Tagged: The Pujols Clause

The Greatest of All Time & The Pujols Clause

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It is extremely difficult to name
one player as the greatest of all time in any sport (although in basketball and
hockey is pretty much settled).  In
a sport of over 130 years of history and where over 17 thousands players have
played, baseball makes it the harder.   But when you stumble in a player that has done a
combination in offense in his first 10 years of play not done by any player in
the history, it does makes you wonder.  

 

The Greatness So Far

After only 10 seasons, one might
argue that Albert Pujols doesn’t have much more to prove.  He has shown an unmatched consistency
in his offensive – (his first) ten consecutive season batting over .300, 30 HR,
100 RBI’s and almost 100 runs – while being honored for his defensive talents
as well…and has a Championship ring. 
He is already a legend, already unofficially a hall of famer (if decides
to call it quits today rest assure the plaque will hang in Cooperstown on
2015).  

 

While heading for a record
breaking 800+ home runs career, he has the best active batting average in the
game today, even more than the great Ichiro (granted only .0003924% but still
is the highest) who many argue as the greatest hitter of all time should have
started younger in MLB.

 

A Simplistic Prediction

In the next 10 to 15 seasons, by
the time he retires, if he doubles his current production he will end up as the
all-time leader in runs (2,372), doubles (852), home runs (816), and runs
batted ins (2,460), while being the 3rd player with most hits in the
history with 3,800 and 7th all-time in walks (1,828).  Obviously to reach this, he will end up
with a pretty respected over .300 lifetime average.  Again I’m not saying he will duplicate his current figures
in the next ten seasons (if he does, he really is a machine), but if he plays until his mid-40’s he might just get them. 
And if he does, will there be any doubt as who is the greatest offensive
player of all time?

 

An Unprecedented Season

The true testament to become the
greatest will come this season. 
This may very be the most important season in the career of Albert
Pujols.  Why this season may bestow
him as the greatest?  Because of
the unprecedented mental challenge he will face every single game, in every
park, with every fan and every reporter, every single day.  All around the ballparks, fans will
show sings and dream he will play with their team next year because in theory,
on 2012 he can.  If he has another
monstrous offensive year, with all this tension happening, he will prove yet
again how extraordinary of a player he is.  And to the Cardinals organization, every home run will be a
reminder that he is worth it and what you might lose. 

 

When the February 16 St. Louis
contract deadline was closing in, I read a comment from a Red Sox fan saying
that he will prefer see Pujols stay in the National League where he can’t hurt
his beloved team.  One player that
can hurt a team?!…that is showing respect for the guy. 

 

The Pujols Clause

There has been many discussions
weather or not Pujols (or any player for that matter) is worth $30 millions
dollars per year!
If any is to blame is the game itself.  Over the years teams have been willing
to pay more because the money is right, revenues are up, and the business is
profitable.  Should a player
really deserve $30 million per year though?  Well, if there is one player out there
that does it has to be the greatest in the game. 

 

For the people that are concerned
that salaries will continue to grow over time I propose this:  up the ante one last time, $30 million
per year and create the Pujols Clause
where if a player feels they deserve more money, it has to be earned:
in the first ten years surpass a .331 AVG, 408 HR, 1,230 RBI’s and 1,900
hits.  In any business you have to
work extremely hard over time to earn a specific amount, baseball should be no
exception.  End of discussion.

 

Honestly I don’t think these
ridiculously salaries should continue to grow, and that is why I think a “limit clause”
should be established.  I don’t
care how big the inflation will be in the future, $30 million per year is way
too much money.  Even extremely
important CEOs don’t make that amount in a year.  If there is in fact leftover amounts to distribute, there
are many other noble ways to give back.  

 

Author’s Note

If anything, let this blog work
as a testament of what is and might be. 
However there are realities and there are speculations.  Fact: Albert Pujols will be a Hall of
Famer in the future, no matter what. 
His productivity in the future: no one knows.  But for the excitement it has personally given me in the
past six years (ever since the Lidge blast), I say thank you Albert and I
really hope for the best in the future. 
Why I’m such a huge fan? 
Because while doing all the aforementioned amazing feats in the field,
he has shown to be a kind human being with the urge and love to give and bring
joy to many.  Those are traits definitively
worth be praised about.  

 

March 26, 2011

Gustavo A. Zúñiga Balaguer

San Juan, PR