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.