As most have heard by now, St. Louis Cardinal star Albert Pujols has left the Midwest for greener pastures in California. He signed a 10 year contract with the Los Angeles Angels for a reported $250 million. The Cardinals were reported to have offered a contract as long, but with about $50 million less. So in speaking of missed opportunities, am I talking about the Cardinals missing out by not offering more? No.
The missed opportunity here is for a highly visible professing Christian to back up his words with his life. Pujols has always been very open about his faith. And for the most part, it really seems as though he tries to live that faith out. But here he had the perfect opportunity to show that for the Christian, our priorities are different.
He has always said, it’s not about the money. And I know nothing about the inner workings of contract negotiations. But this I do know. $200 million dollars over a lifetime, let alone the next 10 years, ought to be more than enough for a guy to live on. And from the outside looking in, it sure seems like it’s all about the money.
This would have been a great opportunity for a world class athlete on the national stage to step up and show the world that we don’t live for the things of this world. Loyalty to a team that invested so much in you early on, loyalty to a fan base that has elevated you to the top, etc. mean more than the dollar signs. But alas, no such statement was made.
Again, I know nothing of the contract negations. I’m sure there is much more to it than this. And I don’t know Mr. Pujols personally, so I probably should be very careful in making judgments. Furthermore, as a lifetime Cardinal fan I’m sure this is more sour grapes than anything else.
But I can’t help wondering what a grand statement could have come from someone standing up and saying: folks, as a Christian my priorities are different than the rest of the world. I’m turning down a boatload of money to stand for loyalty, team, etc. Instead, the comments I've heard already are all focused on disappointment over seeming greed.
I wish Mr. Pujols the best. I hope he has a long, productive career with the Angels (probably ensured to be longer because of the American League’s designated hitter option). Maybe we’ll have to wait for Tim Tebow to turn down some mega million dollar offer to see the kind of statement I was looking for.