Everyday, I find more and more reasons to continue my personal crusade against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Most of these reasons come from Tony LaRussa’s face. I mean mouth.
Yesterday, as you all know, The Milwaukee Brewers charged back from an emotional loss to hang 10 on the Red Birds and walk away with a series win and a 3 1/2 game lead in the National League Central. It was a very odd series, and certainly there will be no love lost between the two teams. Almost everyone on both benches is back to normal now, except for one. If the person that was still fuming at the start of Wednesday’s game was a player, we would probably just think that’s cute and expect them to play really well.
Unfortunately, that person happened to be a man with a microphone permanently pointed in his direction. Tony LaRussa spoke with reporters before the five run shellacking he was about to endure, and unleashed his team’s frustrations and emotion where he felt it was needed most – anywhere but the field. Here’s what he said:
Regarding pitching inside to Pujols:
"“The ball just missed him three times. They got him real good. I don’t know what it’s going to take — a broken jaw or a fractured hand? Unintentional — it is unintentional, but it’s intentionally thrown up and in, and that’s a dangerous thing. Just get the ball down, like we did [against Ryan Braun].”"
Look, I get it. The ball hit him in the hand, and it hurt. If you take a look at how Lucroy set up and reacted, I don’t think even he knew the ball was sailing that far up. What seems more likely, that Saito has crazy movement that gets away from him, or he is on a one man mission to shatter Pujols’ hand? And LaRussa makes a good point: if you’re going to intentionally unintentionally hit someone, make it a fleshy part.
Regarding Rock and Brian Anderson of FS Wisconsin:
"“You would hope the guys that work for the Brewers have enough guts and enough integrity to call the game as it is instead of worrying about their paycheck, which I understand isn’t true.”"
You could say the same for LaRussa’s managing.You would also hope that the manager is more focused on who they are playing next, how they are going to get the division lead back, or literally anything else than a broadcast booth.
Regarding fans in Miller Park:
"“They’re throwing the ball right in here, and that’s why all these idiots up there … not idiots, all the fans are yelling and yelling.”"
To be fair, this one does need clarification: apparently fans were upset that St. Louis needed two balls to hit Braun, that LaRussa accused the Brewers of stealing signs from outside the playing field, and using shiny lights to win all those games at home. This meant that he was getting heckled. There were a few hooligans making remarks about his family and they were removed. No word on what happened to the guy who wished a return bout shingles, though.
So this how a winning manager acts? I’ll take Roenicke and his self-effacing, go-get-’em attitude every time. Sure, I think it would be awesome if he got all charged up and stomped away from reporters, but these players are big boys. If they can’t handle a little pressure from being on top of the division, let them play AAA ball again. If you need to go to bat for players, do it on the field. Get run from a game standing up for one of your guys, don’t go pouting in a press conference.
As a side note I should say that I don’t hate Cardinals fans. They are – by nature – amicable and friendly folks who truly love and understand baseball. I just hate Tony LaRussa, his stupid face, his illogical ramblings and crusade to punish everyone in baseball except for the St. Louis Cardinals.
At the end of the day, however, I may just be gloating that the Brewers are winning the division and rubbing it in the face of crybabies who can’t handle losing. Your call.