Albert Pujols said he was wooed to the Angels by a heavy dose of charm from owner Artie Moreno and a sense that the wanted him to be part of the "family."
But Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports paints a different picture. He said today that the Angels' lucrative offer that required Pujols to sell out his legacy with the Cardinals by agreeing to be tied soley to Anaheim for the next 20 years came with a short deadline to accept the deal or else it would be pulled.
That's an interesting thought because the Angels were able to sign the most expensive pitcher on the market AND land Pujols. So why the deadline? Who else were the Halos going to pursue. Prince Fielder doesn't have the hispanic pedigree that Moreno is counting on with Albert to draw a few more of the 7.7 million Latinos in the Los Angeles region to his ballpark. There were simply no other high dollar targets available to pursue. And that means the only reason to impose a deadline would be to manipulate Pujols.
Pujols said the decision wasn't about the money. But he knew if the Angels bailed, he might lose his only realistic chance to crack the Alex Rodriguez $250 million mark. So he had to jump instead of being content to take $210 million from the Cardinals (whose offer wasn't going to go away like dust in the wind.)
Judging from his recent press blitz to try to salvage his tarnished image, Pujols isn't exactly comfortable with the way things have turned out. He said in a KSDK interview that his wife had to tell the kids Albert wasn't going to play for the Cardinals anymore because he was too broken up to do it. Either that's the most pathetic line of bull ever -- or it hit home pretty quick that Pujols made a mistake.
During his introductory press conference in LA (which the California media raved drew 4,000 fans to the ballpark on a day off because they don't know they could have probably filled Busch Stadium for a press conference had Albert returned) and again during his KSDK interview earlier this week, Pujols has uttered statements alarmingly similar to "I've made my bed and now I have to lie in it."
This whole deal makes so little sense that perfectly rational Cardinals fans have called me to speculate that maybe the Angels would be willing to trade Pujols back to St. Louis in a couple of years. Not only is that desperately reaching at straws because the Angels signed Albert to hijack his Hall of Fame legacy, not to get a couple of good years out of him. But, if the Redbirds were concerned about paying Pujols beyond his productive years, why would they let Anaheim have him for the first part of the contract and then take the leftovers? The Birds would lose two years of a 32 and 33-year-old Pujols at $25.4 million a season and get eight seasons of 34-41-year-old Pujols for $200 million? No sale.
What has gone down makes no sense at all. Especially when you consider what sort of "family" uses high pressure sales tactics against one of its own.