Good for him. Sincerely.
I am a fan of Albert Pujols. In fact, I am a fan of any hard working ballplayer who leads a respectable life on and off the playing field. I am a fan of players who take advantage of their time in the spotlight by leading the world with a good example. I am a fan of players who spend their extra time to promote charity movements or volunteer their time and effort to help those less fortunate.
Like him or hate him, Pujols has earned respect. And not just from us fans, but from teammates, opposing players, coaches, general managers, front office personnel, and children around the world. He has been everything expected from an allstar. He has produced results on the field that have pushed him into a category of his own while maintaining a respectable life off the field. He has no arrests or steriod issues surrounding his name. His pictures online are those of him playing, not of him galavanting around with numerous women or of alcohol infused escapades. He has been a strong role model for young kids around the world. He's made valuable contributions to countless charities and remained active in participating in his free time.
Pujols was offered many lavish contracts this offseason, but thats not what he was going for. Pujols gave each team the opportunity to present him with a contract based on what those teams felt he deserved. The Marlins offered an outlandish 10 year deal, some say amounting to $300MM, but they did not include a no-trade clause. Seriously? If Aramis Ramirez "earned" one with the Cubs, then surely Pujols should have that respect given to him, as well. In the end, the Angels seem to have offered Pujols the contract and life he wants for him and his family for the next ten years of his life.
My facebook newsfeed and twitter timeline are littered with complaints about Pujol's decision. GREEDY. SELFISH. SELLOUT. These are not words to describe a man who has committed his life towards bettering himself at baseball and as a human. Here is a man who has worked his behind off his entire life, perfecting every little detail about his mechanics in order to gain the level he has with us today as one of the elite, arguably best ballplayers of all time.
Here's my persepective. I understand that Cardinal fans can be irrate. But don't blame the man for taking an offer from a team that probably showed him a better deal, not just financially, but respectfully. Albert Pujols has worked his whole life for the chance to decide where his life can go from here. If he wants his family to live in California, without having to be uprooted for the next ten years, then respect his decision. Disagree all you want, but greedy? selfish? sellout? Yes contracts are outlandish. Yes millions upon millions is hard to rationalize for someone who "plays a game" for a living, but that is the market. There are other rediculous contracts out there but if anyone has earned it, it's Pujols.