It’s going to be a Merry Christmas for the Albert Pujols family this year!
After all the bickering and dickering, Big Al has a 10-year contract with the Los Angeles Angels for $254 million. Of course that breaks down to a measly $25.4 million a year, but it’s more than I will make in 10 lifetimes and it adds up to new bicycles for the Pujols kids this holiday.
Naturally the St. Louis fans are disappointed in Albert. The Cardinals pitched in with an offer “in excess of $200 million” over the next 10 years, apparently relying on Albert’s loyalty to the team which gave him his first job in the big time. But $54 million is $54 million and Albert is getting to the point in the aging process where every injury may put an end to his playing career. Sure, the St. Louis fans are disappointed, but since when are the pros run for the amusement of fans?
I’m not sure how I feel about it. The basic fact is that, in my opinion, professional sports figures as a group are generally overpaid in terms of what their careers are contributing to the welfare of society. It brings to mind the Roman emperor (Nero, I believe), who observed that if you give the public bread and circuses, it wouldn’t notice that you were pilfering from its pocket.
On the other hand, it’s hard to feel sorry for franchise owners who are banking untold millions, raising ticket prices, paying those huge salaries and pleading with taxpayers to build them new stadiums with no quid pro quo. If there is that kind of money floating around, what’s wrong with a Pujols or A-Rod or any other superstar from getting his while the bank vault is open? Even superstars get older and run out of steam and once the big money starts downhill, it’s back to an orange and a candy bar in the kids’ Christmas socks.
I can’t feel sorry for the millionaire players, but can drum up even fewer tears for the trillionaire owners.
Albert must still pass a physical before it’s a done deal. No word on fringe benefits. Suppose he’s hit by a wild pitch? What happens if he breaks a leg or an old injury flares up? Who pays for hospitalization and rehab? I hope Mr. and Mrs. Pujols are putting a few dollars back during the fat years.
Oh yeah. Who pays moving expenses?
Liz Ciancone is a retired Triubne-Star reporter. Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s going to be a Merry Christmas for the Albert Pujols family this year!
- Liz Ciancone
LIZ CIANCONE: Chickens as pets always turned out same way
I suppose many of us who grew up on farms or in small towns adopted unusual pets. I had a fondness for chickens. My folks always kept a few chickens, not only to fry or roast, but also for the eggs.
LIZ CIANCONE: Lots we did not have in those good ol’ days
In my thankful moments, I’m glad I was not my grandmother’s daughter. I would miss the modern conveniences.
MS. TAKES: Great music is made during all generations
Number Two son tells us that his 20-year-old son has been listening to “Big Band” music with apparent enjoyment. As if that wasn’t enough of a surprise, I was talking with a young girl, barely out of her teens and she told us that she really wasn’t into rap. She said, “It isn’t really music, it’s just talk.”
LIZ CIANCONE: Oldtime fans will never give up on the Cubbies
My Best Friend claims to be the world’s oldest living Cubs fan. I am willing to take him at his word, but surely there is some long-lived fan out there in the right field bleachers who would dispute his claim.
MS. TAKES: Words no one wants to hear: ‘At your age’
The other evening, a friend limped into the dining room. Judging from the grimace, she was in some degree of pain, so I asked if she had fallen.
LIZ CIANCONE: Son has a knack for rescuing lost birds
I think the excitement of last week is over — for now. It all began when Number One son opened the door to a storage area and found a small bird, very much alive. Because my family likes to talk in a soothing voice to all animals, Number One assured the little guy that he was not to worry. “I’ll take you back outside so you can find your family.” Oddly enough, the little bird calmed down and sat quietly in our son’s hand until he put it down outside.
LIZ CIANCONE: Dental gains came with far less pain
Sometimes I wonder if the “good old days” were all they are cracked up to be. I’ll give you the “old” but the jury is still out on “good.”
LIZ CIANCONE: Programs from past can still be the best
I was playing with the channel selector the other evening and lucked upon my Best Friend’s favorite movie. We sat up until all hours until the credits for “Twelve O’clock High” signaled that it was all over.
LIZ CIANCONE: Lady luck landed the special cool treat
I confess to an addiction.
LIZ CIANCONE: Reading, writing add to her day
My family was devoted to words and word games. Books, magazines, newspapers (and the crossword puzzle) were a big hit. I could hardly wait until I could read.
LIZ CIANCONE: Wondering what goes on in a dog’s brain
There was an interesting tidbit on the evening news the other day. It seems that a team of researchers is conducting a study to see if they can find out what dogs are thinking.
LIZ CIANCONE: As we age, thrill of moving diminishes
You’d think I would have moving down to a science. Heaven knows I have had plenty of experience.
LIZ CIANCONE: Not much peace since war to end all wars
My jaw dropped the other day when I read that this year, 2014, marks 100 years since the start of World War I. No, you wise guys, I wasn’t there personally.
LIZ CIANCONE: Angling for a mate not fond of fishing
While many little girls daydream about the dream man they hope to find, it seems to me that they concentrate on all the wrong things. I can’t discount the appeal of beauty, brains and virtue, but my dream man was one who was not dedicated to fishing.
LIZ CIANCONE: Words can take us on memorable excursions
When The Tribune-Star recently asked the reading public to name “the best” in dozens of categories, I didn’t hesitate in naming Mike Lunsford as my favorite columnist.
LIZ CIANCONE: Memories stir desire to collect new ones
I was talking with a friend the other day, a much younger friend. Somehow the conversation turned to early memories. One of her earliest memories had to do with 9/11 and the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center towers.
LIZ CIANCONE: Spreading news from one ‘Liz’ to another
I received a letter the other day from a Yorkville High School classmate. It wasn’t snail mail, it was written in cursive writing and although it required more than the 3-cent stamp of my youth, it found our mailbox within a couple of days of posting.
LIZ CIANCONE: We’re not only ones ready for springtime
During the most recent of our numerous descents into polar temperatures, I was astounded to see a dozen or more robins up to their ankles in snow. They were fluffed out to about twice their normal size. I suppose that was an effort to provide a bit of feathered insulation against the cold.
LIZ CIANCONE: Antiques show better than any modern programs
I’m not a big fan of television.
LIZ CIANCONE: Preference wins over etiquette every time
It’s a source of amusement to me when I read about the trivia which concerns some folks.
LIZ CIANCONE: Valentine’s more fun when we were young
I, for one, am glad that it’s over and I have a year before I’m asked to buy a goodie for my valentine.
LIZ CIANCONE: Why do we bother that rodent on a cold day?
I have a bone to pick with Punxsutawney Phil. I may have to get in line or take a number, but I am willing to wait it out.
LIZ CIANCONE: Few can top the tale of 18 cats
I joined the other ladies at the round table at the Sports Center the other morning, and someone asked Frieda about her cats.
LIZ CIANCONE: Building a career tapping a keyboard
I wish I had a dollar for every time an adult asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up.
LIZ CIANCONE: How can we stop the flow of unwanted postal mail?
I eagerly await a sign-up for something similar to the do-not-call list. I want a “do-not-mail” list.
Liz Ciancone: When it couldn’t get any worse
We all have our “why me?” days. I’ve had what I hope is my yearly quota, beginning with Thanksgiving.
LIZ CIANCONE: Once again we observe one small step in time
My Best Friend and I like to get up early. Naturally, if we are to log the recommended eight hours of sleep, this necessitates an early-to-bed routine.
LIZ CIANCONE: Ready or not, big day has arrived
It’s about this time every winter when greetings cease to be “Merry Christmas” with the added question, “Are you all ready for the big day?”
LIZ CIANCONE: Nothing like the silence of a winter snowfall
I’m not a big fan of cold and snow, but …
MS. TAKES: Important date passes by without much notice
Recently we were asked to share our memories of the Kennedy assassination. Folks were interviewed for television or radio, or were asked to recall exactly what they were doing when they got word that our president had been murdered.
- More Liz Ciancone Headlines
- LIZ CIANCONE: Chickens as pets always turned out same way