La Russa’s retirement, Pujols and the Cardinals

tony la russa
Sorry Cardinal fans, he won't be easy to replace. (Chris Lee/Post-Dispatch)

Tony La Russa is finally calling it quits … and it couldn’t come at a better time … for him. La Russa is three days from his third World Series Championship and second with the Cardinals (2006). It’s been a very emotional roller-coaster year for the Cardinals, most of the news is highlighted with Albert Pujols‘ potential departure.

For the Cardinals, this is another shot to an already stressful offseason. They will have plenty to work on this winter and figure to be one of the busiest teams this offseason. For a team that just won the World Series, change isn’t something you really want to deal with. Why fix if it’s not broke, right? La Russa’s retirement isn’t the wheels of the car, but he’s the Hall of Fame driver who can’t be replaced.

They have a lot to accomplish …

Find a manager.

This isn’t going to be easy. You would think anyone would be grateful to manage a team that just won the World Series, but, then again, it’s possibly going to be a different team coming back. Hey, I heard Valentine was still looking … and looking …

With big decisions to make, this has to be numero uno. How is Pujols going to come back if he doesn’t even know who the manager is going to be? I don’t think he’s going to wait to find out.

Is the greatest of all time coming back?

Pujols had a quiet season this year. I mean he only batted .299 with 37 home runs. He didn’t even hit 100 RBIs (he fell one short)! People seem to think this is going to lower his value and possibly, just possibly, the Cardinals could afford him. It’s not going to happen. Now that La Russa is gone, I can see Pujols moving on to bigger and greener pastures. He would have to take a significant discount for the Cardinals to lock him up. I think the Cardinals knew this when they gave Matt Holliday that fat contract.

Other areas to focus on.

What about shortstop? Rafael Furcal‘s option is rumored to be declined unless they sign him to an extension first. Octavio Dotel‘s option is still up in the air but they did say they will pick up Yadier Molina‘s option.

Adam Wainwright will be back next year as his option was picked up. Coming off of surgery, the Cardinals are extremely happy they have him and Carpenter to man the staff next year. They’ll add an ace to the staff when he comes back.

What do you guys think? Will Pujols come back? Who’s going to manage?

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