Albert Pujols, I love you.
It’s been 11 years, man. 11 years we’ve been together. From the very first game you ever played on Monday April 2nd 2001, it’s been a torrid affair. You, going out pretty much every game and killing it. Me, traveling far and near telling everyone that would listen and some that wouldn’t just how great you are. Us, sharing in some pretty spectacular times and some gut wrenching lows.
You didn’t know me, Albert. But we were a team.
And as much as you prayed about your decision to leave me for 250 million dollars to move to LA, something tells me the big guy upstairs didn’t remind you just how many people ‘ME’ really is. Because ‘ME’ isn’t Aaron Hooks. Me is 45K people that pack Busch Stadium 81 times a season. Me is the million people that live in St. Louis. Me is Cardinal Nation as a collective that believed that were special.
Today, Albert, you proved us all wrong.
Nothing can change 445 home runs. Or the 2,073 hits Or the multiple MVP awards. Those are part of our history together. But when you said money wasn’t the most important thing, you should have clarified – the money was the only thing. Because you knew the limitations of what your Cardinal family could provide and when they went above and beyond, you used them for leverage to get more jack from someone else.
More power to you, bub. You’re an American now and it’s a free market. You got the most money. You lost the most currency.
Up until around 8:30 this morning, I really, truly believed that you were a smart enough man to understand what you had in St. Louis. The unequivocal support. The rapt attention of everyone. The adulation of everybody. That you had an real grasp on how iconic you could have made yourself to the Cardinals, and by proxy, St. Louis. That the value of guys like me, constantly beating the drum on your excellence and your charity work would be worth more over the long haul than an extra 30 million dollars right now.
You pissed on that, Albert.
Now you’re headed to Los Angeles. To be a big star. And I’m sure that you’ll find some really nice people that are going to clap really loud for you the next few years. They’re going to tell you how much they love you and how great you are for LA.
Then you’re going to decline in baseball production, Albert. It’s OK, It happens to the best of ‘em. And when that happens, you’re going to find yourself in a lonely spot. LA doesn’t look back fondly on anything. It’s at this point, you’re going to come crawling back to me, Albert.
Save your fucking time, sir.
You have every right to take more money and not play baseball for my team. I’ve got rights, too. And I’m exercising my right to tell you to pound sand. Enjoy the warm weather and the big paycheck Albert. But when you finally realize how good you had it with me – and you WILL – I’ll have moved on.
I’ll still have the good times, sure. And I do appreciate all the good times more than you know. But I’m done with you Albert. I’ve started the process of moving on. And frankly, I never thought I’d say this, but I don’t give a shit about what you do from this day forward. None of us do.
In the end, I don’t think there’s a more appropriate song ever than Wilco’s ‘Glad It’s Over’:
“I’ve said what I want, to put it mildly. I hate you 100%... I mean that kindly.”
Thanks for everything. And nothing.
If someone offered you more money to do the exact same thing you are doing now, would you take a pay raise? If you said no.....you are a liar. No one says, " I'm sorry boss, I don't want that raise. Go buy everyone in the office something nice instead. "
It takes more than one player to make a baseball city proud; it takes a team. P isn't the team, he is a replaceable yet kick ass player. We will survive without him: Good luck bro!
@athooks good job.
@athooks Albert thrives on respect and felt disrespected. I don't begrudge him the money.The irony is that he lost the respect of a nation.
I am a Giants fan but my girlfriend is a diehard Cards fan from STL. So hard to see first hand what Albert has done to his biggest supporters. As a baseball fan, I'm disgusted and as a human being, I'm just plain disappointed.
*standing ovation* RT @athooks: If you missed it earlier-my open letter to Albert Pujols "Love You; F You" -- http:\/\/t.co\/1l5xfDO9 #StlCards
I hope, in 2022, they don't re-sign him to let him retire with STL. Perfectly written. One of the best players in Cardinal history but he just burned the bridge.
@athooks I don't agree with all of it, but about 97% of it, sir. Fine work.
Cliff Lee just turned down a bigger offer last year, so the MLBPA wouldn't have been able to stop it.
Hooks, are you totally discrediting the argument that MLBPA would never have let Albert turn down the Angels' ~25% better offer? Do we know anything about how that might've been a factor?
So what exactly does this tell me? Hell if I know. There are anomalies like Babe Ruth and Barry Bonds. Some of these guys served in WWII and missed out on a season or two of their prime. Some guys got injured and were never the same. Most likely the numbers will drop for Albert. 10 years is a long time, will he get bored? Tired? Injured? Intoxicated by the SoCal weather? Lazy? Fat? Fat and Lazy?
I am sad today. I know we will pick up some quality guys who will help out this team. I know Berkman is by far the best back up first baseman in the majors. I hope Allen Craig is ready to play next year. I believe Matheny will rally this clubhouse and move on. But I do believe that a little part of me died today and was sent to LA.
I guess the one saving grace is that we don't have to see him play against the Cardinals. He can stay on the west coast, get lost in the late broadcasts of Baseball Tonight, break all sorts of hitting records as a DH in his 40's, and ride off into the sunset. But so help me God, if we are to ever meet in the World Series, it will be an epic showdown.
Best of luck Albert. See you at Safeco.
The only way that I can move on from the departure of Albert Pujols is by 1.) crying like a baby in my beer tonight and 2.) looking at the numbers.
1. a ten year deal puts Albert at 41 in 2020. Paying him $22+ million a year at that age really handcuffs the organization. I think Johnny Mo got it right and not overpaying. As much as I would like to see Albert enshrined as a Cardinal, you cannot hogtie the team like that.
2. in my madness this morning, and without the approval from my higher up, I delved into the baseball reference website to see how the greatest to play this simple game typically do after the age of 31. We all know the numbers go down, but how bad can it get? I based the following information on the three stats we have all come to know and love from Albert (30 HR, 100 RBI, & .300 AVG).
Lets start with the best and head down:
Players Name Age Season 30+HR Season 100+RBI Season .300 AVG
1. Babe Ruth 24-30 5 5 9
31-40 8 8 8
2. Willie Mays 20-30 6 5 7
31-42 5 5 3
3. Hank Aaron 20-30 6 7 9
31-42 4 4 5
4. Stan Musial 20-31 3 5 10
32-42 3 5 7
5. Micky Mantle 19-29 7 3 7
30-36 2 1 3
6. Jimmie Foxx 17-30 10 10 9
31-37 2 3 2
7. Frank Robinson 20-31 8 5 6
32-40 3 1 3
8. Mel Ott 17-29 5 8 7
30-38 3 1 2
9. Barry Bonds 21-31 5 5 4
32-42 9 7 7
10.Ken Griffey Jr 19-31 7 8 7
32-40 2 0 1
Actually, the Phil's contract had a higher AAV (less money but fewer years). So... there wasn't much for MLBPA to get mad about anyway. I think the story there was the Yanks just didn't get their guy. @jaberwalkey76
The discrepancy between the two (the NYY's 6-year offer and the Phil's offer he did accept) wasn't as large as this case (about 15% vs Albert's 25%). I'm not trying to say this *was* a factor, I just don't think your example rules it out. @jaberwalkey76
That's true, I think the MLBPA does look at the big numbers more then the AAV though. I think the point that the writer was making was something of the it never got to the point of that. AP just jumped at the big number because somehow dollars=respect.