White Sox manager Tony La Russa says of potential reunion with Albert Pujols: ‘There is no fit’
Together, Albert Pujols and Tony La Russa won two World Series titles together during an 11-season partnership as slugger-manager with the St. Louis Cardinals.
After their second championship, in 2011, they went separate ways; Pujols signed a mega-deal with the Los Angeles Angels, La Russa retired.
The 76-year-old La Russa made his return to the bench this year as skipper of the Chicago White Sox, and Pujols is set to become a free agent once the Angels formally release him upon his clearance of waivers (the Angels could trade him before then, however).
But the White Sox manager nixed the idea of any potential reunion between he and Pujols on the South Side in 2021.
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"There is no fit here, unfortunately," he told reporters Friday, via ESPN.
Los Angeles Angels first baseman Albert Pujols (right) hugs Chicago White Sox manager Tony La Russa prior to a 2021 spring training game at Tempe Diablo Stadium. (Photo: Mark J. Rebilas, USA TODAY Sports)
The White Sox have 2020 American League MVP José Abreu at first base, and their designated hitting situation is clogged with rookie Yermin Mercedes hitting well.
With a lack of playing time leading to the end of his Angels' tenure, La Russa noted that Pujols "wants to be playing."
"I would never underestimate him," La Russa said. "He is one of the game's great, winning, competitive players.
"He really believes — and if he believes, I believe — he's got game left. I'll be very interested to see if a club sees the fit because they'll get a very determined Albert."
The future Hall of Famer sits fifth on MLB's all-time home run list (667), but had been batting .198 when the Angels designated him for assignment Thursday.
Follow Chris Bumbaca on Twitter @BOOMbaca.
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