Albert Pujols, Part 4
And now we hear from Tony LaRussa, recently retired Cardinals’ manager, in this St. Louis Post Dispatch article by Joe Strauss. Here are some significant thoughts from Mr. Tony.
“I believe in Albert’s case he was disappointed there wasn’t more enthusiasm from the Cardinals,” said La Russa, who said he didn’t speak to Pujols during last week’s whirlwind negotiations that coincided with Major League Baseball’s winter meetings in Dallas. “The (Miami) Marlins came at him hard and then here comes Anaheim. I think that the Cardinals were being careful.”
La Russa, the franchise’s winningest manager, believed once Pujols reached free agency that market forces would make it extremely difficult for the Cardinals to retain him. Insisting he didn’t want to play Monday morning quarterback regarding talks, La Russa nonetheless allowed “there may be something to it” when asked if the club might have fumbled its best opportunity at a resolution long before Pujols filed for free agency.
“The organization has a certain value it can afford,” La Russa said. “It has good money but it doesn’t have great money. I wouldn’t second-guess the value they attached, especially given the fact they wanted to see what the market was for Albert. In the end, that’s probably why they didn’t come out too hard. Then there’s a big blowout offer (from the Angels) that I don’t see how it can be refused.”
“I think he (Pujols) made a mistake when he said it wasn’t about the money,” La Russa said, referring to Pujols’ oft-quoted claim in February 2009 that he would stay in St. Louis for millions less per year. “If the Angels had offered the same exact thing he would have gone back to the Cardinals.”
Read the full article here.