If there's anyone who can understand just how Albert Pujols feels right now, it's Adam Dunn. That's why Dunn is planning on talking to Pujols before the White Sox start a two-game series in Anaheim on Wednesday.
"I know Albert well and I know this has got to be killing him," Dunn told Bob Nightengale of USA Today. "It just gets to be so frustrating. It eats at you and eats at you.
"Believe me, I've been there."
Dunn had a historically bad season in 2011, his first in the American League after spending the first part of his career in the National League with the Reds, Diamondbacks and Nationals. Last year, in the first year of a four-year, $56 million deal with the White Sox, Dunn hit .159/.292/.277 with 11 home runs and 42 RBI. This year he's bounced back to put up more typical Adam Dunn numbers, hitting .248/.384/.597 (all actually better than his career numbers) with 12 homers and 28 RBI.
Pujols, in the first year of his mega 10-year, $240 million deal, is hitting just .212/.248/.288 with one home run.
"I didn't realize it at the time until the winter, but subconsciously, the mental part got to you," Dunn told Nightengale. "It just kept weighing on you. I just didn't know it at the time. You go to the plate, and you're thinking about where your hands are. You look at your stance. You're thinking about everything but what you're supposed to be thinking, and that's hitting the ball.
"I'm sure Albert's going through the same thing. I know he's fighting it."