Screw the Mendoza Line…Pujols (.194) has fallen below the dreaded La Russa Line (.199).
Pujols remains in regular contact with his former manager, Tony La Russa, who retired from the organization little more than a month before Pujols signed with the Angels. Pujols confided in La Russa before, during and after contemplating a decision that several times brought him to tears. La Russa describes he and Pujols as “close and friends forever.”
“He’s not accepting this or tolerating this any more than at any other time when he’s not himself,” La Russa said. “But (the contract) is a distraction. If you care at all — and he cares — it’s a distraction.”
During a speaking engagement last week La Russa told a crowd that Pujols is bothered deeply by the time spent away from family, which is in St. Louis until school is out for the summer.
“I don’t think he wants sympathy,” La Russa said. “I just have an understanding of what he’s going through.”
...La Russa readily acknowledges that playing for a contract is far less taxing than trying to justify one after the fact.
“Without a doubt the year after is much more distracting,” said La Russa, who returns to St. Louis this week for the retirement of his No. 10 before Friday’s game against Atlanta. “The year before is survival. You have no guarantees. Then, all of a sudden it’s you against everyone else. Now you have responsibilities to everybody: an owner, new teammates, fans. It’s like a 180. One is much more normal. Survival is an instinct. Forcing something is different.”
Posted: May 05, 2012 at 02:45 PM | 40 comment(s)
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