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Photo by Rafael Amado©

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You may have noticed that we here at Gas House Graphs are not really panicking about the Albert Countdown to the Apocalypse, at least not yet.  Tommy Bennett says why we should stay cool about the situation better than I can in this post at Baseball Prospectus.

But if you want to get gloomy about the situation, over at The Hardball Times, Anna McDonald asks the question that no Cardinal fan wants to think about – Can the Cardinals build around Holliday?

More doomsday reading at THT: Pujols, the free agent. Jeffrey Gross looks at potential fits for El Manquino. My money is on the Blue Jays, gotta keep it uh…birdy. Seriously, the Blue Jays make sense. They dumped a ton of money through Jedi mind tricks and they need Albert to catch the Big 3 in the AL East.

Tom Tango has a potential solution – Give Albert a good-sized stake in the Cardinals. Having the Mang as part-owner… Wow, that thought has multiple implications that one can go to town on, but I’ll resist for now. Tango is enlisting readers help for a % that is fair.

Finally, and I’m just speaking for me here:

Dear Radio Talk Show Callers,

Yes, Albert is a Christian. Yes, he wants a lot of money, and it’s because it’s getting what is fair being that he is the best player in the game. The logic, agree with it or not, is that if he takes less money than he’s worth than it hurts his fellow players from getting their due. The players union typically wants players to get what they are worth and not just always settle for team friendly deals.

Yes I agree, it’s weird seeing baseball players get paid inordinate amounts of money. But they’re only getting the piece of the pie they’re getting because we, the consumers, have ensured that pie continues to get larger. We love sports as a society, probably way too much. The amount of money entertainers and athletes get is a reflection of our own values, whether you think that’s bad, good or you’re indifferent on the matter. If you don’t like the monster, then just don’t feed it.

Finally, I don’t know if it has occurred to the average person, but the more money a person like Albert has, the more he can do to reach out to the community. Pujols has won the Roberto Clemente award for his philanthropy in helping kids with down syndrome and the poor in his native country of the Dominican Republic. It’s not all about him living a comfortable life; obviously he already is living pretty comfy. Let’s turn the question on ourselves before we judge – what percentage of our income do we give to benefit others? I’m guessing for the critics that it’s not much.

Think before you open your mouth. None of us really have any idea what is going on in Albert’s mind.

Your pal,

Erik

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Erik Manning

Erik became addicted to Cardinals baseball as a young lad growing up on the mean streets of O'Fallon, MO. He moved away to Tulsa to attend Bible College, where he met his wife, who talked him into moving to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, also known as the Bermuda triangle of baseball. His dream is to see the MLB.tv blackouts end, and his other interests are theology and philosophy of religion. He is the parent of two young boys.

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7 Responses to “Albert Linkpalooza (and a word on the charges of greed)”

  1. Those were great articles you linked to, Erik.

    Personally, I’ve felt like yawning anytime someone brings up the Pujols contract decision… which is strange because it has such major implications for the future of my favorite team. But reporters just keep typing/saying/tweeting the same thing because they are expected to know SOMETHING.

    However, it’s possible (and maybe probable) that the Cardinals and Pujols are doing a pretty good job at keeping their promise of private negotiations. I find it extremely difficult to believe that they are worlds apart in asking prices or, “not even speaking the same language,” as one reporter put it. How is that even conceivable when the entire baseball community pretty much knew Pujols’ starting price ($30 Mil AAV over 10 yrs) and the Cardinals’ likely counter-offer ($25-27 Mil AAV over 6-8 yrs)?

    Even though the perceived deadline looms ever so close, I can’t help but believe Pujols will be a Cardinal by this time next year.

  2. Excellent post, Erik. I don’t begrudge Albert wanting to get paid, nor do I begrudge BDJ for wanting to make a profit in his business venture.

    That said, I just don’t see how Albert gets paid by BDJ without a payroll hike to the $150M range.

    • That’s fair. I agree on the payroll, they’re going to have to hike it some. I really don’t want to hear about the new stadium as an excuse anymore. I don’t think they have to go $150 necessarily, but $120-130 range. The White Sox don’t draw nearly as well as the Cardinals, and they seem to be able to afford it.

      • Yeah according to Cots they have ~105 on the books for 2011, so a similar team in 2012 + 14 is more for Albert plus built in raises and such would seem to point to 125 or 130… seems feasible.

        Hows that 12M we’re paying Lohse next year looking?

  3. Agree with your last comments there. It’s pretty lame for people to try and assume what he’s thinking to vilify him.

  4. Good stuff as always, Erik. I’m always puzzled by the complaints about ballplayers being too greedy, as many Cards’ fans have portrayed Albert through this ordeal. Why does no one complain that Bill DeWitt is being too greedy in not giving Albert all the money he’s asked for? How much money does Albert need? Well, how much does BDW need?

    This is a business and this is how business is done. I don’t begrudge Albert for trying to get what he’s worth. He deserves to be paid as the best player in the game, whether he gives a ton of it to charity or not. By the same token, BDW has a right to run his team as a business and make decisions that are in the long-term interest of the team and if that means not giving Albert 10 and $300 then so be it.

    • I’ve been on Team Mang for a while, but if it is the rumored 10/$300, I wouldn’t begrudge BDW a bit for letting him walk.

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