Saturday, April 23, 2011

More Gamesmanship From The Cardinals' Tony La Russa

Last night's (4/22/11) game between the Cincinnati Reds and the St. Louis Cardinals was a complete debacle. The Reds lost 4-2, which was bad enough. But the real controversy was how the St. Louis Cardinals handled the storms that were rolling through the area and caused an over 2 hour delay of the game.

The game started on time. After Drew Stubbs drew a walk and one pitch was thrown to Brandon Phillips, the game was halted for 2 hours and 10 minutes due to very heavy rains.

Why was the game started? After the delay Dusty Baker chose not to pitch the scheduled starter, Edinson Volquez as he had already warmed up once. Matt Maloney ended up getting the start.

Tony La Russa, He Invented Baseball!
Listening to today's Reds broadcast on 700 WLW, Marty Brennaman, Reds Hall of Fame play-by-play man, reported that many people in the Reds camp are not happy, placing the responsibility firmly on Cardinals' Manager Tony La Russa, who may have withheld weather information from the umpires and the Reds. Marty also commented he had never seen anything like it in 38 years of covering baseball. This is all conjecture on Marty's part, but John Fay, beat writer for the Reds at the Cincinnati Enquirer is also suspicious. So is Dusty Baker.

My take? This is a typical Tony La Russa move. But what would you expect from the smartest man in baseball? He invented the game didn't he? He can also decide when and how to report the weather.

Here's La Russa's comments on the subject, vague as usual:

"The information that we had is the same information the Reds had," La Russa said on Saturday. "They said there was a window of 45 minutes to an hour, and C.J. [St. Louis traveling secretary C.J. Cherre] talked to two different people with the Reds and said, 'Look, they're not going to start their guy when we're only going to play a short amount of time.' There was a big enough window where you get ... You just don't want to burn the starter.
"Around 6:40, 6:45, they said, 'Look, we're going to start on time.' I said, 'Well, we're going to start Batista, and 'C.J. be sure and let them know that's what we're going to do.'"

Guilty as charged, your Honor!

Coverage on the Reds official website:

John Fay's blog on on the subject:

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