For it is by grace you have been saved...

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Albert Pujols and Missed Opportunities

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.


Scott said...

Good word! Thanks Scott

Unknown said...


I'm going to disagree completely. This man is an entertainer, a ball player. He has always used his wealth for many charitable organizations and now he'll have much more to use for those charities and to leave a legacy for his family.

Many men leave positions for raises and we say nothing about it. If I work for a company and fulfill my contract (very well) and then leave for higher pastures I would hope my brothers, while being sad for my departure, would lift me up in prayer and best wishes.

I've worked many charities greatly prospered by Pujols and can easily say that this extra money will be used for good and Christians should rejoice in the prosperity of a brother.

Scott M. said...

What if he prayed about this decision and this was the answer he got? To accept a lower offer does not seem to equate to a greater Christian witness so directly as we might indicate.

Scott said...

CTBF, you are right in saying that men routinely leave for higher salaries. But most often we're talking about thousands of dollars, not millions. Furthermore, in this case the man has repeatedly talked about how much he wanted to retire as a Cardinal and that it's not about the money. Again, from the outside looking in this move seems to blow holes in those comments and make you wonder. I like the guy. I hope he does well out west. I'm just bemoaning the fact of what a great testimony this would have been to stand by those earlier statements and not come off looking like just another greedy player.

Scott said...

Scott M.
You're right, I don't know what went on in his prayer life, and taking lower salary doesn't automatically make you more spiritual. As I've said here, it's a matter of what he previously said about "not about the money" etc. It be nice to hear a guy say that and then back it up, that's all.

james said...

Well said.

Anonymous said...

Taking less doesn't make you more spiritual...I don't know anyone who has turned down a raise before. Now he will have more cash to help those in need. I pray he uses the extra dollars for Kingdom purposes.