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PHOENIX — Brad Ausmus is no stranger to help soon-to-be Hall of Famer Tony La Russa.

The current Tigers manager as well as former As and Cardinals skipper saw each other plenty of times from opponent dugouts while La Russa still happened to run the Cardinals and Ausmus was playing for the division-rival Astros.

Just because of the nature with the Cardinal-Astro civil rivalry, I believed Tony for years, Ausmus said. Not personally, but [I] always experienced interaction with him. Finding myself the same division, we played against each other a lot. We all played in the playoffs a whole lot.

The one meeting that trapped out to Ausmus came when Los angeles Russa, who will be inducted into the Hall associated with Fame on Sunday inside Cooperstown, N.Y., sent him or her a note after Ausmus Astros defeated this Cardinals in the 2005 National Group Championship Series.

The clubhouse man came over into your celebration and handed me a piece of paper, and it was a note from Tony saying, Congratulations, Kaira, Ausmus said. I still have it. I actually kept it.

He had only lost the NLCS, and he used your time. I know he sent one to Jeff Bagwell and [Craig] Biggio and personally — individual ones.

Ausmus said hes always liked the way Are generally Russas teams played.

They played the video game the right way and they were polite of the other team,Inches Ausmus said. There wasnt a lot of pomp and circumstance. They just played hockey.

La Russa is currently helping run this D-backs in the front office as the clubs chief baseball officer, employment Ausmus said he wasnt surprised La Russa took, adding its the logical next step.

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