Monday, February 14, 2011

Rox Talk - Pujols

Pujols Effect
Perhaps it is difficult to enjoy greatness when it is right there. Perhaps only when a player moves beyond the game does the appreciation set in? When the complete body of work is there for the dissection? Baseball has such a stat consciousness about it that when a player starts to put up eye popping numbers we have trouble relating because up to this point the greater players were baseball cards and black and white video shots.

Ten years into his career Pujols is with some of the greatest. Perhaps we don't want to be fooled or led on so we hold our breath and wait. This week it appears the Cardinal management is prepared to wait. There are a lot of factors involved and I don't begrudge a player for wanting the most $. The most talented should get the biggest deal unfortunately the club who has the right to negogiate has chosen to lowball the offer. Should we be offended by this?

I say no. Where will the crazy end? Can you look anyone in the eye and say "yeah at 38 - 42 year's old your still going to be worth $120 million!" and not get a laugh? Why do the Cardinals need to pay for past performance? Yeah so he was a bargain for the first couple of years but the Cards made a gamble and it paid off, and how much money has the Cardinals and any other team for that matter thrown away on players who were can't miss? So the Cardinals got lucky, do they know have to be stupid and pay a player so much that they prevent themselves from putting any players around him? Last time I checked it took 25 decent players to win...

And finally what can be said about Pujols numbers over the last 10 years? The NL Central hasn't exactly had dominating teams over the last couple of years. With perennial cellar dweller Pittsburgh, the rebuilding of Reds, Brewers, and Astros, and then of course the Cubs, one can't say that Pujols was facing the best of the best. Throw in the fact that St Louis gets to face Royals every year as their natural rival and Pujols gets a good dose of AAA/AAAA pitching.

Also he has played majority of games against the worse fifteen teams over the last decade (based on record) and he also gets to play in some hitter friendly parks (based on ESPN's ballpark analysis). Sure you can split hairs but even this back of the envelope analysis indicates that Pujols has been a monster! Worth $30 million a year? Maybe for the next five years but after that...NO (see Jeter...see can't turn the clock back, your age will get you!)

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