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St. Louis Paper Blaming Yanks for Pujols Contract Issues

By Mike Silva ~ November 24th, 2010. Filed under: Mike Silva.

Interesting blurb from a blog in the Belleville News- Democrat earlier today:

Even last year the Yankees were rumored to have been the monkey wrench in the Matt Holliday works.

While they publicly said they weren’t interested in the slugging outfielder, reports after the fact indicated that New York offered a short term contract for $20 million to $25 million a year. The plan was to get Holliday for the short run and then let him become a free agent again this year when the talent pool was much more shallow than in 2009. Because of that move, the Cardinals had to guarantee Holliday seven years at $17 million to get a deal done.

The paper goes on to blame the Yankees for the Cardinals inability to strike a good deal with Albert Pujols.

From what I understand it was Holliday that had interest in playing for the Yankees, but the two sides never really got close. In reality, the Cardinals were taken to school by Scott Boras. Once the Mets signed Jason Bay he needed someone to spoke the Redbirds. Would Holliday turn down more money to play for the Yankees on a short term deal? Even though he wanted pinstripes I don’t see how that would have happened. Shame on the Cardinals for falling into that trap.

The bottom line is the St. Louis media has already decided to blame the Yankees for their inability in getting Albert Pujols on the cheap. Once you paid Holliday the 7 year deal (an overvalued contract as I wouldn’t have given him any more than what Jason Bay received from the Mets), you set the tone for problems with Pujols. How can you pay Holliday more than your star? His production indicates he is worth the $30 million. Do I blame the Cardinals for not wanting to go 10 years? Of course not, but to blame the Yankees is silly. Did you notice that Victor Martinez, a DH, received a $50 million dollar deal from Detroit? There are other teams overpaying for talent. Say what you want, but the Rodriguez type contract started with Tom Hicks and the Rangers, not the Yankees. Obviously the St. Louis media hasn’t been paying attention to the Derek Jeter negotiations.

Holliday did have a nice year (.922 OPS, 28 homers, 103 RBI) outside of the rarified air of Coors, but is he worth losing Pujols? Who knows, maybe a retooled Mets team under Sandy Alderson would be the perfect fit for him. With money coming off the payroll next year it’s possible the Mets will be looking to be players in the free agent market again.

Bottom line: for the St. Louis media to blame the Yankees for their Pujols problems is patently ridiculous.

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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12 Responses to St. Louis Paper Blaming Yanks for Pujols Contract Issues

  1. 86mets

    There is no way St Louis lets Pujols walk. Imagine the public relations nightmare that would ensue if he were to walk, say hypothetically, to the Cubs. Cardinal fans would burn down Busch Stadium (okay, maybe not THAT drastic a reaction, but you get the point). But you are spot on in that the Cards put themselves in this position by overpaying Holliday. Now they are in a very delicate situation in which they NEED to re-sign one of the most popular players in team history. But in so doing they also could hamstring themselves financially leaving themselves little or no room to add to or improve the club.

    So what do you do? Do you give Pujols the money and not be able to improve other areas, yet satisfy the fan base? Or do you hardline the immensely popular slugger, hope he gives you a discount, and risk alienating a huge sector of your fan base if he leaves? The problem is that the Holliday deal guarantees them little discount in retaining Pujols. Which is THEIR fault, not the Yankees. This is a situation I personally would HATE to be in. This will be an interesting NON-Mets situation to watch this offseason for sure. So, do we dare hope that the Cards fail miserably in re-signing Pujols and hope that we can convert the expiring contracts of the immortals Ollie Perez and Luis Castillo (+much more$$$$) into Albert Pujols, New York Met? One can always dream, right? :)

  2. Mike Smith

    The “St. Louis media” to which you refer is in reality a fan blogger. The “story” you cite is clearly labeled at the bottom:

    “Scott Wuerz writes a fan blog “View from the Cheap Seats” at bnd.com.”

    But don’t let that get in the way of your goal: putting the great unwashed here in Flyover Land in our place.

  3. Alex

    The Belleville News- Democrat is not a Saint Louis newspaper. It is a Belleville, IL newspaper. And it’s sports section is essentially just a blog.

  4. Jed

    No matter the publication, this is the type of writing that shows no realistic view of the business of baseball.

  5. Jeff

    I agree with Alex. To refer to St. Louis Media over and over again, the Belleville News- Democrat’s sport blog shouldn’t be your only source of information. Patently ridiculous.

  6. Mike Silva

    The bottom line is the paper writes about the Cardinals so it’s the St. Louis media. Just like a New Jersey publication writes about the Mets and Yanks. It’s considered the New York media. I said a blog at the newspaper. I thought blogs were part of the “new media,” right? It’s semantics that you are arguing about, the real issue should be the position on the Yanks and payroll.

  7. Stu B

    What the writer of that piece is doing, essentially, is complaining that free agency and competition for a player’s services drives up the price. No s**t, Sherlock! That’s why the owners have tried unsuccessfully so many times to undermine the players’ rights to pick the team for which they wish to play.

  8. Alex

    Semantics or not, when you call a blog a “paper” then use said blog to say “The bottom line is the St. Louis media has already decided to blame the Yankees…” as if some dickbag blogger for a paper nobody reads is THE SAINT LOUIS SPORTS MEDIA, you’re not presenting the argument correctly.

  9. Alan

    Belleville, IL is NOT a St. Louis newspaper. It’s sports section is no more than someone’s personal blog and it does NOT speak for the St. Louis media. Check out the STLToday’s sports section if you want to read what the STL sports media think.

    This is like me saying a Patterson or Elizabeth newspaper’s sports section has the same standing as the NYTimes or NYDaily News.

  10. Scott Wuerz


    You washed over the main point of my post, which is not that the Yankees drove up the cost of Holliday. That was a minor point compared to the unrefutable fact that New York drastically overpaid for Alex Rodriguez — when the Yankees said they wouldn’t sign him, period, if he opted out of his contract. You mock the Cardinals for getting played by Boras. But who was bidding against the Yankees for then Boras client A-Rod? Absolutely nobody. He would have been lucky to get HALF of what New York paid him on the open market. And I doubt he would have received a deal that will him $27.5 million when he’s 42 years old.

    The reason I blame the Yankees for the Cardinals’ Pujols problems is because Pujols wants a contract similar to the $300-million, 10-year deal New York lavished on Rodriguez, plain and simple.

    That deal was infinitely more stupid than the orginal $252 million contract Rodriguez signed with the rangers because of the player’s age AND the fact that the Yankees lost more than $20 million in money Texas assumed when it traded A-Rod to the Yankees. If there was ever a time for a team to make an example out of a player for being greedy, it was this.

    The reason the Yankees are having problems with Jeter now is because of the A-Rod deal. He doesn’t want to take less than a guy who isn’t a “real Yankee.” And New York will end up paying Jeter (like A.J. Burnette and Mark Teixeira and eventually Cliff Lee) two to three times what anyone else would have paid him, further over-inflating salaries across baseball.

    It’s not that Pujols doesn’t deserve to get paid as one of the best — or THE best player in baseball. But the Yankees moved the bar artificially high with the ridiculous A-Rod deal. That was sort of the whole point.

  11. Stu B

    “But the Yankees moved the bar artificially high with the ridiculous A-Rod deal.”

    In a free market, there is no such thing as “artificially high.” The market price for a product or service is that which the highest bidder is willing to pay – period. A-Rod’s value at the time he signed is what the Yankees paid, and Pujols’ value will be whatever price at which he signs.

  12. Scott Wuerz

    Not true if one of the bidders pays like a drunken sailor.

    The fact that the Yankees and Jeter are so far apart is proof of how much they’ve skewed the market. Jeter thinks, with a Yankees world view, that he deserves $23 million a year for six years. If the Yankees closed their door to the captain, he’s be lucky to get $10 million a year for three seasons.

    The Yankees continue to muddy the marketplace by dropping statistical outliers into the equation.

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