Ten years too much for Pujols: La Russa
By QMI Agency
|Los Angeles Angels Albert Pujols runs the bases after hitting his 30th home run of the season against the Oakland Athletics during the ninth inning of their MLB American League baseball game in Anaheim, California September 12, 2012. (REUTERS)
The Cardinals were right not to offer free-agent slugger Albert Pujols a long-term contract, former St. Louis manager Tony La Russa said Wednesday.
Any agreement beyond six years is risky, La Russa told ESPN.
The Cardinals let Pujols walk after he demanded a long-term deal, and the first baseman then signed a $254-million, 10-year contract with the Los Angeles Angels.
"I don't think 10 years was a smart move for the Cardinals," La Russa said. "I think Albert is perfect -- I call him Albert P. Pujols for Albert Perfect Pujols -- but I don't think that I would ever endorse a contract beyond six years, tops."
He said he wasn't second-guessing the Angels' decision, adding that acquiring Pujols made sense for them.
La Russa, who retired after leading the Cardinals to a World Series crown in 2011, said he felt the same way about free-agent-to-be Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers.
"It's one of the dangers in our game when an organization is pushed beyond something -- five or six (years) is a big commitment," he said. "When you go longer I think it's scary and dangerous."