Monday, October 22, 2007

Team Official: La Russa to Stay on as Cardinals' Manager

Let's stay within the cozy confines of the world of Baseball, for another post, alright?

ST. LOUIS - Tony La Russa will return for his 13th season as manager of the St. Louis Cardinals after a difficult year in which his team failed to play .500 ball, a team official told The Associated Press on Monday.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because an announcement had not been made, did not know details of the contract. An afternoon news conference was scheduled at Busch Stadium.

The 63-year-old La Russa had weighed leaving after a trying season in which the defending World Series champions finished 78-84.

The season got off to a rocky start even before it began when La Russa was arrested for drunken driving in March near the team's spring training complex in Jupiter, Fla.
Cardinals reliever Josh Hancock died in May after a drunken-driving accident, and several players were lost for long stretches of the season because injuries, including Chris Carpenter, the staff ace who pitched only in the season-opener.

Well. Isn't this good news?! The egotistical, self-serving, arrogant manager of the Cards will be back next year.
Playing a highly speculative game of baseball chess in his mind during every inning of baseball played.
La Russa runs experiments, within the realm of theoretical baseball, in his head, by using the Cardinals as the experiment.

Late this year, his latest experiment included having the pitcher bat in the 8 slot, so that another regular, batting 9th, could be on base for leadoff batter David Eckstein. Sometimes it worked. Sometimes it meant Eckstein batted with two outs and no one on base. Some fans have suggested that La Russa did this in order to refrain from using pinch-hitters batting for the pitcher. Great! The trouble with this strategy though was, we had a .320 hitter batting 9th, in the person of Aaron Miles, used in the 2nd inning, at best, or the 3rd inning at worse.

But the speed with which this decision was made today is suspect; Joe Torre is available, and on the market. A proven successful baseball manager, a better man in the dugout than the combative and vendictive La Russa, the theoretical manager.

Only last week, Tony La Russa said he intended to wait until the Cardinals had named a new general manager, to replace Walt Jocketty, while saying, "I can wait all winter, but not much longer than that, obviously."

Tony can see threats, that's whats obvious. Torre, a long-time Cardinal player, and short term manager, could come home, where his popularity eclipses La Russa's.
Tony La Russa counted on the Yankees rehiring Joe Torre, leaving the St. Louis Cardinals a thin selection of replacements for him. Then, he comes around, when Torre rejects the Yanks' offer, and bolts from the Bronx.
Lightening strikes in Oakland, where La Russa again, mistakenly thought his strategy could and would work.

The Local Malcontent foresees that Joe Torre will become the new manager in a National League city, and the N.Y. Yankees will see to that as well. Houston, San Francisco, Cincinnati and Washington are attractive candidates. Sorry, Florida Marlins, sorry Pittsburgh Pirates.

And sorry, St. Louis Cardinals. La Russa pounced.

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