KANSAS CITY -- Catcher Gerald Laird is feeling the excitement and anticipation usually reserved for Christmas morning -- and Tony La Russa will be Laird's personal Santa Claus.
Laird and reliever Octavio Dotel, who played for the World Series champion Cardinals last year, are scheduled to receive their championship rings on Sunday, with their former manager coming to Detroit for a special delivery presentation.
"I heard [the ring] is really nice," Laird said. "It's going to be fun."
After retiring as manager of the Cardinals, La Russa has the time to catch up with those players who left the Cardinals after the 2011 season. In addition to Laird and Dotel, the ex-Cards include Albert Pujols with the Angels and Nick Punto with the Red Sox.
"Tony will probably take Albert's ring to Anaheim, Nick's to Boston and me and Dotel [in Detroit]," said Laird. "I can't wait to try it on."