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

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb  on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.


Since: Sep 11, 2009
Posted on: February 15, 2011 7:31 pm

Suppose No Team Comes Close To Salary Demand?

Suppose no team comes close to Albert's salary demands? Nobody is worth that kind of money in this economy. If he doesn't get it will he scream "racisim"?

Since: Jan 2, 2011
Posted on: February 15, 2011 7:29 pm

La Russa blasts union over Pujols

Unions have always been most effective when run by the mafia. Get real, the corporations used to hire killers and thugs to break up union workers before the mafia, and they usually won. When the unions got some muscle, they were able to control the owners. Unions are needed now more than ever with every single American job being shipped overseas...everytime someone finds unions "unfashionable" they sell out their own damned jobs. Stop supporting the fat cats, arent they rich enough???

Since: Dec 31, 2006
Posted on: February 15, 2011 7:27 pm

La Russa blasts union over Pujols

First off, for the intellectually challenged posting here, unless your last name is Rockefeller or Carnegie, you should be very happy that unions exist in this country, because without the sacrifices made by those who started the union movement, I would bet that your parents, or grandparents, would never have been able to make their way and afford you the opportunities that you are enjoying in your life right now.
Now, having said that, if you are looking for blame in what goes on these days in labor/management discourse, blame the weak management that allowed unions to go beyond arguing for fair compensation and safe working conditions and started to let them dictate working rules. Unions just took advantage of weak management. To this day, the only weapon management has found to effectively negotiate against unions has been to close plants and eliminate jobs. All this has done has been to enrich the few getting stock options and bonuses, while effectively ruining our economy long term.
Now, frankly, it's the Union's job to ask Pujols to do the best he can do to set the bar, but it's Pujols right as an individual to accept whatever offer that he desires from the Cardinals, whether that be 10 years, $30 million, or 10 years, $5 million. No one can tell Albert what to do. It's his decision. I think the Cardinals realize that they would be stupid to sign a 31 year old player whose stats are declining to a 10 year deal, and would prefer to just try and match whatever offer he gets in the postseason. That's the smart move. People in St. Louis don't like it, but that's the truth. I think Pujols really enjoys the St. Louis area and will decide to stay there, unless the Mets give him that 10 year offer in the post-season. Then, the Cards will have to decide to put up or shut up and either keep him or replace him. Other than the Holliday signing, they have been operating on the cheap for about 5 years with Pujols there, so in a way, they deserve to have him leave. The "loyalty" the Cardinals have shown to Pujols has been lacking in refusing to spend the money to consistently surround him with the talent to make them a consistent winner.

Since: Feb 15, 2011
Posted on: February 15, 2011 7:27 pm

La Russa blasts union over Pujols

I love baseball just about as much as anything else in this world.  It's great to follow the individual players careers, I enjoy that just as much as I enjoy My team's Victories.  For years I always sided with the Players when alot of my freinds/family were killing them for "running to the highest bidder".  I've uttered the cliche "He is worth it if someone is willing to pay it" more times than I can remember.  I suppose I still feel this is true, however, it is quite obvious to me that for the best players to get paid accordingly the Yankees and/or RedSox need to be involved, otherwise it's frivilous spending.  They have driven up the prices so high that a team like the St. Louis Cardinals can't and shouldn't shell out the type of money it will take keep their Franchise superstar!!   It's time to impose a salary cap before half the teams in baseball go bankrupt. Well the RedSox already have Adrian Gonzalez and the Yankees Have Texiera, so maybe pujols ends up in Dodger Blue or Orange pinstripes. or maybe Tom Hicks Didn't learn his lesson after the Arod contract.  I guess it doesn't matter anyway, only the two big boys in the Northeast can sustain the glutenous spending and remain competitive,  unless your fron St. Louis.

Since: Dec 19, 2010
Posted on: February 15, 2011 7:27 pm

La Russa blasts union over Pujols

It's so fashionable to let the rich keep getting richer, make em pay up!

Does that term include the players, some of who are getting richer as well?  The salary difference between lower and higher echelon ballplayers going into 2011 is at an all time high.  I don't think the union is telling anyone to do anything here, I think agents for the blue chip players are taking more money from teams than ever, leaving little to sign the rest of the guys, with the result being that soon there will be no middle class in baseball, as teams will be comprised of HUGE money superstars, and guys with less than 3 years in the bigs, since that's all the money that will be left for teams to spend on support for the stars.

That isn't the baseball that I want to see.

BTW, I have NO issue with the owners. who make substantial investments in their teams, and the profits that they make.  I feel they're entitled to it, since they assume most of the risk, paying these insane salaries to guys who years ago would play for free, simply for the love of the game.

Since: Dec 27, 2007
Posted on: February 15, 2011 7:24 pm

La Russa blasts union over Pujols

Union chief Michael Weiner, contacted

Need we even go on? I mean honestly, could his name be more appropriate?

Since: Nov 7, 2006
Posted on: February 15, 2011 7:21 pm

La Russa blasts union over Pujols

It's not what they are doing to sports, it's what they have alredy done. Pro sports is a circus, not a sporting event. Tickets are astronomical so that only corpoate types, lawyers and their daughters can come to the games. The franchises hold the population hostage with hollow threats to move if the city doesn't pony up for a new stadium every 15 years. Far as I am concerned, let em go. I can see very well, better, in fact, on my HDTV. If the game sucks, I can change the channel or turn it off. OK, I have to sit through a few commmercials that pay for the enitre show anyway. Ticket prices don'e even begin to come into the equation. Ticket prices are a barrier to riff raff. I saw a fan ejected for cussing in Tampa Bay. These were $300 seats and I would have been livid had I been ejected for cussing. This poor slob was begging for a second chance. The whole thing makes me sick.

Since: Jan 2, 2011
Posted on: February 15, 2011 7:00 pm

La Russa blasts union over Pujols

One last thing...who cares.  Do ya think any of these guys really cares about the fans. If you actually believe that then you are stupid. They care about their own ass, that why when they lose everything I dont feel sorry for them.. Look at Randy johnson, he was a prick to everyone now hes on tv selling anything he can..For himself.   Dont go. then maybe they will fix this

Since: Jan 2, 2011
Posted on: February 15, 2011 6:55 pm

La Russa blasts union over Pujols

Well with the United States government and it's corporate affiliate lobbyists making workers unions obselete in America by shipping every middle class jobs overseas (unless you work for the government), I sure as heck hope that Pujolsand his union is pushing for the highest possible pay.  These cheap fat cats at the top would desparately love to outlaw unions, but they arent going anywhere. La Russa is clearly the spokesperson for the owners, just as he is a hypocrite in everything else he preaches. This economic depression is a fraudulent fabrication and Pujols should get paid what he is asking. SET THE BAR! It's so fashionable to let the rich keep getting richer, make em pay up!

Since: Jan 2, 2011
Posted on: February 15, 2011 6:54 pm

La Russa blasts union over Pujols

First and formost Tony, there is no,loyalty.  Stop right there, he owes them nothing. Thats like calling your friend and trying to buy his car on the cheap cause ur friends. As far as the union goes they don t care about anyone but themselves. If ya want him, dont be a jag and pay him...Thats the way it is. Fuck the home town discount, you deserve what you can get.  They paid that stiff no clutch hitting holiday whomblew their playoff run, it his turn.  If Texieria and his weak hittn ass get 23 million a year, hes worth 30 easy..

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or