Is Albert Pujols the Angels’ New Mo Vaughn?

In 2011, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim signed Albert Pujols to a 10-year, $250 Million contract. You know what’s a great idea? To sign an aging baseball player to a decade-long contract worth more money than the GDP of entire countries. That almost always works out. I mean, it’s not like the human body tends to break down faster with age and when subjected to the punishing routine required to play Major League Baseball. Oh, and at least MLB players aren’t out there every single day running at full speed into walls and people, and having small, hard projectiles hurled at their head with alarming speed.

Oh wait, turns out that it’s a horrible idea — and here’s why.

Albert Pujols has had a Hall of Fame career, but even top tier athletes reach the back nine of their careers around age 30, and Pujols is by most accounts at least 33 years old.  Pujols has been struggling this season and reportedly battling an injury to his left foot. He aggravated the injury on Friday night against the Oakland A’s and has been put on the 15-day disabled list. But it’s only 15 days, what’s the big deal, you say? The big deal is that the 15-day DL for a player in his 30′s is the real world equivalent of grandpa breaking a hip…the beginning of the end. Need more proof that the 15-day DL is the on-ramp to baseball retirement?

Oh well, at least there are only 8 years and $212 Million left on Pujols’ contract and the Angels are 7  games under .500. You’d think that the Angels would have learned after the Mo Vaughn debacle of 1999 - 2001, but baseball history is often doomed to repeat itself. Just ask the Chicago Cubs.


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