Under the category of “you’ve got to be kidding – I never thought of it like that,” is a discussion I had with my wife this past Friday night while we were attending a Royals-Yankees game in Kansas City. A long-time buddy got married on Saturday, so we made a weekend of it. A good time was had by all.
So, anyway, back to the ballpark conversation. The fact that we were in an American League City, and since defected Cardinal icon Albert Pujols now plays for the American League’s Angels of Anaheim, he jumped into my mind. I thought about his less than stellar start and proceeded to tell my wife exactly how bad his start has been. She always liked Albert Pujols – more for his off-the-field, selfless love of down-syndrome children than his baseball exploits. So, it was highly unlikely that she would know about the statistics tied to his abysmal start on the West Coast.
I framed his opening month’s performance by pointing out that, as of Friday evening, he was hitting .194. That means that out of every 100 at bats, he would get 19 hits. Knowing that meant nothing to her, I elaborated. I said, “Schweetie (that’s what I call her), the great Albert Pujols, aka El Hombre, would only get 19 more hits than you over the same period of time.” She recognized that the gap between her baseball skills and Albert’s current run of embarrassing play was pretty narrow. She didn’t say so, but I could see it in that look on her face. (If there is one thing guys are good at, it is recognizing The Look).
Then I reminded her that the Angels would pay her zero for such a performance. Albert, on the other hand, was making the GDP of a small country – somewhere north of $20 million per year.
She surprised me with her response. My Schweetie said that she felt sorry for him. I’m guessing feeling sorry for Albert isn’t the prevailing feeling among his jilted Cardinal fans. Anyway, without asking, she volunteered that “he knows better than that.”
“Better than what?” was my retort. She replied: “Better than making decisions based on the pure love of money.” She’s right, you know. She usually is.
After graduating at the top of her class from college, our oldest daughter has now decided to pursue a career in social work as a clinical psychologist working with children at risk. Her volunteer work at a nursery helping to rock babies to sleep helped lead her to the decision. She told us with a smile from ear to ear, and mentioned that such a career move would not make her rich.
Funny, we both knew from the conviction in her voice that she was already rich – probably richer than Albert will ever be. Poor Albert. Now I feel sorry for him, too.