Albert Pujols, Tony La Russa respond to criticism for skipping out on media

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As we bid this off-day of the World Series adieu, here’s an update of the big hullabaloo of the day. Well, at least for some of us.

According to Ronald Blum of the Associated Press, Albert Pujols and Cardinals manager Tony La Russa responded to criticism this afternoon for members of the team skipping out on the media following Thursday’s Game 2 loss to the Rangers.

Their answers probably won’t satisfy everyone.

Here’s La Russa’s take:

“It’s getaway day. We’re leaving earlier because we had an early workout.” La Russa said. “They wanted to pack for their families. If anybody had said, ‘We need to talk to Albert,’ he would have stayed. … I heard the criticism, and it offends me.”

You tell ’em, La Russa. I mean, who would want to talk to Albert Pujols after a World Series game, anyway? Jake Westbrook is far more interesting.

Anyway, here’s what Pujols had to say for himself.

“I don’t think that’s fair because I was an hour-and-a-half the day before and 20 minutes last night and nobody came looking for me and I left. Now everybody wants to say I didn’t want to talk with the press. That’s just not realistic,” Pujols said.

Pujols also told reporters that he was in the clubhouse kitchen for 20 minutes, presumably to eat a Hot Pocket, then left because nobody from the Cardinals’ media staff asked him to come out.

I would love to get worked up about this situation, but I think this off-day has made everyone a little bored and crazy. That’s understandable. Thankfully we have a baseball game on the schedule tomorrow night.

Pirates hire Ben Cherington as their new general manager

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The Pittsburgh Pirates have hired Ben Cherington as the team’s new general manager. They do so after the general manager meetings ended, but better late than never.

Cherington served as GM of the Boston Red Sox for four years, winning the World Series in 2013, but resigned during the 2015 season after Dave Dombrowski was named Boston’s new president of baseball operations. Which was a defacto demotionn for Cherington who, until then, had the final say in baseball decisions. Dombrowski, of course, was fired late in the season this year. Cherington went on to work for the Toronto Blue Jays as a vice president, but was seen as biding his time for another GM position. Now he has one.

Cherington takes over in Pittsburgh for executive vice president and general manager Neal Huntington, who was fired after a 12 years at the helm. Also fired was team president Frank Coonelly. Travis Williams replaced Coonelly recently. While the Pirates experienced a few years of contention under Huntington and Coonelly, they have slid out of contention in recent years as the club has traded away promising players for little return, all while cutting payroll. There’s a very big rebuilding job ahead of Cherington.

The first move he’ll have to make: hire a manager, as the team still hasn’t replaced Clint Hurdle since he was dismissed in the final weekend of the regular season.