Monday, December 12, 2011
Money does strange things to our perspective
Albert Pujols spent ten incredible and productive years playing for St. Louis. While in St. Louis, he and his wife contributed to many excellent charities and institutions, several being Christian. There can be no question about the great good done through the Pujols involvement in worthy organizations.
Despite their investment in the St.Louis community and the several ministries they supported, when the Los Angeles Angels offered Pujols a bigger and longer contract than St. Louis, he bolted.
Fine. That's his choice. Surely he'll always be relatively generous no matter where he lives. However...leaving the Cards for the Angels seems like its all about money and ego. I said as much on Facebook and had several Christians rip me for questioning his motives. Now, to be clear- I'm a Yankee fan and don't have a "dog in the race" regarding where Pujols ended up (well, I guess I do now..since he'll be playing for the Angels in the AL), so my comments here are only observational about a player that is often beatified in the Christian community.
Initially I accepted the criticism about questioning Sir Albert's motives. Now I don't.
More details have come out. Initially Pujols was offered a 5-year contract by the Cardinals with a slightly greater annual salary then the Angels are now going to pay him. They eventually upped their offer to ten years, $210 million dollars which is $4 million per year less than the Angels offer. Mrs. Pujols got on a local Christian radio station in St. Louis (which the Pujols apparently funded the creation of) and said some revealing things. Notice what she says-
"When it all came down, I was mad. I was mad at God because I felt like all the signs that had been being played out through the baseball field, our foundation, our restaurant, the Down Syndrome Center, my relationships, my home, my family close...I mean, we had no reason, not one reason, to want to leave. People were deceived by the numbers." (See all of her comments here)
Seriously? All those incredible, eternal things they were part of in St. Louis were threatened because St. Louis wouldn't give Pujols a ten year contract? Mad at God for this? Honestly, how can it be said that money isn't the key driver here? Mrs. Pujols statements seem so warped. God has been using them in St. Louis far beyond baseball. He could have signed the biggest contract in MLB for the next 5 years, but instead they were insulted that it wasn't for longer. I see this is telling and sad.
Sorry if I'm being too hardcore on this. Furthermore, I'm not suggesting Albert Pujols is the only one who struggles with materialism and egoism. I'm a chief offender myself. This story grates on me because of the way Mrs. Pujols makes it seem like St. Louis some how forced them out. It's like they wanted to stay, but just couldn't for the measly $130 million the Cards were offering.
Sports are so much fun to watch, but money has screwed people up bad, even "good" people. Perhaps the statement that irked me most from the beleaguered and insulted Mrs. Pujols -"It's just like God...to put us on a team called the Angels."