Albert Pujols has just signed a 10 year $250 million contract to play for the Las Angeles Angels . Fans everywhere should consider what this means. Here are a few facts and my reaction to the quarter billion dollar contract.
About the man
Albert Pujols is a 31 year old MLB player who has played his entire Major League career for the St. Louis Cardinals. During this time he was Rookie of the Year, and in the running for MVP, All Star, and Silver Slugger almost every year after that, winning each award multiple times. He won a Golden Glove award for two years. His lifetime batting average is .328, with 445 home runs and 1329 runs batted in. It is safe to say that Albert is a valuable player to his team.
As a rookie Pujols was paid $200 thousand, Before the 2004 season he signed a 7-year $100 million contract. The 10-year $250 million contract with the Angels is his latest and best. That's $25 million a year.
Other notable contracts
Contracts that shoot for the moon are not rare in major sports. Alex Rodriquez signed two quarter billion dollar contracts--a $252 million deal with the Texas Rangers and the other a $275 million deal with the New York Yankees. True, these are 10 year contracts which bring the yearly deals down to $25 million, or so.
Other sports figures who have raked in the cash are Kobe Bryant with $30 million, soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo at nearly $17 million, $18.9 million for Derek Jeter, Joe Maurer at $23 million a year, and we could go on and on. Tiger Woods, who is not in his prime today, is at $62 million counting winnings and endorsements. Lebron James is a paltry $44 million counting endorsements and salary --yes, per year.
Even these yearly compensation figures pale when compared to certain business leaders around the world, but none of this really matters except for the relation concerning my fan reaction to the new Albert Pujols' Major League contract.
A fan reaction
I'm appalled. Is everybody crazy? How can salaries like this be justified? Nobody is worth this much money, especially not to play a game.
I don't blame Albert Pujols, Alex Rodriquez, Kobe Bryant, Cristiano Ronaldo, Tiger Woods, or any individual sports figures raking in the cash. I'm sure some of them stand in amazement at the dollars falling on their heads. I'd be falling to my knees and thanking the sports gods every night.
Compensation out of control is the fault of individual owners and sports fans. The owners because they come up with these ridiculous salaries, and the fans because they are willing to pay out the nose--to watch a game. We live vicariously through our favorite team or player. I guess there is no price too high to feel pride in a home run hit by--Albert Pujols?
It's too late to put the dollar genie back in the bottle. These outrageous salaries are going to continue until the foundation of professional sports falls. In the mean time I'll keep watching and rooting for my teams. I may dust off my favorite bat. I think I can hit .330. I'll do it for a couple hundred bucks...
Gerald is a life long sports fan who follows a variety of sports. No stranger to competitive sports he has been a regional bowler of the year three times in a row, a winning stock car driver, and still competes in strategic marathon paddling races. In his spare time Gerald designs and builds kayaks and canoes.