Why This Cardinals Fan Is Cool with Albert Pujols’s Decision

Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan were the leaders of their respective wrestling organizations in the ‘80s. However, both peddled their wares in very different ways.

Ric Flair’s job was to be the NWA’s top bad guy and make the local heroes look like a million bucks. He’d accomplish this by putting on breathtaking, five-star, hour-long, time-limit draws. The fans would go home thinking their guy was *this-close* to winning the title. They’d be sure to come back next month when a no-time-limit match was booked. A month later they’d watch their hero dominate only to see Flair get himself disqualified to win. This would lead to a no-disqualification match the next month. And on and on until a new local star would get a shot.

Hulk Hogan’s job was different. He was the WWF’s unbeatable super hero who would vanquish the villain of the month. In fact, it was the entire organization’s job to build up new giant bad guys for Hogan to beat. Hogan’s matches were very formulaic. Hogan starts off strong, bad guy cheats and takes advantage, bad guy hits signature move, Hogan draws from the power of his fans to come back, hit his comical leg drop finisher and win.

So, who’s the better wrestler?

As you grow up and learn that wrestling is a performance art, you’d probably say Ric Flair. He told more diverse stories in the ring, with a diverse cast of characters, and had better ring psychology (wrestling lingo for things making sense in their context).

However, if you ‘d ask Hogan or Flair, they’d both agree that Hogan was the better wrestler.

Why? Because he drew more money.

But Gordon, how does this apply to the Anaheim Angels of Los Angeles California’s new first baseman? Baseball is a real sport that has stats, awards, and game-won championships to decide who the best players are.

That’s true, but baseball, like wrestling, is a business and there are more ways than fan adulation, MVP trophies, and World Series championships to determine success.

I would’ve punched myself in the face if I’d caught myself writing something like that a year ago. But, something happened that changed my mind…

I learned a subpar coworker was making more than me.

It drove me nuts…absolutely bonkers that this moron was making more than me. And it wasn’t even that much money, it was the principle.

But, then it occurred to me; this must be how Albert Pujols views Alex Rodriguez.

So, if professional baseball players see their salaries as a show of respect, then I understand Pujols’s desire to get every dollar he can. I don’t like it, but I understand it.

To quote Whitney Houston, “It’s not right, but it’s OK.”

Now, there are a few loose ends in this equation; Albert did say he wanted to be a Cardinal for life, but I’m not going to hold that against him. There have been a couple of women I’ve discussed marriage with over the years, so I won’t cast the first stone on that one.

And the question of whether the $30-million-dollar difference in contracts is worth the opportunity to become a Musial-esque legend in St. Louis, that’s Albert decision. And more than anyone else in the sport, Albert has earned the right to make that decision. He was an outstanding player and citizen for St. Louis for eleven years. If $30 million dollars worth of respect is worth it to him, then he has every right to go for it.

So in the end; I wish him well, and thank him for being the best St. Louis Cardinal I’ve ever seen.

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