Monday, February 14, 2011

A (Sort-Of) Defense for Albert Pujols

Heard on Peter Brown's show on Sporting News Radio last night:

Albert Pujols wants too much money.

He's right, too.  Pujols apparently wants $300 million over ten years.  That's a heckuva lot of money over a heckuva long time for a guy who isn't getting any younger.  (Who is?)

Those, I believe, are the three best arguments against it:  1) too much money, 2) too many years, and 3) who knows how long he'll stay productive?

The other arguments I heard on Peter's show, though, were ridiculous.

"The common fan can't relate to the player anymore."  The common fan could NEVER relate to the star baseball player.  Not during Mike Schmidt's day, nor Mickey Mantle's day, nor Joe DiMaggio's, and right on back past Babe Ruth to the very start.  Never.  Since when did you ever have to relate to a guy in order to root for him?  Who could relate to Michael Jordan?

More pertinently, "Baseball players are all overpaid."  Put yourself in the place of a baseball owner.  It's a business.  You're in it to make money more than anything else.  If a star player helps an owner double or quadruple his profits thanks to helping the team win/sell more tickets/sell merchandise, who could argue against the player deserving his share of those profits?  For a more concrete example, how much money did LeBron James make the Cleveland Cavaliers, and how much money did his signing with the Heat cost them?

This brings us back to Albert Pujols.  How much money has he made the Cardinals?  How much money will he make the Cardinals in the future?  After you figure that out... then you can figure out how much he deserves to be paid.

It's still not $300 million over 10 years.

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