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 email@example.com.
It’s going to be a Merry Christmas for the Albert Pujols family this year!
- Liz Ciancone
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.
MS. TAKES: Plenty of downsides to tree with candlelight
I had been spinning my wheels over Thanksgiving preparations the other day, so my Best Friend took me out for breakfast — a little luxury I never tire of. Our friend, Bill, stopped by our table to offer holiday felicitations and the conversation turned, as it often does this time of year, to Christmas.
LIZ CIANCONE: Plenty of downsides to tree with candlelight
I had been spinning my wheels over Thanksgiving preparations the other day, so my Best Friend took me out for breakfast — a little luxury I never tire of.
LIZ CIANCONE: Mourning a death is a personal exercise
One does not properly “celebrate” an assassination, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to be reminded that there are a lot of nuts out there. Coverage this past week of the anniversary of the Kennedy assassination still has the power to disturb, but all the theories won’t undo the facts.
LIZ CIANCONE: The greatest invention ever? Frozen orange juice
We were talking the other day and someone posed the question: “What do you think has been the greatest invention of all time?”
LIZ CIANCONE: Even mild forecast can give you the shivers
The local weather report the other evening included a bit of folklore. Our weather guru said that the story is that if snakes have not crawled off to winter quarters by late October, we were in for a mild winter.
LIZ CIANCONE: Extra hour gives more time to reset all the clocks
At the risk of becoming a bore, I really hate daylight saving time.
LIZ CIANCONE: Baseball’s cool days equal cold hard cash
I was driving to the grocery the other day and was startled when a few ice crystals rattled against the windshield.
LIZ CIANCONE: What songs are on your personal hit parade?
Is it possible that you could rattle off your 10 or 12 favorite recordings of all time on the spur of the moment?
LIZ CIANCONE: Finding a little quiet time harder than ever
Two things I especially miss about living in a small town like Yorkville are the quiet and the dark. Both offered an opportunity for quality quiet time to just think.
LIZ CIANCONE: If only we could see next fad coming
I’ve never claimed to be a smart investor. In my defense, I would need a crystal ball, or a double deck of tarot cards, or maybe a Ouija board to anticipate what gadget or fad would be the next to tweak the public fancy and earn me a million dollars.
LIZ CIANCONE: Congress deserves to be fired for actions
I don’t like to write about politics. I’m not interested in trying to convert anyone to my preference, and hope the same courtesy will be extended to me.
LIZ CIANCONE: Choosing a wedding date is personal
It wasn’t that long ago when I sat at the “society desk” at The Tribune-Star. I learned that August was second only to June as the favored month for weddings. And, every so often, there is a program of providers of everything from flowers to wedding cakes and gowns. I suppose this is to assure that the happy event will be done “properly.”
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