advantage of the fact that the public is not so savvy about financial matters and would therefore not realize that deferred money makes an offer much less valuable, that is weak and kind of unnecessarily sleazy.


I didn't know it had significant amounts of money deferred at no interest until she spoke, so at the very least they weren't aware that they weren't telling the whole story. I think the Cardinals' offers were just a way to both claim that they went after Pujols while not actually getting him/getting him at a steep discount.
   31. spike Posted: December 13, 2011 at 05:18 PM (#4015200)
it's this vapid PR campaign about it not being about the money that drives me nuts.

The one from the Cardinals or the one from Team Pujols?
   32. Forsch 10 From Navarone (Dayn) Posted: December 13, 2011 at 05:30 PM (#4015228)
There are no villains in this story. It's business, it is what it is, whatever. Can everyone involved please move on?
   33. SoSH U at work Posted: December 13, 2011 at 05:30 PM (#4015229)
The one from the Cardinals or the one from Team Pujols?


I don't see why it has to be one or the other. That the Cardinals may not be forthcoming about the strength of their offer doesn't have any bearing on the (perceived) honesty of Albert and Mrs. Albert about why he signed with Anaheim.
   34. McCoy Posted: December 13, 2011 at 05:36 PM (#4015240)
You might find this hard to believe, but many people take it personally when a loved one is piled on the way Pujols has been.

That is what the hundreds of millions of dollars are for.
   35.  Posted: December 13, 2011 at 06:02 PM (#4015291)

There are no villains in this story. It's business, it is what it is, whatever. Can everyone involved please move on?


Agreed.
   36. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: December 13, 2011 at 06:36 PM (#4015349)
Agreed x2. It's amazing how fast these stories move from actual substance to discussions of PR strategy and armchair psychology.
   37. Yclept Posted: December 13, 2011 at 06:44 PM (#4015363)
Women don't have agency.


I presume you mean legal agency. If so, an interesting question is "Do trees have agency?" If the courts determine that they do, then MLB will eventually have to resort to aluminum bats.

Win/win/win! Less dead trees, hitting increases, attendance goes up (because fans like runs), Barry Bondslike years flourish anew!

Carlos Pena hits 75 home runs! Albert Pujols hits 95! Major league clubs start scouting softball beer leagues!

Life is good, it is a beautiful day.
   38. Nasty Nate Posted: December 13, 2011 at 06:48 PM (#4015367)
It's been less than a week since he signed; this is the offseason; and no one forced you to open this thread...
   39. Hombre Brotani Posted: December 13, 2011 at 06:52 PM (#4015375)
There are no villains in this story. It's business, it is what it is, whatever. Can everyone involved please move on?
No! Pujols is gone and someone must be blamed. So let's blame the greedy player, since we know ownership would never bargain in bad faith or mislead fans or the media.
   40. spike Posted: December 13, 2011 at 06:54 PM (#4015380)
I don't see why it has to be one or the other.

Hey, I am with you - but the "fan" that is angered by a player or team acting in strictly fiscal self interest to seems to get even angrier if the kabuki of publicly claiming that money wasn't the primary reason isn't carried out by both sides.
   41. musial6 Posted: December 13, 2011 at 07:15 PM (#4015412)
The bottom line is that there was an irreconcilable disconnect between the club and player's notion of projected performance from age 37-41. I'm sure Pujols expects to be an elite player into his late 30s, but the Cardinals - who had more information than any other bidder regarding Pujols medical history - were highly skeptical of Pujols ability to do that.

Pujols didn't like being told he was going to decline. Pujols interprets this as the Cardinals organization slighting him, takes it personally, uses it as justification* for leaving, then runs to the Angels who Pujols believes (unlike the Marlins) will remain competitive over the life of the contract.

If it were only about the money, he would have signed with the Marlins.

*it would have behooved Dan Lozano to play this up as much as possible since he stood to benefit from Pujols taking a higher offer
   42. Roger Cedeno's Spleen Posted: December 13, 2011 at 07:17 PM (#4015419)
Baghdad Betty?
   43. DFA Posted: December 13, 2011 at 08:34 PM (#4015514)
#17: Agree with your sentiment.

It seems like Pujols was disrespected by the initial offer which is on the Cardinals IMO. Maybe they didn't want to sign him longer than that, which is fine and reasonable, but it seems like if their initial offer was 10/210, he would be a Cardinal today.
   44. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: December 13, 2011 at 09:02 PM (#4015557)
It's been less than a week since he signed; this is the offseason; and no one forced you to open this thread...


I'm not sure people are objecting to it being discussed (at least I'm not - it's a huge story!), it's the moralizing and finger-pointing that seem tiresome to me.
   45. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: December 14, 2011 at 04:52 AM (#4015984)
I'm not sure people are objecting to it being discussed (at least I'm not - it's a huge story!), it's the moralizing and finger-pointing that seem tiresome to me.


What about the moralizing about the moralizing and finger pointing?
   46. Sleepy was just “inspecting the bunker”, y’all Posted: December 14, 2011 at 08:05 AM (#4016035)
People would have a lot more respect if you said ‘it is about the money, but not in terms of the money as in I can buy more things, but in terms of respect’ than if you get up on stage and say ‘oh it’s not about the money’ - Lance Berkman


Great quote. If a bit generalized (originally cut and pasted from VEB, real meat is at 5-7 minutes into interview.

Seriously, it's like the ex-GF who just keeps texting you. Who cares why you're going away? It was your decision. Now that you made it, just go away. Stop telling me it was my fault. Or my Dad, or my best friend, or my ####### dog.
   47. asdf1234 Posted: December 14, 2011 at 08:42 AM (#4016041)

Great quote. If a bit generalized (originally cut and pasted from VEB, real meat is at 5-7 minutes into interview.


Berkman always makes for a great interview; he'd be on the short list of most favorite Cardinals even without the season-saving hit against Texas in Game 6. As it is, he'll never have to buy a drink in St. Louis for the rest of his life.

OT, but the bit where the TSA agent called him a traitor had me rolling. Violate three or four amendments a day and you're good, but get traded in the final year of your contract and you're a pariah.
   48. bjhanke Posted: December 14, 2011 at 09:09 AM (#4016042)
I live in STL, and the claims and counterclaims are not able to be reconciled. Either there were vast misunderstandings, or someone is not being completely honest. Therefore, I actually don't know what or how it went down, except for three things that everyone agrees on:

1. The Cardinals basically had Albert signed and done when, at the very last moment, the owner of the Angels, and his wife, swooped in with a MUCH better offer, and also made VERY serious attempts to turn on the salesman charm, offering to fly anywhere on no notice to meet with either Albert or his agent, things like that.

2. The only reason that the Angel owner was able to do this is that he just got something like $3 BILLION from Fox for TV rights. You get that kind of windfall, you can afford to splurge well beyond market value. Essentially, the Angels have turned into another version of the Yankees.

3. Dierdre Pujols was herself involved in the negotiations. Everyone agrees on that. That's why she's able to run her mouth with as much credibility as anyone else has. She's not just repeating things that Albert told here when he was frustrated or angry. That doesn't mean she has everything right, but she was actually there, for the credibility that's worth.

- Brock Hanke
   49. Sleepy was just “inspecting the bunker”, y’all Posted: December 14, 2011 at 09:10 AM (#4016043)
Hey, at least they have Matt Holiday and Rafael Furcal


"It's not that bad, we still have Berkman".

(scroll to 3:05)
   50. Squash Posted: December 14, 2011 at 09:35 AM (#4016044)
Hey, I am with you - but the "fan" that is angered by a player or team acting in strictly fiscal self interest to seems to get even angrier if the kabuki of publicly claiming that money wasn't the primary reason isn't carried out by both sides.

Nobody likes their intelligence being insulted, no matter how slight that intelligence might be.
   51. MattAtBat Posted: December 14, 2011 at 11:22 AM (#4016052)
The Cardinals basically had Albert signed and done when, at the very last moment, the owner of the Angels, and his wife, swooped in with a MUCH better offer


I agree with Brock. I've been following this closely and it in incredibly difficult to figure out how this went down.

But it is hard to make a case that the Cards lowballed Pujols. If their offer was way below market, then almost every team should have been in on the bidding. Instead, only the Marlins made a comparable offer and only the Angels made a more compelling offer.

If the Cards' initial offer was 10 years and 260m and Pujols accepted, everyone would be comparing the Cards to Texas when they paid Arod an extra 50m for no reason.
   52. Something Other Posted: December 14, 2011 at 03:06 PM (#4016132)
@51--Yeah, I don't think there's any reason to believe the Cardinals intentionally lowballed Pujols. Their offer seems consistent with a team that figured, 'here's what the guy's worth, and that's as high as we're willing to go.' I don't know how they would have responded if the Angels had topped the Cardinals offer by 10m. Maybe they would have said 'go fish', maybe they would have said, 'okay, we can beat that by a little', but I'm not seeing any overwhelming reason to not believe they had simply decided what they were willing to pay Pujols, were aware that the market was probably going to be crazy, and had decided they weren't going to be crazy along with it.

That the Cards weren't remotely interested in offering something like 10/220 in advance of other bidding, then weren't remotely interested in topping the Angels offer seems, if anything, prudent. I know we don't expect that from owners and GMs, but it does happen from time to time.

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