Originally written October 31, 2011 on Fox Sports:
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After Tony La Russa's retirement announcement Monday, there were two huge questions looming over the World Series champions. Who will succeed La Russa as manager of the St. Louis Cardinals? And what impact will the new manager have on Albert Pujols' free agency? David Eckstein, who played with Pujols in St. Louis from 2005 through 2007, answered both questions at once. "Albert would stay if (Jose) Oquendo got the job," Eckstein told FOXSports.com on Monday. Oquendo, 48, joined the Cardinals' staff in 1999 as the bench coach and has been the St. Louis third base coach for the past 12 seasons. He managed the Puerto Rican team in the 2006 and 2009 World Baseball Classics. Oquendo spent 12 seasons as a major-league infielder, and he specializes in infield instruction. Eckstein praised Oquendo's knowledge of the game and rapport with players. "My initial reaction (after learning of La Russa's retirement) was, 'It needs to be Jose Oquendo,'...
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