ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) — Free agent Albert Pujols calls the only manager he has ever worked with ‘one of the greatest managers in the history of the game.’

Tony La Russa announced his retirement Monday.

In a statement released late Tuesday Pujols said:

“I’d like to congratulate Tony on his amazing Hall of Fame career. He’s been like a father to me and in my opinion, is one of the greatest managers in the history of the game. I’ve been blessed to be able to learn from Tony for the past 11 years and I wish him well on his retirement.”

Pujols was officially declared a free agent on Sunday, and the Cardinals have exclusive negotiating rights until midnight Wednesday.

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