Mind Over Sports

Posts Tagged ‘Albert Pujols

The thing about professional athletes is…they are human being just like the rest of us mortal beings. They have feelings. They have emotions. They get upset just like we do. And as I’ve often said: What takes place away from the baseball field affects what takes place on the baseball field. And if I were paying Albert $250 million I would ask his opinion about anything that involved him.
Case in point:
When Albert first arrived in California, the Angels began marketing him with a billboard campaign centered around the nickname “El Hombre,” a nickname Pujols doesn’t like. The reason he doesn’t like it is in deference to St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Famer Stan “The Man” Musial. At the time, the Angels vice-president for communications said the “El Hombre” signs represented only 20 of 70 Angels billboards in Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside counties. But even if it only represented one billboard, if he doesn’t like the concept, they should have gotten rid of it pronto.
And that could be just the tip of the iceberg. It could be an indication of what’s taking place behind the scenes. That the Angels are making decisions involving the marketing of Albert without any input from him. And if this is what’s happening, no small wonder he’s irritated and not performing at his skill level. One thing Albert is probably finding out. They do things differently in California than they do in Missouri. Unfortunately.

Today’s USA Today carries a story about how the Los Angeles Angels have begun marketing Albert Pujols’ arrival with a campaign centered around the nickname “El Hombre,” a nickname Pujols doesn’t like. The reason he doesn’t like it is in deference to St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Famer Stan “The Man” Musial. Angels vice-president for communications said the “El Hombre” signs represent only 20 of 70 Angels billboards in Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside counties. But even if it only represented one billboard, they best get rid of it asap since it could have an effect on Pujols’ performance come the start of baseball season. What takes place away from the baseball field impacts what takes place on the baseball field. The last thing the Angels want to do is distract Albert and affect his focus. How smart is it to pay Pujols $250 million and then mess with his head by displaying a stupid promotional sign that he doesn’t like. I predict those 20 signs will come down, pronto.

I was appalled by a recent column that appeared in the Springfield (MO) News-Leader where a retired chaplain made the ridiculous claim that Albert Pujols was greedy and “grasped for $250 million instead of settling for $210 million where he was loved.” That is one of the most stupid comments I’ve ever read or heard. Let’s set the record straight.

First, it’s important to remember that Pujols was reared near an ocean by his grandmother in the Dominican Republic and I’m sure that he and his wife, Deidre, missed being near an ocean. Who in their right mind would rather live in St. Louis than have a beautiful home overlooking the Pacific?

The columnist further stated, referring to Pujols, that “covetousness is epidemic in our society” without giving any thought to where the money paid Pujols is going to be going. I lifted the following from an article about Pujols on the Internet: “In 2005, Albert and Deidre Pujols launched the Pujols Family Foundation which is dedicated to their ‘commitment to faith, family and others.’ The organization promotes awareness of Down Syndrome and works to support those who have it and their families, aids the poor in the Dominican Republic, and supports people with disabilities and/or life threatening illnesses. Among other activities, the foundation hosts events for people with Down Syndrome. The foundation gave the Down Syndrome Association of Greater St. Louis the resources to open and office and hire staff. A center for adults with Down Syndrome bears Pujols’ name (‘Albert Pujols Wellness Center for Adults with Down Syndrome’) opened in 2009 in Chesterfield, Missouri. Pujols has taken several trips to the Dominican Republic, by taking supplies as well as a team of doctors and dentists to the poor who need medical care. The Pujols Family Foundation also holds an annual golf tournament to raise money to send dentists to the Dominican Republic.” The columnist should have known better than to attack Albert Pujols as one who practices what he referred to as the “deceitfulness of greed.”

And finally, I’m sure the people of California will love Albert just as much as those in St. Louis. Albert is one of those star athletes who will be loved no matter where he goes.


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