Blog Entry

La Russa blasts union over Pujols

Posted on: February 15, 2011 1:40 pm
Edited on: February 15, 2011 2:27 pm
Albert Pujols
Say what you want about Tony La Russa, but the man doesn't lack for opinions. And he wasn't shy about one Tuesday, railing on what he perceives as pressure Albert Pujols is getting from the players' union to push for the biggest possible contract regardless of what he'd prefer personally.

"I know what he's going through with the union, and to some extent, his representatives,'' La Russa told reporters.  "His representatives are getting beat up by the union. 'Set the bar. Set the bar.'

"That's bull[expletive]. Purely and truly. You've got to deal with it, but that's not the way it should be.

"It should be, 'Look at all the factors.' Values, loyalty, maybe there's a better opportunity someplace else. Maybe there's a better opportunity than here. All that stuff. But it shouldn't be the most money, the most money, the most money.

"I just know those forces are in place. I don't ask them about it. It's not my place to ask. I don't know much he's going to listen to it or is listening to it. But those are powerful forces."

Does the union apply direct pressure to players to reject any offer but the biggest? It's not really clear, but the concern is common among club executives and some fans. The union's interest is keeping salary levels up for its members. But does Pujols getting $260 million or $290 million really affect the bottom line of the average union member? And isn't what's best for the health of baseball and its individual teams ultimately best for the players?

UPDATE: Union chief Michael Weiner, contacted by, denied that anyone from the union had been involved in the Pujols situation.

"The truth is we've had no conversations with Albert or Danny (Lozano, Pujols' agent) or anybody on Albert's behalf about the numbers in this negotiation. None. It's never been the union's policy to pressure players and certainly it's never been the union's policy to pressure players because they have to set the bar for other players."

-- David Andriesen

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Since: Dec 17, 2006
Posted on: February 16, 2011 12:25 am

La Russa blasts union over Pujols

@Terfra- I'd agree with you IF what you were saying was completely accurate.  But if the union makes demands and mangement collectively decides to say no the union goes running to big daddy govt charging collusion.  Funny part is, if Pujols wanted a record breaking $300 million dollar contract and all the owners collectively said no it'd be shoved down their throats by the government. I think there in lies my biggest beef with the state of unions nowadays.  Big government got into bed with em and will do anything to protect them (and the billions in contributions they get from em).

Since: Oct 17, 2006
Posted on: February 15, 2011 11:32 pm

La Russa blasts union over Pujols

So La Russa is looking for excuses and someone to blame before Pujols has even left? Amazing. So out of character for him.

Since: Dec 31, 2006
Posted on: February 15, 2011 11:19 pm

La Russa blasts union over Pujols

I'm surprised that so many people condone Corporate mismanagement for their problems with unions. There was always an opportunity ot say "no", but they didn't.
Anyway, when Mr. LaRussa was a scrub utlity infielder with the A's, I'm sure he enjoyed all the benefits that the Union negotiated on his behalf. Funny how the tune changes when one changes to management.
I'm not posting to condone the current state of affairs of union/management but to blame things on unions is ridiculous. Unions made demands, management conceded to them. You always have a lowest common denominator that brought the situation to the current state of affairs. So, you suppose that Unions are supposed to negotiate against themselves to save Management?

Since: Dec 17, 2006
Posted on: February 15, 2011 10:56 pm

La Russa blasts union over Pujols

@Patty- Read a book, fascism is a product of the left.  Kieth Olberman and his ilk are more in line with fascism than Beck.  Olberman wants the government to tell you how to live, Beck wants the government to leave you alone.  Which one's the fascist?

Since: Dec 17, 2006
Posted on: February 15, 2011 10:54 pm

La Russa blasts union over Pujols

@Warbled-  NYC helped build the new Yankee stadium because it's good business for the city.  For the next 100+ years people will be coming to the Bronk 81 times a year and spending $100's of dollars each not to mention concerts, conventions and such, contributing to the coffers of NYC in the form of taxes.  It's not corporate welfare its good business.  Whatever the city spent they'll make it back 100 fold.
P.S. Sorry to get political with the last post, it was in response to Terfra1 and his rant.

Since: Sep 16, 2010
Posted on: February 15, 2011 10:52 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Dec 17, 2006
Posted on: February 15, 2011 10:46 pm

La Russa blasts union over Pujols

This type of post belongs on HuffPost or media matters, not cbssports.  That being said, it was people with last names like Rockefeller and Carnegie who raised the standard of living for the entire world.  And became fabulously wealthy in doing so, it's called incentive.  Which is something unions do their best to discourage, be it teachers unions throwing young teachers under the bus because of seniority or older union members reprimanding younger ones because "We get paid by the hour, milk it." (I've been there)  As far as the Cards are concerned, they dropped over hundred million on Holliday and have one of the best 1-2 combos at the top of their rotation and are in the hunt for the playoffs every year so I can't see that argument holding water.

Since: Jul 12, 2009
Posted on: February 15, 2011 10:13 pm

La Russa blasts union over Pujols

It's amusing listening to these left wing hypocrites complain about corporations donating money to political parties.  Can somebody tell me what the difference is between the corporations donating money for political purposes, and unions donating money for political purposes?  I also think it is is funny how all of these liberals are backing up the union in this article by saying that they have a duty to make sure the players get paid as much as possible (which I agree with).  But at the same time they are crying when the Wall Street CEOs make millions of dollars each year.  If I were Pujols I would just go wherever I'm going to win.  He can just invest his money and double it in about 8 or 9 years anyway.  Plus the net present value of $300 million paid out through how ever many years Pujols' contract will be for would be much lower than $300 million.

Since: Dec 19, 2006
Posted on: February 15, 2011 10:10 pm

La Russa blasts union over Pujols

I'm not sure I follow your logic.  The facts are that Lee signed a deal with the Phils that will pay him $120M over 5 years guaranteed (there is an option for a 6th year which could bring the total deal up to $135M) instead of the $150M over 7 years with the Yankees.  Yes, the per year salary is higher from Philadelphia, but the fact is that he was guaranteed $30M more from NYY (based on your numbers - I can't seem to find anything on the 7 year offer from the Yanks).  Either way, Lee left money on the table to play for Philadelphia.  

BTW, How do you know that Lee will sign a deal after 5 years that pays him more then $30M?  He will be 37-38 years old at that point. 

Since: Jan 7, 2008
Posted on: February 15, 2011 9:28 pm

La Russa blasts union over Pujols

At some point, how much money does Pujols need?  He's already got more than he needs for the rest of his life (assuming he hasn't pissed it away).  I really get tired of money being the dick measuring contest between players and agents.

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