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Albert Pujols officially done for the season

Aug 19, 2013, 7:35 PM EDT

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The worst season of Albert Pujols‘ career is officially in the books.

According to Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com, the Angels have ruled Pujols out for the rest of the season. The 33-year-old went on the disabled list with a partially torn plantar fascia in his left foot in late July and was holding out hope for a return after shedding his walking boot on Friday, but that scenario never made much sense with the Angels so far out of the race. At this point, it’s best for all involved to turn the focus to 2014.

Hobbled by the foot injury, Pujols batted just .258/.330/.437 with 17 home runs and 64 RBI in 99 games this season while seeing the majority of his at-bats out of the DH spot. His OPS has dropped from 1.001 to .906 to .859 to .767 over the past four seasons. The Angels will have to hope that improved health reverses that trend. Pujols still has another eight years remaining on his monster $240 million contract.

  1. thebadguyswon - Aug 19, 2013 at 7:43 PM

    Man is that one ugly contract.

    • pinkfloydprism - Aug 19, 2013 at 9:04 PM

      Bust! I think the Cardinal fans are now officially over him leaving.

      • thebadguyswon - Aug 20, 2013 at 12:12 PM

        The Cardinals are the smartest organization in baseball, hands down. They got all his best years and knew when to walk away.

      • pinkfloydprism - Aug 24, 2013 at 4:56 PM

        but they did offer him a huge contract… if he accepted, would they still be the smartest organization? Oh, and that contract they gave Matt H… nullifies your smartest organization comment anyway.

    • dickclydesdale - Aug 19, 2013 at 11:29 PM

      He came in terrible shape & he got fat every day. Albert looked very happy in the dugout having a great time with the Angels trailing 4-0 in the game. This is what happens with guaranteed long term contracts instead of an annual contract is that players just don’t care about winning because the big checks are guaranteed on the 1st & 15th of the month. If he was on an annual contract I bet you he would be more concerned about taking better care of his health to play for another year.

      • eightyraw - Aug 20, 2013 at 2:13 AM

        The notion that players perform significantly better in contract years has been proven to be false.

  2. braddavery - Aug 19, 2013 at 7:45 PM

    It’s hard to feel badly for a guy who once said “So why would you want to leave a place like St. Louis to go somewhere else and make $3 or $4 more million a year? It’s not about the money.”

    • biasedhomer - Aug 19, 2013 at 9:22 PM

      He left because he knew staying would only hurt the Cards!

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Aug 19, 2013 at 11:07 PM

      I think it was over $100MM more than the cards were offering. Who wouldn’t turn that down? Frankly, the Cards appeared to be over him, and didn’t make a competitive offer. Why blame Pujols for that?

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Aug 19, 2013 at 11:09 PM

        Nevermind, I think I misremembered this, or confused it with something else. Carry on as you were…

      • mrznyc - Aug 20, 2013 at 7:45 AM

        Looks like a more than competitive offer at this stage.

  3. losangelesfan - Aug 19, 2013 at 7:52 PM

    It’s all about entertainment. Pujols contract is nothing in Hollywood. Hell, Charlie Sheen’s contract is obscene compared to Pujols. It’s the nature of the beast.

    http://www.celebritynetworth.com/articles/celebrity/how-charlie-sheen-made-100-million/

    • moogro - Aug 19, 2013 at 10:28 PM

      Why use Hollywood as a reference? Baseball would’ve been more direct.

  4. aceshigh11 - Aug 19, 2013 at 8:04 PM

    I really hope he can bounce back.

    People can mock his $240 million contract all they want…he put up inhuman numbers in his first 11 seasons. It would be a shame to see such a supremely gifted ballplayer fade away by his early 30s.

    This may be a stupid question, but: if Pujols were to theoretically never play another game, is he already a first ballot HoFer?

    I’m almost certain the answer is a resounding “YES!” but I’d just like the see what other people think.

    • braddavery - Aug 19, 2013 at 8:17 PM

      Definitely.

    • chill1184 - Aug 19, 2013 at 8:28 PM

      Oh absolutely but unfortunately the questions of “Did Pujols juice?” Will come up when his turn for the HoF comes up.

      • Jeremy T - Aug 20, 2013 at 10:22 AM

        You might be right, but I’d like to think the atmosphere around that question will have at least slightly mellowed out by then. The fact that his name never comes up even in this witch hunt era means something to me.

    • stlouis1baseball - Aug 20, 2013 at 9:02 AM

      1st ballot without question.
      His first 10 years…he did things NO ONE in the history of the game had done (at that point).

      • aceshigh11 - Aug 20, 2013 at 9:24 AM

        Exactly.

        It’s amazing how quickly people were to disparage him and his contact with the Angels when his production fell off a bit.

        I mean, we are witnessing one of of the all-time greats to ever play the game, and people are just giddy to cut him down.

        Doesn’t seem right.

    • stlouis1baseball - Aug 20, 2013 at 10:23 AM

      On point. I think people tend to take him for granted. Like a lot of the all time greats. Only after they are gone do people (most people)…seem to sit back and consider that greatness.
      I think people did it with Bonds, Kareem, Barry Sanders, Magic, Bird, Jordan, Gretzky…
      Lots of players seem to have this happen to them. Some more than others of course.

  5. sportsfan18 - Aug 19, 2013 at 8:20 PM

    First, his contract would have been bad had he accepted what the Cardinal’s were offering which was still $200 million plus, although something like $30 to $40 million less than what the Angles offered.

    It isn’t the players fault for these contracts… none of them put a gun to the heads of the owners, President’s and GM’s of the teams…

    Any of us would sign a guaranteed contract like this if it was placed in front of us even if we knew full well we couldn’t come close to earning it…

    Next, I commend Albert for playing hurt this year. He’s hurting his numbers, average, OPS, Slugging etc…

    Many sit back and collect their paychecks because they don’t feel well.

    This man went out and played while hurting physically and not caring that his own numbers and stats were being hurt…

    • mybrunoblog - Aug 19, 2013 at 9:14 PM

      I don’t think most fans begrudge the players for the insane contracts. We are just always astounded when foolish owners thrown money around like pocket change. Every time a huge contract turns into a bust we say “Well, now the owners will finally settle down and stop handing out ridiculous deals” but they never do.

      • moogro - Aug 19, 2013 at 10:33 PM

        Didn’t some clown columnist say recently Alex Rodriguez stole money with his contract? Followed by a bunch of f-ers?

      • paperlions - Aug 20, 2013 at 7:45 AM

        ….but this isn’t any different than the spending habits of “normal people”….nearly all of these owners can afford to burn $200M and financially be just fine. In contrast, “normal people” regularly buy cars and houses they can’t afford and maintain balances on the credit cards mostly purchasing things they don’t need and for which they don’t have the money.

        I am not absolving the banking or real estate industries from their horrible roles in the real estate bubble and the shoddy treatment of people after that….but….just because a bank will loan you the money, doesn’t mean you should take it, and just because you have a credit, doesn’t mean you should use it.

        At least the owners (most of them, anyway), do have the money to spend, even if they spend it unwisely.

    • wretchu - Aug 20, 2013 at 9:51 AM

      Well yes, there is some truth to that. But really, money isn’t everything. If I was given the same options Albert had, $240M in LA or $200M in STL, honestly I would probably take STL. Not only is it probably a better option financially because of the differences in taxes and cost of living, but staying in STL cements my legacy as one of the all-time greats in franchise history, and it’s a franchise with a LOT of greats and some of the best players in the history of the game.

      There’s more to life than money. You have to take happiness and comfort into account as well. In STL, the fans would be far more sympathetic because they realize that he gave the team 11 years ultimately being paid less than he could’ve earned had he taken shorter contracts and hit free agency after 6 or 7 pro years, and we got to see arguably the best 11 individual seasons in the history of the game. But in LA? All they see is lower numbers and a massive contract. There’s no good will built up like there would’ve been in STL.

  6. halohonk - Aug 19, 2013 at 8:22 PM

    Should have gone on DL early in the season. He was hurting to start the year, everyone could see he couldnt run. I think he was hurting the team by trying to play thru it. Nobody in the organization had the balls to shut him down and fix the problem ie: surgery to cut the plantar fascia. Low n behold it tears. Have some minor surgery to clean up that area and lose about 20 lbs Albert then comeback fresh in 2014. Bat Trout 3rd with Albert 4 th or 5 th next year. Get a new mgr, 1 top starter & closer and bingo!

    • tubal22 - Aug 19, 2013 at 8:37 PM

      Angels probably played him hurt so they could get out of his ridiculous contract. Just ask A-rod.

    • mbankston - Aug 20, 2013 at 6:51 AM

      Your gonna need more than one top starter and the bullpen is horrible. Additionally, how is all this the managers fault.

  7. jdillydawg - Aug 19, 2013 at 8:36 PM

    This is sad. I liked Pujols. But also figured when the Angels picked him and Hamilton up for a price matching the GDP of China, that was the beginning of the end for the team. The good news is that they finally got paid for all that great play they performed for other teams while Mike Trout got a nice $20k bump.

    Artie, I think you will regret that decision more than you know right now…

    • cohnjusack - Aug 19, 2013 at 8:45 PM

      I know, right? That was ages ago…like 5 days! Can’t believe there hasn’t been a resolution yet!

    • cohnjusack - Aug 19, 2013 at 8:46 PM

      …sorry, meant to reply to the post below yours. Stupid IPad.

  8. righthandofjustice - Aug 19, 2013 at 8:40 PM

    Hey Pujols, what happened to your threat to sue Jack Clark?

  9. prov1x - Aug 19, 2013 at 9:09 PM

    Love Albert, but the Cards decision to be fiscally responsible looks better and better.

  10. 93warchant - Aug 19, 2013 at 9:31 PM

    With MLB getting after players about ped’s Alberts not on the juice anymore. New questions will be asked about him, this fall off has happened way too fast.

    • wretchu - Aug 20, 2013 at 9:56 AM

      Not really. He’s coming on to his mid-30s, a time when players normally start breaking down. This is ESPECIALLY true for a bulky slugger like Pujols. Those kinds of players normally do break down pretty quickly as their bones, tendons and muscles become no longer able to support the weight he’s been playing at the last ten years. If anything, it would be more suspicious if he kept playing these final 10 years as he did the first 11 like Bonds did.

      Albert will be able to have a decent end to his career, but he needs to get the surgery done, take care of his plantar fascia, and drop some weight.

      • wretchu - Aug 20, 2013 at 9:57 AM

        And that’s not even addressing the fact that he’s been dealing with plantar fasciitis for like 10 years. The simple fact is he’s getting old and can’t play through the pain anymore, much less at a level he was capable of doing in his mid-to-late 20s.

  11. acdc84 - Aug 19, 2013 at 10:35 PM

    The Yankees get depressed thinking about A-Rod and his salary until they get some comic relief laughing at the Angels.

    Seriously, what was LA thinking?? Before the ink dried on that contract it was obvious Pujols was getting grossly overpaid the first few years; And that’s the first few years when he’s still in his prime, and doesn’t take into account him being 40! And now he’s injury-prone, getting older, and LA is stuck with a badly aging DH for another six years at $20M per. The STL GM should be in the HOF for abstaining from offering a horrible contract to a local legend.

    • wretchu - Aug 20, 2013 at 9:59 AM

      Aaaaactually that’s not true. He’s probably getting underpaid right now, or paid at the right amount. This contract is heavily backloaded. In the first few years, he’s actually only making $15-$20M. By the end when he’s near 40 he’ll be making closer to $30M.

  12. ninthwardfriend - Aug 19, 2013 at 10:45 PM

    He is done for good.

  13. nes125 - Aug 19, 2013 at 11:06 PM

    Plantar fasciitis is quite painful but definitely treatable, although the ideal scenario is just to stay off your foot for awhile to let it heal. When I kept reading that he was struggling with it, I kept wondering why, given as a major leaguer, he has to have a plethora of treatment options available.

    Now that he has a partial tear, ouch, I cant imagine that bodes well into the future. I hope the offseason and off time can give him time to properly rest and heal.

    • wretchu - Aug 20, 2013 at 10:05 AM

      He does have a lot of options for treatment, but his problem is that he refuses to take the time off he needs to properly heal, like you alluded to. He is just too driven to keep going and relax. Hopefully now that he’s being sit down for the rest of the year he’ll actually let himself recovery instead of constantly pushing himself.

  14. northstarnic - Aug 20, 2013 at 1:18 AM

    Not to relish his injury, but I love seeing baseball’s ridiculous system of throwing around giant piles of money to “build a team” completely backfire. Nice work, Yankees West.

    • yournuts - Aug 20, 2013 at 3:18 AM

      northstarnic, There is one difference, the Yankees usually win and the Angels are going nowhere. I wonder if there will be any money left over for Mike Trout or will he want to play for his hometown favorite team, the Phillies?

  15. 1historian - Aug 20, 2013 at 5:28 AM

    If I am not mistaken there is some real speculation about his actual date of birth, IOW he is actually a bit older than we think. Knowing this I think the Cardinals set an actual limit as to how high they would go and when he DEMANDED more they just let him go to the Angels, and now the Angels are left holding the bag.

    In any case it’s a sad thing to watch – I'[ll remember that home run he hit in the series a few years ago – that damn ball is still going

    • paperlions - Aug 20, 2013 at 7:57 AM

      You are mistaken.

      He is not a guy that signed as a kid out of the DR. His family immigrated to the US when he was 15 (a process that takes a while to complete, you don’t just get on a boat/plane to do it). He was never a prospect as a kid, nor in HS, and not even when he went to CC…he never even got a baseball scholarship.

      He then went through the process to become a US citizen. Any falsified documentation would have resulted not only in denial of citizenry, but in exportation. Many years ago many MLB player who was older than their official MLB records was discovered and their ages adjusted.

      So…unless you think he family decided to risk the ability to immigrate by falsifying the age of their son for no reason whatsoever, and you think that MLB discovered the fabrications of other players (all of which signed out of the DR and did not have families that immigrated to the US), and you think that Pujols risked his status in both MLB and the US by becoming a citizen while using falsified documents from the DR, then he is 33….and if you think those things, well…

      • historiophiliac - Aug 21, 2013 at 1:50 PM

        Well, aren’t you going to jump my ass today too? sigh

      • paperlions - Aug 21, 2013 at 1:51 PM

        Is your ass getting jumped? I’ve barely read anything…I just started looking at the catcher concussion thing and the unintended consequences thing while having a late lunch.

      • historiophiliac - Aug 21, 2013 at 1:54 PM

        Well, wander over to the Oklahoma post then. Sheesh.

      • paperlions - Aug 21, 2013 at 1:55 PM

        Oh, the kids killing the guy because they were bored thing? I read about that a couple of days ago…I’m sure I will regret reading what these Yahoos have to say about it.

      • historiophiliac - Aug 21, 2013 at 1:56 PM

        You might get mad at me too.

      • paperlions - Aug 21, 2013 at 1:57 PM

        Well, neither one of us wants that.

      • historiophiliac - Aug 21, 2013 at 2:06 PM

        I’m taking a break from it.

      • paperlions - Aug 21, 2013 at 2:16 PM

        I’m maybe 1/3 of the way through it. I agree with you. Understanding context is very important, and people that have grown up with many advantages (myself included) often have a hard time understanding that many people grow up in a subculture that presents no (or few) viable alternative and that children in those subcultures often are left to learn on their own.

        A character in The Wire said something like “The kids are going to learn anyway, but we need to do something to influence what it is they learn.” People are horrible at taking responsibility for contributing to social problems, because they don’t understand the difference between personal responsibility and social responsibility.

        This is a classic example (sorry) of a discussion to just avoid on the internet…this is like trying to bring a sensible perspective the the ARod/Braun vitriol….people just want blood, not reason…even when all the guy did was take some steroids and lie about it to try to be better at baseball.

      • historiophiliac - Aug 21, 2013 at 2:21 PM

        The thing that baffles me is that people seem to think that I’m saying what they did was okay.

      • paperlions - Aug 21, 2013 at 2:22 PM

        Nah, I think what the are reading is that you don’t hold the kids 100% accountable because you think context, rearing, society, and environment contributed to the act. They want the kids to 100% responsible and for there to be no cause other than the internal malfunction of those that acted.

      • historiophiliac - Aug 21, 2013 at 2:26 PM

        Yeah, because then they can just write them off as “monsters” and feel superior/safe.

      • paperlions - Aug 21, 2013 at 2:26 PM

        Yep.

      • historiophiliac - Aug 21, 2013 at 2:28 PM

        As if humans don’t have a capacity for violence/murder in them. Weird.

      • paperlions - Aug 21, 2013 at 2:54 PM

        Never under estimate the power of denial…especially in those that have led a cushy life full of choice and opportunity and never been truly desperate….somehow because other people have MORE choices, people with a virtual cornucopia of choices act as if their choices were horribly limited.

      • historiophiliac - Aug 21, 2013 at 2:57 PM

        Or even a reasonable number of choices, which I am sure these kids did not.

      • paperlions - Aug 21, 2013 at 3:11 PM

        Yeah, not sure why people can’t realize that their lives are mostly shaped by opportunity….and without viable, productive, socially acceptable opportunities presented, their choices and values could wind up being radically different.

        We are only who we are because of the opportunities that were presented to us that we either take advantage of or don’t.

      • historiophiliac - Aug 21, 2013 at 3:16 PM

        That’s unAmerican talk, rightchere.

      • paperlions - Aug 21, 2013 at 3:21 PM

        Yeah, well….Americans are on average whiny, spoiled, ignorant, irresponsible, unaccountable, racist, gullible, superstitious jackwagons.

      • historiophiliac - Aug 21, 2013 at 3:24 PM

        Except for you and me, of course. ;)

      • paperlions - Aug 21, 2013 at 3:26 PM

        I said “on average”…realizing that many people are none of those things, but most people are most of those things….but yes, also except for you and me. :-D

  16. tominma - Aug 20, 2013 at 7:56 AM

    I bet the Angels’ owner is pleased as PUNCH that he signed Pujols to this contract. Every night, he and Hal Steinbrenner drink a toast to their brilliant signings! ( Does Hal curse his daddy??)

    Also, usually when a player is doing PEDs then suddenly quits, his production goes WAY DOWN!

  17. chiadam - Aug 20, 2013 at 8:26 AM

    Wait…you mean it’s a bad idea to throw 10 years and a quarter of a billion dollars at a 32-year-old??

  18. blingslade - Aug 20, 2013 at 2:35 PM

    Can these roid boys like Albert get back on roids without getting tested while they’re on the DL?

    Man, Pujols has a very fine line to walk on here. On one hand, he want to get back on the roids to produce and on the other hand he doesn’t want to jeopardize ANYTHING by getting back on.

    With the money guaranteed I’m sure he’ll stay off the juice and find any myriad of excuses to explain his demise. Acting/Playing hurt is always a pretty good excuse.

    The Angels organization is run by idiots.

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