La Russa, Freese visit Letterman and Leno

La Russa, Freese visit Letterman and Leno

La Russa, Freese visit Letterman and Leno
Tony La Russa and David Freese soaked in a little bit of World Series glory on Monday, each making a late-night talk show appearance to reflect on the Cardinals' remarkable comeback and championship run.

La Russa, hours removed from announcing his retirement, spent about 10 minutes on "The Late Show with David Letterman." Freese, meanwhile, sat between Jay Leno and pop singer Justin Bieber as he discussed his World Series MVP award and a number of other topics on "The Tonight Show."

With the Commissioner's Trophy in tow, La Russa expressed his love for the city of St. Louis, shied away from Letterman's praise for his Hall of Fame-worthy managerial career, expressed his admiration for pitching coach Dave Duncan and joked about what he called his "lousy" playing days -- "I was considered more of a suspect than a prospect," he said, drawing laughs from the audience.

He also confirmed that he was serious about his retirement, though he admitted another job in baseball seems likely. He did, however, reveal his first post-retirement job offer: an elephant keeper for the Performing Animal Welfare Society.

"I told them I'll interview," La Russa joked. "I'm all for it."

Amid a discussion about how he and Duncan changed the role of the bullpen, La Russa found himself yet again discussing the bullpen phone miscommunication that drew headlines after Game 5 of the World Series. La Russa stuck to his story, admitting it was an embarrassing moment, but not before cracking another joke.

"I made so many excuses to cover my butt at the time that I forget which one it was," he said.

While La Russa discussed his storied career, Freese answered questions about his quick rise to fame. Carrying the MVP Award onto the stage, Freese said he also picked up a 2012 Corvette, a minor upgrade from the "nice little '01 Acura" he was driving before.

Freese talked about his heroics in Game 6, the raucous celebration in which his jersey was ripped off by Nick Punto and some of his traditions -- one of which, coincidentally, involved a song by the 17-year-old sitting next to him.

"For about two months, we got rolling a little bit, and we played 'Baby' after the game during our postgame interviews and stuff," Freese said. "We played that for about two months straight and kept it going."

Asked by Leno if he has become the "king of St. Louis," Freese said Albert Pujols has "still got that crown." Not to say Freese hasn't been enjoying the perks of being a World Series MVP and hometown hero, however.

"I haven't paid for any meals yet, so that's nice," he said. "That might be the best part about this whole thing."

Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.