Blog Entry

La Russa talks about 'unavoidable' Pujols signing

Posted on: December 16, 2011 12:06 pm

By Matt Snyder

The Cardinals losing Albert Pujols was "unavoidable," says former manager Tony La Russa, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The now-retired manager seemed to defend both the Cardinals and Pujols -- who signed a 10-year, $254 million contract with the Angels -- and La Russa instead specifically blamed "the system."

"I know it was a painful decision and it pains [Pujols] now," La Russa said (Post-Dispatch). "He deserves what he got. He earned it. There's no bad guy here. I think the Cardinals went where they thought they should go. If they can't go farther, they shouldn't."

The full story, written by Joe Strauss, is definitely worth a read and I'm not going to sit here and copy and paste the thing. Just go read his original version. La Russa was mostly being political in trying to defend both sides, though he certainly seemed intellectually and emotionally honest. It sounds like he truly loves the Cardinals organization, Cardinals fans and Pujols, so La Russa obviously wasn't going to bash anyone. He did point out one glaring mistake, though.

"I think he made a mistake when he said it wasn't about the money," La Russa said (Post-Dispatch). "If the Angels had offered the same exact thing he would have gone back to the Cardinals. I think his point was he was ready to sign for less than the best offer. I think he's sincere. I think he was trying to make it work. But you had a club that made an overwhelming offer."

And that's the point. People who make five figures a year don't want to hear about how it's not about the money when a player signs with the highest bidder. We aren't stupid. If you are going to say it's not all about the money, you better be like C.J. Wilson and actually leave money on the table -- putting your money where your mouth is, if you will. Taking the most money doesn't make someone a bad person. Far from it. I've long defended athletes who take the highest offer because most human beings would do the same. But if you sign the contract with the most money, patronize the fans in a different manner -- saying it's not about the money just doesn't sound honest. And there's no way to prove otherwise.

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Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: December 16, 2011 1:16 pm

La Russa talks about 'unavoidable' Pujols signing

The Cards offered Albert a great deal...when players say it is not about the money I always laugh..because that is the only thing it is about.

You're right, it's actually comical as hell when player tell us "I'm not playing for the money"  or "money isn't everything".... a load of crap is what that is.  But that isn't just Pujols....  it's what most if not all athletes say at some point in their careers.

If it wasn't about the money, careers would be much shorter then they are today in all sports.  You have athletes with families that have made 25 or 50 or 100 million dollars or more signing contract extensions instead of retiring and spending time with their family.   They choose to keep working instead of being at home with their children and raising them, enjoying them before they become adults and move on with their lives.   The average FAMILY in North America grosses around 60 to 70 thousand dollars per year.  In 30 years the average family is lucky to gross 2 or 3 million dollars, even with raises along the way.  Heck 2 professionals making 100 grand each per year are lucky to gross 6 or 7 million in their lives.... yet a player can't retire comfortably on 25 or 50 or 100 million income by the age of 30 or 35?

Some will say they play for the "love of the game", but that's crap too.... complete nonesense actually.  It's crap because a family man would never choose to play a game he loves over spending time with his wife and kids, parents, brothers and sisters... people he obviously loves more then the game.   But one thing is for sure, these players love MONEY..... some even love money as much or more then their own family.  It's crazy......

Since: Oct 23, 2006
Posted on: December 16, 2011 1:02 pm

La Russa talks about 'unavoidable' Pujols signing

LaRussa knew Albert was going to leave long before he signed.  That is why LaRussa left the Cards then a week later said he wants back in baseball.


The Cards offered Albert a great deal...when players say it is not about the money I always laugh..because that is the only thing it is about.

Since: Dec 6, 2010
Posted on: December 16, 2011 12:43 pm

La Russa talks about 'unavoidable' Pujols signing

Ever since Curt Flood was granted free agency in 1971 in court it has been about the money. This put MLB on the path to the multi-year mega money contracts we have today.  Some of these guys getting the money are worth it but the vast majority aren't.  Carl Pavano, A.J.Burnett, John Lackey, both the Soriano's(Cubs/Yankees) and the point the list is endless of big money contracts for neer do wells.  Did free agency ruin!  But it certainly has helped marginal players maximize their profitability.  Owners have had to compete against each other for services of a player they normally wouldn't pay that much for just to keep him off a rivals team.  Would I change the 1971 court decision?  No...MLB players should be able to freely move as the rest of Americans are allowed to. What  Charlie Finley was paying Reggie Jackson, Vida Blue, John "Blue Moon" Odom, Jim "Catfish" Hunter and Rollie Fingers was criminal back in the late '60s and early '70s. Granted MLB didn't have the revenue or T.V. contracts of today but for championship teams full of champions old Charlie could have coughed up a few more bucks for his superstars.  Free Agency just made it acceptable to go to the highest bidder.  Musuial, Mantle, Yaz all would have gone some place else for 25k more back then...they just couldn't other than being traded.  And trades what a joke.  They players have all the leverage.  St. Louis couldn't sign Pujols and he played out his contract with no intention of signing with the Cardinals.  The Cardinals meanwhile get nothing for Pujols...their own fault but the Cardinals should have been able to get a couple of prospects for Albert from Anahiem under a new 5/10 rule for the ball club.  If its good for the players why can't it be good for ownership?   

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