I don’t know about you, but I’d be pretty intimidated to carry the burden of a $200+ million contract on my shoulders. We are talking elite athletes here with a proven track record, but the daily pressure must be pretty immense. Alone, in the dark hours of the night, I wonder how Albert Pujols is feeling about the contract he signed for the Angels over the winter? Yu Darvish was probably the most-discussed acquisition of the season. What is going on in his head when he standing at the top of the mound, ball in hand and the game on the line? It’s got to be tough.
Many would say these players are the authors of their own misfortune: “If a player wants that kind of payday, he’s just got to deal with the pressure. Tough boogies.” I have to admit that I have some sympathy for this attitude, but also have sympathy for the players who are in this conundrum.
So here we are back at the topic of last week’s posting: just how difficult it is to be successful in baseball. Now add the pressure of not just performing at a high level (what any ball player has to do), but playing to justify your salary being more money than the treasury of a small country.
So how are the biggest signing stars of the off-season fairing?
Albert Pujols ($250 million) – 14 GP, 58 AB: 5 R, 16 H, 7 3B, 0 HR, 4 RBI, 6 SO, .276 AVG, .720 OPS
Prince Fielder ($214 million) – 13 GP, 48 AB: 9 R, 17 H, 2 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 9 SO, .354 AVG, .939 OPS
Jose Reyes ($106 million) – 15 GP, 56 AB: 6 R, 12 H, 3 2B, 2 3B, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 6 SO, .214 AVG, .625 OPS
CJ Wilson ($77 million) – 3 GS 19 IP: 11 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 9 BB, 1 HR, 15 SO, 2 W, 1 L, 2.37 ERA, 1.05 WHIP
The Class of 2012’s top pitching free agents seem to be doing better than the hitters, who sure aren’t at the top of the league in much. Think they’re feeling the pressure?