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La Russa was the slugger's manager for each of his first eleven season in the Big Leagues. The duo led the Cardinals to a pair of World Series Championships.
The success of Pujols had under La Russa's leadership during those eleven years was the main contributor to Pujols receiving a monster ten year, $254 million contract from the Angels at the age of 32.
While La Russa clearly adores Pujols, he also believes that a long contract like the one the first baseman received is not good for baseball. La Russa is not a fan of any contract longer than six seasons.
"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," La Russa said.
"It's one of the dangers in our game when an organization is pushed beyond something -- five or six (years) is a big commitment -- when you go longer I think it's scary and dangerous."
While La Russa is clearly not a fan of giving players long term deals like the one Pujols received from Anaheim, he did benefit as manager from a similar contract given to the very same player in question by the Cardinals.
The Cardinals did give Pujols a seven year contract back in 2004 for a total of $100 million, but were unable to retain Pujols last off-season after reportedly offering him a nine to ten year contract of their own.
As the game of baseball continues to become more and more monetized for owners through lucrative cable television contracts, long term deals like the one Pujols received will surely continue to come about.
But if it were up to La Russa, and maybe at some point maybe it will be if he gets involved in the front office of a team, he would not give any player a contract longer than six years.
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