Albert Pujols is probably going to miss the rest of the season with a plantar fasciitis. That has led all the of the sports media to begin speculating if he is a bust with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, and if he has the worst contract in baseball history.
Let me start by saying that the deal the Angels to Pujols was a terrible deal for the team. Anytime you are obligated to be paying a baseball players at least $29 million when they are 40 or older, the contract is bad.
With that being said, I think all these baseball analysts are a bit premature to be calling Pujols a bust. He hasn't played two full seasons with the Angels yet. While his offensive numbers may have been down in both seasons, that can happen to power hitters. Especially when said power hitters are playing with lower body injuries.
I doubt he will hit 40 homers in a season again, but last year he had 30 and was on pace to hit 30 again this year. I really think if he comes back next season in full health, he could easily replicate his 2007 and 2011 seasons. If he has three or four seasons with the Angels hitting .300 and 30 to 35 bombs, I wouldn't call him a bust.
What Pujols has going in his favor is he plays in the American League. If his body can't hold up to playing the field 150 games each season, he can DH. The perfect example if David Ortiz. The Boston DH is having one of his best seasons since his crazy goods stretch between 2004 and 2007. Back in 2008 and 2009 analysts and fans were asking these same questions of Ortiz that they're asking about Pujols. Is he done? What happened to the Papi of old?
Well, Ortiz responded with four consecutive All-Star appearances. He continues to mash the ball and is a major reason the Red Sox are the best team in the American League.
There is no reason why Pujols can't have that same kind of resurgence once he gets healthy. He will never live up to the contract he signed, no one could live up to a $200+ million deal. But to label him a bust after less than two, unhealthy seasons is unfair.