It takes a special kind of person to play the “no one believes in me” card after getting a ten-year, $240 million contract, but Albert Pujols is apparently that special. From Bob Nightengale at USA Today:
“I always have that chip on my shoulder, no matter what kind of success I’ve had,” Pujols says forcefully. “This is going to be an extra chip on my shoulder that I’m going to have the next 10 years, maybe for the rest of my life. I don’t want to ever change that attitude.”
Pujols has a guaranteed contract from the Angels that will pay him $240 million over 10 years — along with another $10 million when he retires — but he wants to prove people wrong again.
Pujols says he has no hard feelings towards the Cardinals. He even says he’s cool if they want to give another player his old number. So I guess that makes me wonder even more what the whole “chip on his shoulder” thing is. I suppose it’s about some people criticizing the size of the deal he got, but way more people criticized the Prince Fielder and Joey Votto contracts than Pujols’. Everyone agrees that he’s the best in the game and had a $200 million+ deal coming. And he got it.
But of course, Pujols is an incredible athlete, and it’s hard if not impossible for people who aren’t to understand what motivates incredible athletes. What makes them tick. If it takes Pujols thinking that he has to prove anything to anyone at this point in order to continue being awesome, hey, more power to him.