bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: Albert Pujols’ wife makes him look bad

No Gravatar

Free agency gives players an opportunity to go out on the open market and get as much money as they can get. It also allows them to choose the city in which they will live and play half of their games each season. Considering how short the average professional sports career is (roughly 3.5 years for NFL players, for example, according to ABC News), I am in full support of players getting everything they can get. Unfortunately, new contracts also give players an opportunity to talk about why they chose to move on from their last team, and more often than not, it seems to me, the explanations simply cause problems. The most recent massive contract went to Albert Pujols, the new first baseman for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (how’s that for a name?), who signed a 10-year, $254 million contract. He left the St. Louis Cardinals, for whom he had played for the first eleven years of his spectacular career. In this case, the silly interview that occurred afterward was actually with Pujols’ wife Deidre, for some reason.

Deidre Pujols, in a conversation on a St. Louis radio station, stated that she and Albert had no desire to leave St. Louis and fully planned to remain there throughout his career, but that plan was derailed by the team’s initial offer of a 5-year, $130 million deal. They were apparently so insulted at this offer of $26 million a year that the entire eleven years they had spent in St. Louis suddenly meant nothing, I guess. Any subsequent offers must have been colored by this initial perceived slap-in-the-face, and her husband is now an Angel.

Again, take the money. You’d be stupid not to. The Angels offer was better than the final Cardinals offer by a good bit, was fully guaranteed, and also included some kind of personal services contract after Pujols’ playing career is over. Sounds fantastic, and very worthy of a surefire hall-of-famer who has put up staggering numbers to this point in his career. I would be writing this column about how much of an idiot he was if he turned down this deal. Don’t tell me, though, that you wanted no part of leaving St. Louis but had no choice after you were treated so badly. Negotiations have to start somewhere. Teams have a budget, and need to also pay a lot of other players. They would be irresponsible to not start the talks by offering less than they know they will have to eventually pay. Just say you took the most money and be done with it. That’s what you did, and there’s nothing wrong with it, so own it.

My favorite part of the moronic interview with Deidre was where she said she was mad at God, since she felt like they had everything so perfect there in St. Louis, as they had built their lives there. Now they were forced to leave because of the disrespect shown to them by the team’s initial proposal. I guess God was supposed to make sure that didn’t happen. Someone has an awfully high opinion of herself, I think. Can someone explain to me why Deidre Pujols was being interviewed in the first place? I missed the part where it was explained why anyone would care what she had to say.

I admit that I tend to root against superstars from other cities. I can’t really explain it. I have never been anti-Pujols, though, and I don’t really expect to be now, but this whole thing makes him look bad. I guess it’s a good thing it was his wife, rather than him, who made this idiotic statements, as if he had made them himself, he surely would have made my Naughty List, and that of many others as well. On second thought, maybe that’s why it was Deidre doing the talking.

Bad sports, continued:

2) Barry Bonds was finally sentenced for the obstruction of justice conviction he received back in April, related to the BALCO steroids case from 2003. The sentence does not include any jail time, and is basically a joke. He is, of course, appealing.

3) Boston Celtics forward Jeff Green will miss the entire 2011-2012 NBA season after an aortic aneurysm was found during a physical that followed his recent contract signing. It’s bad news for the Celtics, but very fortunate news for Green, who was unaware of the problem, which could have cost Green his life if not caught.

4) David Villa, a star forward for Barcelona’s soccer team, broke his leg during his team’s 4-0 victory over Qatar on Thursday. He seems likely to miss his country’s attempted defense of its European Championship this summer.

5) Chicago Bears wide receiver Sam Hurd was arrested on Wednesday on federal drug charges. It is reported that he was a major drug dealer in Chicago, and there is reportedly a list of NFL players to whom he has sold drugs over the years. This could get really bad.

6) Former Boston Bruins head coach Mike Milbury was charged with assaulting a 12-year-old child who was playing hockey against Milbury’s son’s peewee league team this week. Awesome.

7) It was a bad day for the NFL record books Sunday, as the league’s only undefeated and winless teams both managed to lose those titles. The Green Bay Packers lost for the first time this season, falling to the Kansas City Chiefs, 19-14, while the woeful Indianapolis Colts, who had been 0-13, finally won a game, beating the Tennessee Titans, 27-13.

Good sports:

1) Lexi Thompson, who became the youngest-ever winner on the LPGA tour a few months back, became the youngest to win on the Ladies European Tour on Saturday, winning the Dubai Ladies Masters at age 16.

Bad sports, good sports appears every Monday

Alan Spoll is a software quality assurance director from the suburbs of Philadelphia where he lives with his wonderful wife and children. He has spent his entire life as a passionate fan of the Eagles, Phillies, Sixers, Flyers, and Penn State. Recent Phillies success aside, you will understand his natural negativity. Follow me on Twitter - @DocAlan02
Print This Post Print This Post

2 Responses to “Bad sports, good sports: Albert Pujols’ wife makes him look bad”

  1. I agree with everything in the Pujols analysis except for one minor point: why should we automatically fall in line and assume that it’s always justified for the player to take the most money possible? Sure, it’s heresy to say so in our culture of greed. Sure, the media want us to believe that every penny counts, and the players union, and the players themselves. Still… why are we afraid to examine that? Might we learn, perhaps, that there isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between making (say) $150 million over the course of a professional sports career and making $200 million? And don’t tell me the poor babies have to retire before they’re forty. Guys retired from baseball in the old days and were lucky to find work in steel mills or pumping gas. (And baseball was better back then, but never mind.) It’s not just obscene remuneration in a deeply distorted and oligopolistic “market place,” a cartel for employing certain people with uncommon physical skills; all baseball salaries are obscene, and it hurts me to see teams shell out millions a year for notably mediocre players because they aren’t terrible players or because it’s the going rate. Leave all that aside. Albert Pujols should have stayed in St. Louis if he liked St. Louis because it won’t make any difference to him or his offspring. Maybe he plans to be the next Bill Gates — if so more power to him. But I think he’s more likely to discover, like most super-athletes, that after the first fifty million or so, it’s just money.

  2. Hi Jeff – thanks for reading and commenting. To be clear, I was not suggesting that everyone needs to be in favor of athletes making as much money as possible. I was merely saying I understand why they do, and am not against that idea for its own sake. Sports generate enormous amounts of money for the teams and the owners. I understand why the players who actually play the games take a large share of that fortune.

Discussion Area - Leave a Comment