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Angels owner felt compelled to pursue Pujols

原创 Linux操作系统 作者:tfgwrrtyeye 时间:2013-08-24 14:26:10 0 删除 编辑

Angels owner felt compelled to pursue Pujols

Sabathia, Carl Crawford and Adrian Beltre, stunned the baseball world last week by delivering the sales pitch that persuaded Albert Pujols to join the Angels.

According to USA Today, Pujols turned down a contract offer from the Miami Marlins that was the largest in baseball history: $275 million over 10 years, with no deferred money and "with incentives, and factoring in no state tax in Florida," could have been worth nearly $300 million.

A lot of baseball people thought the Marlins would reel in Pujols after he had flown to Miami and was wined and dined by the team brass before baseball's winter meetings in Dallas. During a tour of the team's new ballpark, Pujols looked up at the video screens and saw the computergenerated image of him in a Marlins uniform, next to an openingday lineup that featured freeagent Mets shortstop Jose Reyes in the leadoff spot and Pujols in the cleanup spot.

A lot of baseball people also thought Pujols would resign with the World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals if the money was comparable to those from other suitors. Initially, it wasn't, but last week the Cardinals sweetened their offer to a reported $210 million.

So how did Moreno steal baseball's best and most productive hitter over the past decade, a player who already has Hall of Fame statistics even if he never played another game?

Moreno instructed new GM Jerry Barkevious Mingo Jersey Dipoto to inform. Pujols' agent, Dan Lozano, that the Angels were interested and then asked to speak with Pujols on the phone.

In the span of two phone conversations over 48 hours last week, without even meeting face to face, Pujols said Moreno made him feel wanted.

"He let me know he really wanted me," Pujols said. "He called me his (business) partner."

And they talked about life after baseball, about charities and foundations and community service and helping kids, with Moreno eventually offering to tack a 10year personal services contract onto Pujols' deal when he's done circling the bases.

The $250 million, plus incentives that could make the 10year Angels deal worth as much as $280 million (according to USA Today), and the notrade clause the Marlins refused to include also were selling points.

Moreno asked Lozano if Pujols wanted the Angels owner to fly out to meet him, but Pujols said it wasn't necessary, that he has the ability to judge someone accurately after a relatively short conversation.

So Pujols, a devoutly religious man, said he and his wife prayed about it and decided that God was calling him to become an Angel.

All of which doesn't explain why Moreno, who had pledged to keep the Angels payroll where it was last year and often had railed about outofcontrol spending by other baseball owners, suddenly decided to make an unprecedented offer.

"We've been very blessed economically, with the fans (3 million annually in attendance) and the TV contract," Moreno said, alluding to a new TV contract with Fox Sports worth at least $2 billion.

Moreno insisted this wasn't an impulsive buy, that Dipoto had dinner with Lozano last month, just to find out what Pujols was seeking.

"He (Dipoto) turns over rocks," Moreno said. "He said there's no reason not to talk to every (free) agent that's available."

Later, the more Moreno thought about it, the more he liked the idea of going after Pujols, having concluded that the Angels didn't have "the depth in our organization to really compete at the level we needed to compete" for World Series titles.

"I'm not as young as I used to be, but I'm a marketing guy," Moreno said. "I just thought, 'What does it mean to our fans to bring a player of this caliber here?'

"That's when, all of a sudden, all of your objectivity and budgets and everything go out the window. And you start saying, 'Can you really get this player?'"

Yes, Moreno closed the deal. And now no one can keep bringing up Teixeira, Sabathia, Crawford and Beltre.

And whether Moreno thought about it or not, the 10year personalservices contract he included likely enhances the chances of Pujols going into the Hall of Fame wearing an Angels cap, assuming he keeps producing Cooperstownworthy numbers on the field the next few years.

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