There is so much more to baseball then meets the eye, it's a huge business. He owes it to his union and the membership to get every single penny he can. He's not just a star or a superstar... he's put up the best numbers in the game overall for the last 10 years. The more money he makes the better it is for everybody beneath him.... It's how it is.... that's it.It takes intelligence and logic to understand the not so obvious underlying issues. I hope the Cardinals come to regret not resigning Pujols. He WAS loyal to Cardinals. Every person has their limit. Cardinals fans loved him for more than his on-field contributions. And he loved Cardinals fans back. The problem is that the Cardinals organization did not "love" him enough.
1. HE WAS THE MOST PRODUCTIVE OFFENSIVE PLAYER IN BASEBALL SINCE HE BEGAN HIS CAREER.
2. HE HAS BEEN "UNDERPAID" FOR ALL THAT TIME, BASED ON HIS PRODUCTION, COMPARED TO HIS FELLOW PLAYERS.
3. THE CARDINALS COULD HAVE RESIGNED HIM/EXTENDED HIS CONTRACT BEFORE THE DEADLINE SET BY PUJOLS & HIS AGENT.
4. HE HAS DONATED SUBSTANTIALLY TO CHARITIES/FOUNDATIONS/COMMUNITY NEEDS (NOT TO GREEDY TO GIVE $ AWAY).
5. HE HAS BEEN DURABLE AND CONSISTENT (AVG 155 GAMES/SEASON, 44 HR, 32 LOW-47 HIGH, .328, .298 LOW-.357 HIGH)
; take out his highest & lowest totals for each category and you'll notice more clearly his consistent AMAZING performance.
Word to the wise, if you want to keep your franchise players, meaning they are the foundation for your team's performance and they are the face of the team in the community and national media, you should never let them get a year away from free agency while they are still a franchise player and producing like one.
For the emotional Cardinals fans hating on Pujols, the hometown discount applies ONLY when the organization reaches out early enough and offers fair market value to show the player the appreciation and respect he deserves. Most people know that Albert Pujols has been one of the most productive employees any sports organization has ever had. He only left St Louis because he felt disrespected by the organization/management group.
There are many examples of organizations making long term commitments to players before an antagonistic relationship develops. Most recently are Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez. You may not think these are hometown discounts but in reality they may eventually become that. These may outperform their salaries (it seems impossible but think in terms of fair market value for players with similar performance). Even Matt Kemp's recent signing could become a "hometown discoutn" signing. If his next two years are just as good or better than last year then the 3rd year and after could be perceived as a discount.
Some people here HAVE stated that the Cardinals waited to long to get serious about keeping Pujols. If it turns out that Albert was on steroids or that he is in fact actually older than his stated age then maybe the Cardinals had good reason to let him go. But if Albert is clean, produces for at least the next five years like he has throughout his career and he helps the Angels contend for the WS in those years then the Cardinals will have proven wrong in not extending his contract early.
This signing is a shock for many because we all wanted to believe that the Cardinals wanted to keep Pujols as much as Cardinals fans wanted him to stay. Albert Pujols just proved that he is a very smart man and baseball player. Moving to the AL will improve his longevity and offensive statistics. He will bat against weaker pitchers, play in smaller parks, have a more potent line up surrounding him (without pitcher hitting), and will rest his body on days that he is in the line up as DH. He will enjoy California, the weather, the coast, the diversity, the culture, and attractions/entertainment. He will DONATE to charities, foundations, churches, etc in SoCal & he will be loved more than he was in St Louis.