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La Russa blames union for Pujols contract mess

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08:24 AM ET 02.16 | If Tony La Russa didn't want to make Albert Pujols' contract situation a spectacular distraction, he may owe himself a clubhouse fine. Hours before negotiations between the club and Pujols run into a February firewall, La Russa asserted Tuesday that meddling by the players' union represented a complicating factor in talks. "I know what he's going through with the union and to some extent his representatives because his representatives are getting beat up by the union," La Russa told a large group of reporters before a workout at Roger Dean Stadium. "Set the bar, set the bar. You've got to deal with it. It's not the way it should be."

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Albert Pujols, Getty Images Albert Pujols, Getty Images
February 16, 2011  08:40 AM ET

In LaRussa's own words, that's bull____! He's just trying to focus blame anywhere but the team or the player. Pujols is not going to be intimidated by the union or anyone else. At this point he calls the shots.

Okay then, man up and admit you're going free agency in order to get top dollar. You love the city? You appreciate the Cardinals fans? Do the right thing and agree to a trade so the rebuilding and healing can begin. This season is going to be ugly if you don't.

February 16, 2011  08:42 AM ET

There's nothing wrong with going for top dollar. It's the phoney pretense that this is anything else that irritates me.

Comment #3 has been removed
February 16, 2011  08:47 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

Cardinals still have a decent shot to win the division regardless of what he chooses.

I don't think so. They have big holes at 2nd, 3rd, and short as far as I'm concerned and does anyone really think Berkman can play a full year in right? I think the Cardinals missed their window in '09 when DeRosa got injured after they went all in for the season.

February 16, 2011  08:50 AM ET

Today's supposed to be the deadline. There are many way's to be the top paid player but this whole 10 year deal thing is getting to be a joke. If Arod is making 275 million then find a way to give Albert 280 and be done with it. No way the union should be involved but it wouldn't be the 1st time.

Comment #6 has been removed
February 16, 2011  08:55 AM ET

"...his representatives are getting beat up by the union"...? he's reportedly asking for 10 yrs / $300M - I'd say that's more to blame for his contract mess...did his rep's expect everyone to just say "sure, that's a good idea"? the union must have to look out for the interests of all of its members so they should have a say in this...

February 16, 2011  09:03 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

There's nothing wrong with going for top dollar. It's the phoney pretense that this is anything else that irritates me.

See, I think I got sick of the whole thing when I read that his agent asked for PART OF THE FREAKING TEAM to be included in their negotiations! That is such BS, it's not funny!

Comment #9 has been removed
February 16, 2011  09:05 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

I'd say they have enough to stay above water with pitching alone. Westbrook is a little shaky, but your top 3 are very good. I just hope you aren't projecting your Pujols pessimism onto the upcoming season as a whole.

Okay they might win the division; but I can't see them going through Philly or Atlanta with that lineup full of holes. They'll be really lucky if the starting right fielder and third basemen are still in the lineup by August.

I'm not trying to be pessimistic just realistic. I didn't like the makeup of this team before the Pujols drama. The defense is sub-par so it's going to take away from the strength which is pitching. It's okay to trade defense for offense as long as you actually field more offense. I don't see they got enough offense to balance the loss on defense.

February 16, 2011  09:07 AM ET
QUOTE(#9):

Tis a tad over the top.

Just a tad??? *grin*

I'm not against a player being a partial owner but I feel that should come from the club - NOT the player's agent but that's me. I know there's a bunch of stuff that has to be approved before it could take effect but still................

February 16, 2011  09:09 AM ET
QUOTE(#8):

See, I think I got sick of the whole thing when I read that his agent asked for PART OF THE FREAKING TEAM to be included in their negotiations! That is such BS, it's not funny!

I go with you there, it's like putting something in there that will just kill the deal without question. He might as well have asked to have the letter "Y" stricken from the english language.

February 16, 2011  09:10 AM ET
QUOTE(#11):

Just a tad??? *grin*I'm not against a player being a partial owner but I feel that should come from the club - NOT the player's agent but that's me. I know there's a bunch of stuff that has to be approved before it could take effect but still................

True but in that case make a lot of the payments deferred over his lifetime, 300 million is already like winning the lottery.

Comment #14 has been removed
Comment #15 has been removed
February 16, 2011  09:12 AM ET
QUOTE(#12):

I go with you there, it's like putting something in there that will just kill the deal without question. He might as well have asked to have the letter "Y" stricken from the english language.

Exactly! I mean can't they just man up and say "Look, we want to hit free agency!"?

February 16, 2011  09:14 AM ET
QUOTE(#13):

True but in that case make a lot of the payments deferred over his lifetime, 300 million is already like winning the lottery.

I agree, to a certain extent! Deferred payments still have to be paid out at some point in time and I'd rather not see the Cards be like the Rangers(?). Aren't they still paying A-Rod?

Comment #18 has been removed
February 16, 2011  09:16 AM ET
QUOTE(#15):

Actually it is not - the issue is cash - if you offer a 5% stake - the immediate cash load disappears and the only person impacted is the owner - not necessarily a bad thing. He has been a bargain over the first 10 years - find a way to give him his due.

I still feel that if partial ownership is brought up during negotiations, it should be offered by the team - NOT the player's agent! That's just wrong on so many levels

 
February 16, 2011  09:19 AM ET

I have held a UAW card and Teamster card.But unions are a royal pain in the ****.

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