When Albert Pujols and the Los Angeles Angels agreed to a $240 million contract a few months ago, I doubt either side envisioned zero home runs and a sub-.200 average for the slugger a full month into the season. On Friday night, the fans’ level of frustration officially reached its boiling point. After grounding out in the ninth inning to cap off an 0-for-4 night against the Blue Jays, Angels fans rained boos down on their new slugger.
“I know better than to get myself down,” Pujols said after the game according to the Orange County Register. “And my message to the fans is, they have a reason to boo. I’m not performing the way that I can, but just the same way I’m patient, they need to be patient and know that I’m gonna be here for 10 years. I don’t read the future, but I guarantee to you there’s gonna be more cheers than boos in those 10 years.
“This is just six weeks into the season. They have the right. They pay a lot of money to come and watch me play, and I’m not performing the way I know how to perform. But I also understand I can’t force it. I’m trying my best.”
Obviously, things are going to improve for Pujols at the plate. That being said, he’s right about the fans having every right to boo. The Angels are digging themselves into a pretty significant early-season hole, and Pujols is one of the main reasons for it. The longer his slump continues, the steeper the climb becomes for the Angels to reach the postseason. Is it time to panic? Absolutely not. But if you ask me Angels fans have waited long enough for the biggest investment in team history to start paying off.
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