Albert Pujols stunned the sports world by announcing he was signing with the Angels Thursday, accepting the 10-year $254 million deal they offered. He left behind St. Louis — a city, franchise, and fan base he proclaimed to love — to sign with a new team. It’s left the Cardinals community hurt, upset, and feeling betrayed. I’d like to take a moment to express my thoughts to Albert Pujols in an open email inspired by Hotmail.
You have put together one of the best starts to a career in baseball history. You are one of the game’s biggest sluggers. You’ve won three MVPs, made nine All-Star Games, and you helped lead St. Louis to two World Series titles. You’re already a lock for the Hall of Fame. But your choice to leave St. Louis and sign with the Angels — a decision that pleases me as an Angels fan — has left me perplexed.
From 2004-last season, you played on one of the most team-friendly contracts in history. You probably outproduced the contract by triple your earnings. You never demanded an extension, and you never demanded the Cardinals give you a better deal.
In 2009, you said in an interview when asked why you hadn’t pursued an extension that “money is not everything. It’s better to have a competitive team that can go to the postseason.”
I respected you for that answer. It was nice to hear a ballplayer say that winning was more important than the money. But now that you’ve taken more money than the Cardinals were offering, I want to know why you changed your mind.
Did you know all along that you wanted out and is that why you never signed an extension? Were you just lying and telling the public what they wanted to hear? Were you telling the truth in 2009, but changed your mind once you won a second World Series? Did you just want a new challenge or a new environment? Did you feel like it was time to have your pay match your status as the best player in the game?
I’m stoked to have you on my favorite team, Albert, but I also like supporting players of high character. I’d like to know that when you say things, you’re telling the truth. Maybe one day you can answer the question that so many people are wondering: why did you choose to sign for more money in Anaheim over remaining in St. Louis on a sizable deal?
I will support you, and I am not judging you, but I would just like to know why.
Optimistic Angels fan,