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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Pujols: ‘It was about the commitment.’

The Commitment: He Had Absolutely Nothing. But He Was Willing To Risk It All!

“I don’t want to talk about negotiations,” Pujols told the Post-Dispatch shortly after a second news conference held inside the stadium. “But to tell you the truth, it wasn’t about the money. I’m going to die saying that, because it wasn’t about the money. It was about the commitment.”

Pujols refused to discuss his departure from the Cardinals during the open-air phase of Saturday’s appearance but later described a process that included eight phone conversations Wednesday with chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. and general manager John Mozeliak. The marathon left Pujols drained, admittedly emotional and finally resigned to the fact that Angels’ owner Arte Moreno’s long-distance lightning strike offered a greater sense of belonging as well as more dollars.

“It was about the way he made me feel,” Pujols said. “Arte made me feel like he wanted me to be with the Angels forever. He doesn’t want me to be 37 years old and go somewhere else.”

The comment was an oblique reference to the Cardinals’ five-year, $130 million offer earlier this month — their first bid since Pujols rejected the club’s nine-year, $198 million bid during spring training. Pujols’ new contract also includes a 10-year personal service provision, something the Cardinals were reluctant to discuss, according to sources familiar with the process.

...“I know people back in the city of St. Louis think it’s all about the money and are upset about that,” Pujols said. “I have all the offers out there for a lot of money. They’re calling me ‘liar’ and all that stuff. That’s all good. I went through that when I made the decision. It was tough. I know what they’re going through. They’re losing somebody that has been part of the community. And I feel for that. My wife and I felt that pain, too.”

Repoz Posted: December 11, 2011 at 12:31 PM | 55 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: angels, business, cardinals, media

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   1. Justin T's pasta pass was not revoked Posted: December 11, 2011 at 01:46 PM (#4013219)
It was the commitment in the form of more money for a greater duration.

Shut up, you pig.
   2. Lassus Posted: December 11, 2011 at 01:54 PM (#4013223)
Shut up, you pig.

Pig?
   3. bobm Posted: December 11, 2011 at 02:50 PM (#4013239)
Pujols’ new contract also includes a 10-year personal service provision, something the Cardinals were reluctant to discuss, according to sources familiar with the process.


Why would the Cardinals be reluctant to discuss a personal service contract for when he retires? It seems like he's the kind of player you would want to keep around.
   4. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 11, 2011 at 03:22 PM (#4013254)
The comment was an oblique reference to the Cardinals’ five-year, $130 million offer earlier this month — their first bid since Pujols rejected the club’s nine-year, $198 million bid during spring training. Pujols’ new contract also includes a 10-year personal service provision, something the Cardinals were reluctant to discuss, according to sources familiar with the process.


I imagine it was also a reference to the Marlins reportedly richer offer without a no-trade clause.
   5. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: December 11, 2011 at 04:56 PM (#4013321)
“It was about the way he made me feel,” Pujols said. “Arte made me feel like he wanted me to be with the Angels forever. He doesn’t want me to be 37 years old and go somewhere else.”


"The Cardinals hadn't told me how beautiful I was in so long," Pujols added. "It was just nice to know someone still thought so and wasn't afraid to tell me. Arte made me feel like I'll be beautiful no matter how old I am."
   6. bunyon Posted: December 11, 2011 at 05:36 PM (#4013359)
Hang on. The Cards offered 5 years? I missed that. And they wouldn't discuss a service contract? Bizarre.

While I'm still sad to see him leave, and never blamed him even if it was just the money, those two facts, if they are facts, really change my impression of his leaving.

Just, wow.
   7. Walt Davis Posted: December 11, 2011 at 06:31 PM (#4013384)
So who do the Angels trade him to when he's 38? :-)
   8. Spahn Insane Posted: December 11, 2011 at 06:31 PM (#4013385)
“But to tell you the truth, it wasn’t about the money. I’m going to die saying that, because it wasn’t about the money. It was about the commitment.”

Uh...the Cards offered the same number of years. If you mean "commitment to winning," they just won the fecking World Series, and offered you 10 years to come back and help defend it.

I mean, I don't fault Pujols for going where the (most) money was, and I don't take his leaving St. Louis for the best contract as an insult (then again, I'm not a Cardinal fan). But this self-congratulatory purer-than-thou nonsense is pretty insulting.

EDIT: Wait. The Cards only offered 5 years? Where did the 10/210 offer I was reading about this week come from? (In any case, I find it hard to believe they didn't offer more than 5, but obviously if that's true, I withdraw my comment in this post. The Cards can't have been serious about keeping him if that's all they offered.)
   9. bunyon Posted: December 11, 2011 at 06:49 PM (#4013403)
The way I read it the Cards' initial offer was five years. If that's true, I'm surprised Pujols didn't blow up the arch.

And, it bears repeating, he didn't take the most money. The most money was Florida.
   10. McCoy Posted: December 11, 2011 at 07:00 PM (#4013414)
And, it bears repeating, he didn't take the most money. The most money was Florida.

Well, technically if we are going to consider the Floria offer as valid then I was the highest bidder at 20 years and 3 billion dollars. I don't know why he turned me down. I guess I did't love him enough.
   11. cardsfanboy Posted: December 11, 2011 at 07:18 PM (#4013441)
The way I read it the Cards' initial offer was five years. If that's true, I'm surprised Pujols didn't blow up the arch.


The Cardinals initial offer was 9 years 198 mil which they kept on the table all season long and left on the table when he became a free agent, They had an alternate offer of five years 130 mil.
   12. tshipman Posted: December 11, 2011 at 07:29 PM (#4013449)
A 5 year offer is ridiculous. That is seriously a lack of respect.

The 9 year, 198mm offer is a 30% discount from the Angel's offer and a 40% discount on the Marlins' offer. 30-40% less is a lot less. And yet Cardinals' fans are still upset that he left?

Asking the player to take a second extremely below market deal is not really trying to keep a player. An offer in the 225-230 million price range would be a 10% discount and might have seemed more reasonable to Pujols.
   13. DA Baracus Posted: December 11, 2011 at 08:02 PM (#4013477)
There's nothing Pujols can say that will change public opinion of him for the better right now. But he can keep digging himself a hole if he wants to.
   14. Spahn Insane Posted: December 11, 2011 at 08:08 PM (#4013482)
Seriously? Unless people are wrong about the offers that were on the table, Pujols's reaction's totally justified.
   15. Baldrick Posted: December 11, 2011 at 08:23 PM (#4013494)
Breaking news: sports star leaves team; fans irrationally angry; sports star says it wasn't about the money.

Sporting world in uproar.
   16. Lassus Posted: December 11, 2011 at 08:24 PM (#4013496)
Seriously? Unless people are wrong about the offers that were on the table, Pujols's reaction's totally justified.

Gern Blanston could have had it all, but instead he chose the facts.
   17. TDF, trained monkey Posted: December 11, 2011 at 08:24 PM (#4013497)

Well, technically if we are going to consider the Floria offer as valid
Did I miss something? What about the offer wasn't "valid", unless you mean they knew he wouldn't accept it without a no trade clause?

Of the four offers Pujols received, we know two of them were for alot more money than STL offered and now we know the Angels offered an additional 10 year PS contract. We also know the Cards had all of last off-season to negotiate exclusively with him, and it appears they never budged from their first offer.

And Pujols is a "pig". Got it.
   18. bunyon Posted: December 11, 2011 at 08:25 PM (#4013498)
Gern, I think all DA is saying is that Pujols can't win this argument and, so, should shut up.

I think he's right.
   19. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: December 11, 2011 at 08:48 PM (#4013511)
Yesterday's press conference reminded me that Arte changed his negotiation approach with Pujols. He usually targets a free agent, makes an aggressive offer immediately, and then moves on if the clients doesn't accept. With Pujols, he let the market form, and then swooped in during the winter meetings. I wonder if Pujols is the exception or does this represent a shift in Arte's tactics.
   20. Spahn Insane Posted: December 11, 2011 at 09:12 PM (#4013523)
Gern, I think all DA is saying is that Pujols can't win this argument and, so, should shut up.

I think he's right.


OK, that's fair. I read "digging a hole" as a pejorative, as in "you're in the wrong."
   21. Don Lock Posted: December 11, 2011 at 09:47 PM (#4013536)
How do we know what any of these offers were? Is there some truth in America commission that verifies newspaper rumors? I really doubt that St. Louis, LA or the Marlins have publicly stated the exact terms of their offers nor will they ever. We might one day see the current contract Albert has but that is all.

#10 - McCoy is at least willing to go on the record with his offer.
   22. DA Baracus Posted: December 11, 2011 at 09:49 PM (#4013538)
Gern, I think all DA is saying is that Pujols can't win this argument and, so, should shut up.


Yes. In terms of public perception, he can not say anything that will change people's minds that he took the money, at least not right now. Any justification or reason he gives will sound like petty excuse making and only make it worse. He is of course free to say whatever he damn pleases and not care what the public thinks.
   23. cardsfanboy Posted: December 11, 2011 at 09:49 PM (#4013539)
The 9 year, 198mm offer is a 30% discount from the Angel's offer and a 40% discount on the Marlins' offer. 30-40% less is a lot less. And yet Cardinals' fans are still upset that he left?


the 9 year 198 mil offer was made before the season started, the Cardinals final offer was 9 years 210mil, an average of 23.3 mil per year, the Angels offer was 10 year 254mil, 25.4 mil per year average, A difference of 2.1mil per year or around 10%. Yes there is an extra year in there, but the team valued Pujols roughly the same on a per year basis, when you factor in the cost of living between the two cities, I can't see how Pujols is making noticeably more money per year for the Angels.

I'm not faulting Pujols for taking more money in a warmer climate, 30% discount overstates the difference.

Of course without knowing what the actual offers were, and how they were structured, it's impossible to know what the real dollar difference was. It's very possible in today's dollars that the Cardinals had the best offer. Whoever puts the most money in the front end of the contract is offering the best deal.
   24. McCoy Posted: December 11, 2011 at 10:09 PM (#4013546)
Did I miss something? What about the offer wasn't "valid", unless you mean they knew he wouldn't accept it without a no trade clause?

The part where they didn't have the money and didn't plan on having him for more than a year part of the offer.
   25. Captain Joe Bivens, Elderly Northeastern Jew Posted: December 11, 2011 at 10:14 PM (#4013547)
A five year contract is ridiculous? Give me some of that ridiculous, at my salary, with 3% annual raises.
   26. rb's team is hopeful for the new year! Posted: December 11, 2011 at 10:39 PM (#4013563)
My wife and I felt that pain, too.

Fortunately, I now have a cupboard filled with filthy lucre to help ease it.
   27. Spahn Insane Posted: December 11, 2011 at 10:47 PM (#4013565)
A five year contract is ridiculous? Give me some of that ridiculous, at my salary, with 3% annual raises.

Oh, I hear ya, but then again, I don't reckon I'm one of the ten best ever at what I do, and in any case people don't pay hundreds of millions of dollars to watch me do it.
   28. Srul Itza At Home Posted: December 11, 2011 at 10:50 PM (#4013567)
NEVERMIND Misread post
   29. Captain Joe Bivens, Elderly Northeastern Jew Posted: December 11, 2011 at 11:07 PM (#4013576)
27...If it takes paying a guy until he's 42 to have him play for my team when he's 32, I'll pass, however good he is.
   30. valuearbitrageur Posted: December 12, 2011 at 12:24 AM (#4013648)
It's very possible in today's dollars that the Cardinals had the best offer!


That extra year at $25m is huge, no one is paying Pujols $25m to play baseball in 10 years.

And cost of living doesn't factor in when you make $20m+ per year. Paying $20m for a mansion you can get for $10m in ST Louis matters far less than the quality of life, which is significantly better in CA for the super rich.
   31. valuearbitrageur Posted: December 12, 2011 at 12:24 AM (#4013649)
nm
   32. Spahn Insane Posted: December 12, 2011 at 12:27 AM (#4013651)
27...If it takes paying a guy until he's 42 to have him play for my team when he's 32, I'll pass, however good he is.

I agree with that, too, from the standpoint of my team. But as far as all the righteous indignation being directed toward Pujols, the Cards and their fans can't complain about his rejecting their offer if it ended up being uncompetitive.
   33. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 12, 2011 at 12:59 AM (#4013665)
matters far less than the quality of life, which is significantly better in CA for the super rich.

That depends a lot on your tastes, doesn't it?

Pujols can also spend Nov.-Jan. in any city in the world.
   34. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 12, 2011 at 01:11 AM (#4013672)
Listed in Roget's Athlete Thesaurus as synonyms for "money": commitment, respect, quality Denver public schools.
   35. tshipman Posted: December 12, 2011 at 01:15 AM (#4013676)
the 9 year 198 mil offer was made before the season started, the Cardinals final offer was 9 years 210mil, an average of 23.3 mil per year, the Angels offer was 10 year 254mil, 25.4 mil per year average, A difference of 2.1mil per year or around 10%. Yes there is an extra year in there, but the team valued Pujols roughly the same on a per year basis, when you factor in the cost of living between the two cities, I can't see how Pujols is making noticeably more money per year for the Angels.

I'm not faulting Pujols for taking more money in a warmer climate, 30% discount overstates the difference.


The number of years doesn't matter. It's his last contract. All that matters is total value. It's a 20% discount in this case, assuming the final offer was 210.
   36. McCoy Posted: December 12, 2011 at 02:40 AM (#4013710)
And cost of living doesn't factor in when you make $20m+ per year. Paying $20m for a mansion you can get for $10m in ST Louis matters far less than the quality of life, which is significantly better in CA for the super rich.

I'm guessing he was using cost of living as a stand in for various taxes and other costs. I think the difference between Missouri and California would be something like 10 million dollars in income tax over the life of the playing contract. Don't know what he is going to do in terms of property so can't say about that.
   37. Morty Causa Posted: December 12, 2011 at 02:47 AM (#4013712)
How do you sleep at night?

On top of a pile of money with many beautiful ladies. ...
   38. Gotham Dave Posted: December 12, 2011 at 02:57 AM (#4013718)
Even in California, cost of living is basically a rounding error when you're making eight figures a year. Taxes are a more pertinent issue - I remember being floated as a possible motivation for ARod to sign with the Rangers - and CA's rate is 10.6% while Missouri's is 9.0. Not factoring in the fairly inconsequential ~1% of Albert's income that falls in lower brackets, that's "only" about 4 million over the life of the contract. Considering that any property taxes in California will be artificially low approximately forever, I doubt it he gave it too much thought.

And remember, even when athletes go for the bigger bucks, it's often about "respect" - which is to say they care more about the number in the newspaper than their take home pay.
   39. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: December 12, 2011 at 02:58 AM (#4013719)
Seriously? Unless people are wrong about the offers that were on the table, Pujols's reaction's totally justified.

He's justified in taking the best offer, but saying it's not about the money rings pretty hollow. And I'm not a Cards fan and I'm happy to see him go to the AL.
   40. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: December 12, 2011 at 03:02 AM (#4013722)
which is significantly better in CA for the super rich.

If we are going to discuss quality of life, he has spent the last 10 years living in STL and the last 15 in Missouri. Thats gotta count for something.
   41. Darren Posted: December 12, 2011 at 03:21 AM (#4013729)
Can someone who's followed this from early on answer his for me: I thought that, during last off-season, the reports were that the Cards' offer was something like 7/140. Did it come out recently that that offer was 9/198? Or did I miss that when I originally came out?
   42. The District Attorney Posted: December 12, 2011 at 03:42 AM (#4013741)
I really doubt that St. Louis, LA or the Marlins have publicly stated the exact terms of their offers nor will they ever.
Marlins president David Samson was quoted as saying they offered a little over $200 million.
   43. valuearbitrageur Posted: December 12, 2011 at 05:17 AM (#4013788)
That depends a lot on your tastes, doesn't it?

Pujols can also spend Nov.-Jan. in any city in the world.


Moving sucks for everyone. And there is so much more to do in CA and the weather is so much better, it's hard to imagine anyones tastes wouldn't prefer it to the midwest.
   44. tshipman Posted: December 12, 2011 at 05:32 AM (#4013795)
Also, according to the other thread, 30mm of the Cards offer was deferred with no interest.

Cards were asking for a huge discoumt. No shock Pujols told them no.
   45. Squash Posted: December 12, 2011 at 05:41 AM (#4013797)
Also, according to the other thread, 30mm of the Cards offer was deferred with no interest.

Cards were asking for a huge discoumt. No shock Pujols told them no.


Supposedly a lot of the Marlins money was deferred as well, which brought the total value down significantly. I feel pretty confident in saying Albert took the richest contract, which signified the most "commitment". It's not the money, you see. It's the commitment that offering the most money indicates.
   46. cardsfanboy Posted: December 12, 2011 at 06:09 AM (#4013803)
Can someone who's followed this from early on answer his for me: I thought that, during last off-season, the reports were that the Cards' offer was something like 7/140. Did it come out recently that that offer was 9/198? Or did I miss that when I originally came out?


It was always reported as 9 for 195 or so, Albert claimed the offer was never that high, but every leak from the team was that it was that high. There is a very real possibility that Lozano lied to Albert about the offer, as he has to other agents in the past.
   47. Something Other Posted: December 12, 2011 at 06:28 AM (#4013807)
And remember, even when athletes go for the bigger bucks, it's often about "respect" - ....
I had this same issue come up with a young lady last night. I offered her $200 and she said, "no, make it $250. I want to know you respect me."

It's not the money, you see. It's the commitment that offering the most money indicates.
That's what she said.
   48. MattAtBat Posted: December 12, 2011 at 06:51 AM (#4013812)
Cobbling together reports, I think this is the timeline:

- Last offseason: Cardinals offer 9 years, 198m probably with a significant portion deferred.
- Start of this offseason: Cards offer 5 years, 130m.
- Winter Meetings: Marlins offer 9 years, something under 200m.
- Marlins offer 10 years 210m, w/o no trade clause, probably with a significant portion deferred.
- Cardinals offer 10 years 210m, probably with a significant portion deferred.
- Angels offer 10 year 254m + performance bonuses, nothing deferred, no trade clause, bells, whistles.

This seems about right to me. While the Cards had an exclusive negotiating window, they tried a long-term/low AAV offer and a shorter term/higher AAV offer. Pujols refused both. The Marlins drove up Pujols' price. St. Louis basically matched. The Marlins counter offer wasn't rich enough to justify changing organizations.The Angels jump in with the winning offer.

In other words, yeah, I think was it all about the money (and there's nothing wrong with that).
   49. Everybody Loves Tyrus Raymond Posted: December 12, 2011 at 07:01 AM (#4013814)
There's a distinction between someone drooling on your shoes as they eagerly offer you 10 years (and apparently a personal services deal for your retirement) and your own team (who, I'm sure, he hoped would appreciate him the most) finally getting around to offering 10 years after trying to avoid it. I can see where the man is coming from - and I believe him that money wasn't the deciding factor. If St. Louis had been as committed to signing him as Arte Moreno was, I bet he'd have given them a hometown discount.
   50. MattAtBat Posted: December 12, 2011 at 07:25 AM (#4013819)
If St. Louis had been as committed to signing him as Arte Moreno was, I bet he'd have given them a hometown discount.


Who knows what the exact number are, but the Angels' offer appears to have been significantly higher than the Cardinals offer. That difference is probably what the Angels had to pay to overcome the hometown discount. I don't think the Cardinals valued Pujols at 230m+ dollars.

I don't think the personal service contract really matters. Was there any doubt that the Cards would pay Pujols, after 20-something years on the team, to be a spring training instructor? And is that paycheck so important that he needed it guaranteed?
   51. Sleepy was just “inspecting the bunker”, y’all Posted: December 12, 2011 at 07:58 AM (#4013824)
If St. Louis had been as committed to signing him as Arte Moreno was, I bet he'd have given them a hometown discount.


Yeah, he'd have signed for 10/260M a year ago, which is way less than what A-Rod signed for. Or would he?

Pujols is on record for saying he WOULDN'T give a home team discount, this time- he just wanted to win. Then he won. Oops.

The Cardinals then offered him a potentially franchise-crippling contract; he said no; he wanted a higher AAV. So the Cardinals offered him a contract with a higher AAV. That caused him to cry.

The only thing worth betting on is that Pujols got a lot of money, from the Angels. Hopefully, that's what he wanted- but we'll probably never really know.
   52. Sleepy was just “inspecting the bunker”, y’all Posted: December 12, 2011 at 08:52 AM (#4013828)
I typically don't care for the writing of Bernie Miklasz, but he surprises me sometimes. In this case, if he had asked these questions 4 or 5 months ago, it might have changed things, but as he says, he "didn't have the opportunity". Be that as it may, he has a pretty good article, here.
   53. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: December 12, 2011 at 07:04 PM (#4014190)
There's a distinction between someone drooling on your shoes as they eagerly offer you 10 years (and apparently a personal services deal for your retirement) and your own team (who, I'm sure, he hoped would appreciate him the most) finally getting around to offering 10 years after trying to avoid it. I can see where the man is coming from - and I believe him that money wasn't the deciding factor. If St. Louis had been as committed to signing him as Arte Moreno was, I bet he'd have given them a hometown discount.


I agree with this. Consider Lamar Odom of the Lakers. He was going to be traded in a package which would have netted the Lakers the best point guard in the league (again, he was going to be traded for someone clearly better than him). When the trade fell through Odom was so upset with the Lakers he promptly asked them to trade him. How players feel about how much they think the owner likes them means a lot!
   54. valuearbitrageur Posted: December 12, 2011 at 09:28 PM (#4014362)
But the more Pujols talks, the more his wife talks, the more his agent talks, the sillier this gets. They're pushing the idea that The Decision was about everything except money, and that's absurd. So please excuse me for sounding off on this.


Yea, the more they get criticized, the more they can't keep their mouths shut defending themselves, the more we need to criticize them.
   55. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 12, 2011 at 09:37 PM (#4014374)
Moving sucks for everyone. And there is so much more to do in CA and the weather is so much better, it's hard to imagine anyones tastes wouldn't prefer it to the midwest.

I've never lived in LA, but from my visits and other exposure, I'd pick Chicago in a heartbeat. Also, Boston, DC, and Pittsburgh. And, obviously NY (where I live now).

Haven't spent enough time in StL to have an opinion (only very short business trips).

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