It’s plain and simple, in my estimation. Money is money. If a player wants to make as much money as he possibly can, I don’t take an issue. What Pujols did was take the maximum amount of money for as long of a period of time as the market will allow. He didn’t take less to go to Anaheim, he took the max. One would surmise that the location had something to do with it, and the team undoubtedly played a role, but in the end, it was about the cash and the years.
Not being from St Louis or even caring about St Louis, I cannot say what impact this has on the St Louisian. My guess is he is a little bitter. Bitter at the club for not locking up Pujols earlier in his career and bitter at Pujols for leaving, and bitter at Anaheim for taking away their “machine.”
Sports and ego go hand in hand. If a player thinks he is the best, then who can blame him if he wants to be compensated the most? As a sports fan, I really enjoy, and have learned to really appreciate, a player who takes less than the maximum he could earn to stay in a place he loves. I don’t know if Pujols loved St Louis. I believe he was beloved there. I am pretty sure his family was well entrenched in the community. I don’t believe that the Cardinals tried to short change him just because he was committed to the city. The shame is that his ego got in the way.
What Pujols got, he doesn’t need. Maybe his ego needed it, but his wallet did not. Despite the mistaken belief of today’s world that too much is never enough, some athletes know there is a price to staying in one place, and they are very willing to pay it.