Albert Pujols: From Sandlots to Million Dollar Contracts
“Heroes get remembered, but legends never die,” (Evans, 1993) says the image of Babe Ruth in the 1993 movie The Sandlot. This quote is only fitting coming from “The Babe,” who is considered a legend in the game of baseball and has forever been immortalized in movies, books, merchandise, baseball records and folklore. He was the face of the game and a hero to his city – until, of course, he was traded and the curse of the Bambino terrorized the Red Socks. Since then, not only has the curse been broken, but baseball has entered a new era of free agency and has acquired some new legends. One of these new legends is Cardinal first baseman Albert Pujols, who has now, for the first time in his career, become a free agent, due to both parties, Pujols and the Cardinals, being unable to come to a contract agreement. Many think the organization should just give Pujols the big contract, while others disagree and claim he is being selfish. Although either of those theories may or may not be true, one thing is certain: in order for everyone to be happy, the two parties must be able to compromise.
Contract negotiations used to be simple – they never really happened. Before the implementing of free agency, players were drafted to a team and remained there for their entire career. The problem with this is because there was no competition among teams for players, the teams could pay the players as little as they wanted. Usually players were paid a very modest sum, earning a salary of around $10,000 a year in 1960 (National League Salaries, 1957-63). Also, the players had no voice in where they played. A team could trade a player to any team they wished. Many people saw the problems of this system and decided it was time for a change, and so the Collective Bargaining Agreement was created in 1968. Although there are many great things about this system and it better protects the rights of... [continues]
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