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Albert Pujols Should Leave Money On The Table For The Sake Of Religion?

No, I can't believe I just wrote that headline either.

Apparently there are those in St. Louis, namely a few pastors, that believe that St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols should be worried about the consequences of greed. After he turned down an enormous contract offer that was believed to be worth around $200 million total from the Cardinals, some in his Christian community believed it right and just to question his faith. Or at least get the requisite air-time for doing it. 

"Nobody really confesses to that sin," Patrick said. "Lust, anxiety - sure. But very few people say, ‘I'm greedy,' and I absolutely think that (Pujols) should be on guard for that."

...

At the end of January, Lucas tweeted, "... how is AP's testimony affected if he holds the Cards hostage for $30m/10yrs? @ what pt does 1 Tim 6:10 apply here?"

In another tweet, Lucas wrote, "Unless there is a big part of this contract that goes to Pujols Foundation ($30-50m) he's open 2 the question. Legitimately."

I'll leave out some obvious rebuttals to these comments, both to stay on the good side of my readers that have faith and to avoid the cattle prod that the SBN higher ups have had pointed at me since I started writing this piece. This really isn't about religion at all though, it's about a pair of people using their pulpit to denounce someone for hypothetical sins that haven't even come close to being committed yet.

I know a lot of sports fans like to complain about how much money athletes make, but athletes aren't the ones who used your local taxes to fund new stadiums, and for every player who wants money, there's an owner that has to be willing to give it to them. In the particular case of Pujols, perhaps he's actually worth $300 million. I know it's a rather rough measure, but per Fangraphs, Pujols has been worth roughly $267.7 million dollars to the Cardinals over the last nine seaons, just about right in line for the $30 million a year tag that the Mr. Lucas is deriding. Over that time, the Cardinals have paid him roughly $90 million dollars.

I also know that it's hard to look at dollar figures like that, look at your own salary, and not be incredulous. Just think about it this way: your money is already a sunk cost. When you buy a jersey or spend money on tickets or concession stands, it goes to the team. Would you rather your money be going so that they can employ Albert Pujols, or would you rather your money go to paying Carlos Lee? Worse yet, would you rather have your money going towards you getting to watch Albert Pujols, or would you rather have it paying for an eighth of Jeff Loria's wine for the evening? There's a reason that great entertainers get paid much more money. Don't get bogged down in the scope of it.

The fact that people are using religion to attack a man's right to earn the most money that he can is simply ludicrous. Didn't some religious figure write something about not judging someone? Ah, it's probably not important in today's times.

You may be wondering at this time how this story relates to Houston. Simple, I found the story on the Houston Chronicle's Ultimate Astros page, despite it not containing a single word about the Astros. I can't decide which is weirder: the story itself, or the fact the Chronicle ran it.

Images by eflon used in background images under a Creative Commons license. Thank you.