Results tagged ‘ Tony La Russa ’

Tuesday Winter Meetings tidbits

Lots and lots of tidbits from today…

* The Cardinals met with the agents from Career Sports and Entertainment today, among others. That’s the group that represents both Mark DeRosa and John Smoltz. It doesn’t sound like there’s any serious traction, right now, with either player, but there’s definitely interest. I wouldn’t rule either one out at this point.
* TLR was insistent that the Cardinals not be ruled out in the pursuit of Matt Holliday.
* TLR also acknowledged that the Cards have a real interest in Miguel Tejada. Both of these points, and some others, are included in my daily wrapup story that will soon be going on StLCardinals.com.
* Both TLR and Mozeliak expressed a strong reluctance to move Skip Schumaker off of second base. In the context of conversations about “Plan A,” “Plan B,” etc., Mozeliak referred to such a move as plan “quadruple-Z.”
* TLR acknowledged that there are likely more third-base fits than outfield fits in the current market.
* Mozeliak said that there’s very little likelihood of a trade while the Cardinals are here, and that in fact “more doors are closing” than opening as far as trades.
* The Cardinals will not talk with John Lackey’s agent. This is no surprise, since they consistently, steadfastly emphasize that they have no interest in a deal of longer than one year with a starter. They could yet add a starter, but it would be another one-year contract.
* They’d like to add a lefty power bat off the bench. However, moves like bench and bullpen upgrades will likely wait until the lineup and rotation are squared away.
Today’s playlist:
Nirvana, “All Apologies”
Modest Mouse, “Ocean Breathes Salty”
Jesus and Mary Chain, “Reverence”
Smashing Pumpkins, “I Am One”
Radiohead, “Airbag”
-M.

Carpenter to start Sunday if series continues

Matthew Leach
MLB.com

Blog: Obviously, You’re Not A Golfer
Twitter: @MatthewHLeach

Manager Tony La Russa confirmed on Saturday that if the Cardinals’ National League Division Series against the Dodgers goes to a fourth game on Sunday, Chris Carpenter will start that game. Carpenter would be starting on three days’ rest for the first time in his Major League career.

“We wanted to wait until [Friday],” La Russa said on Saturday. “Chris played catch and passed the test, so if we play tomorrow, Chris starts.”

If the game were not an elimination game for the Cardinals, it’s likely that either John Smoltz or Kyle Lohse would have gotten the call to start. However, the Cardinals must win all three remaining games in the series in order to advance to the National League Championship Series.

Carpenter had a very difficult start in the opener of the NLDS, allowing four runs in five innings and needing 105 pitches to get 15 outs. La Russa said, however, that that slog did not deter him from going with his ace and former Cy Young winner on short rest.

“The fact is that the amount of effort he put into it was OK to consider pitching on [his fourth day],” La Russa said. “But the key thing was how he came in yesterday. And if we felt like it was a risk physically, then we had other options. But he’s good to go.”

Pitching Carpenter on Sunday also allows the Cardinals to pitch Adam Wainwright on regular rest on Tuesday if the series goes to a fifth game in Los Angeles.

“If we were playing on Monday Game 5, we wouldn’t do it,” La Russa said. “Because then you’d have to pitch him and Adam both [on short rest]. But … there is an off day Monday and Adam will be fully rested. It’s an edge that you play. It’s fair to say that we’re always careful with our pitching, and careful with Chris, and we’ll be extra careful. [We just want him to pitch] as hard as he can, as long as he can. If that’s five innings, six innings, fine. Whatever he’s got, it helps us compete in that game.”

Monday tidbits: Schumaker, Glaus, Cooper, Pineiro

Matthew Leach
MLB.com

Blog: Obviously, You’re Not a Golfer
Twitter: @MatthewHLeach

It’s definitely still summer down here in Houston. Warm and muggy today, and the roof is closed at Minute Maid Park.

* Skip Schumaker started in center field against LHP Wandy Rodriguez, with Brendan Ryan and Julio Lugo as the double-play combination. That’s because Rick Ankiel and Colby Rasmus were a combined 0-for-16 against Rodriguez, while Schumaker entered the night with three hits off of him.

* Troy Glaus is not on the trip as he continues to try to return from a strained left oblique.

* TLR had this to say regarding the firing of Cecil Cooper: “Look at the games we’ve played. He’s always had his club ready to play us tough. … There wasn’t anything he did in the games against us that made me think he wasn’t on top of it.”

* Joel Pineiro said that in his last start, he was striding too far in the first inning, and he corrected it, leading to his success in the rest of the game.

No playlist tonight, this thing is already too late getting posted.

-M.

@jack visits Busch Stadium

Matthew Leach
MLB.com

Blog: Obviously You’re Not a Golfer
Twitter: @MatthewHLeach

Evidently there are no hard feelings. Perhaps that’s the power of baseball.

St. Louis native and Cardinals fan Jack Dorsey visited Busch Stadium on Friday night as a local-boy-made-good. Dorsey is one of the co-founders of Twitter — and that means that for a while, he was not a favorite person of manager Tony La Russa.

The skipper sued Twitter earlier this year over a fake La Russa page that appeared on the site. However, the matter has since been resolved, and La Russa and Dorsey — who tweets under the name @jack — shared a handshake and brief conversation on the field.

Dorsey, who had several friends and family members in attendance with him, admitted to being nervous both about throwing out a first pitch and meeting La Russa — and wasn’t sure which was the greater concern.

“If [La Russa] comes out of the meeting with a bad feeling,” Dorsey said, it would make him even more nervous about the pitch.

But nothing of the sort happened — and in fact Dorsey did a decent job with his pitch. It sailed a bit wide, but didn’t hit the ground or the backstop.

Soon after meeting La Russa, he tweeted:

“Tony La Russa just told me not to throw it into the dirt. And said he’s going to take me out to dinner in the bay area. Holding him to it.”

La Russa said earlier in the afternoon that he would be pleased to meet Dorsey.

“Recently, well after we settled it, some of their people visited ARF and were really impressed with it,” La Russa said, referring to his Animal Rescue Foundation in the Bay Area. “I don’t think he was one of the ones who made the visit, but yeah, I’m looking forward to meeting him.”

It was a busy day for Dorsey, who spoke at Webster University and gave numerous interviews before coming to the ballpark.

Tuesday tidbits: Duncan, Rolen, LaRue

Hello from Houston, where it’s a nice, cool 73 degrees under the roof.

* TLR took serious issue with the singling out of Chris Duncan today. It was in response to a question about pinch-hitting with Duncan in place of Brendan Ryan last night — an understandable move given that Jose Valverde has an enormous platoon split and that Ryan was not having a good game at the plate.

Here’s the entirety of his comments, with a couple of edits to make sure it is acceptable on a family blog and to make sure it makes sense:

“Maybe it had something to do with the fact that Valverde, [lefties are] hitting .300 versus .140 [for righties]. And did Ryan have a particularly good day? How can people ask? What’s the question there? A guy who could hit a two-run homer versus Brendan doing what? Looking futile again?

“Did anybody watch Brendan’s at-bats?

“Chris is a … whipping boy. I’m so tired of the unfairness with Chris Duncan, it makes me want to vomit. You can tell anybody … that he’s getting treated unfairly. It makes me want to vomit. That’s why I get upset as soon as he gets mentioned.

“They’ve got a great reputation in our town, but it’s not a perfect reputation.

“It’s a pretty clear difference [for Valverde between right- and left-handed hitters]. Plus Chris, even when he struggles, he’s one of our better pinch-hitters.

“This guy is treated unfairly. For fans that have the reputation that they have, that they deserve, they do have a couple quirks that are not fair. And he’s one of them.

“What’s so ridiculous is, if you watch Brendan, Brendan had no chance yesterday for some reason. So he’s going to do better in that at-bat? That’s ridiculous if you think about it. I think it’s ridiculous. And it has to do with the guy that pinch-hit. It’s really a black eye for some of our fans that are not objective about him for whatever reason. I’m not sure what it is. I can’t figure it out.”

My take, personally, not that you asked, is that he has SOMETHING of a point. Not that Duncan or anyone should be immune from criticism. He and Ankiel are both struggling badly. But it has always seemed to me that all things being equal, Duncan gets singled out more than pretty much any other Cardinal, and the tone does get really nasty at times.

* TLR also pretty swiftly shot down any notion of re-acquiring Scott Rolen. Here’s the entry I wrote about it over at the MLB.com Trade Talk blog.

* Jason LaRue got the start over Molina tonight for a lot of reasons, including the string of days without a day off, and the fact that they prefer Molina to catch Carpenter and Wainwright the next two days. When the LaRue-Wellemeyer thing was brought up, TLR quickly pointed out that Molina caught Wellemeyer’s last good start, on July 2.

Tonight’s playlist:
Pearl Jam, “The Fixer”
Matt and Kim, “Daylight”
U2, “Magnificent”
Living Colour, “DecaDance”
Beastie Boys, “Pass the Mic” (get well, Yauch!)

-M.

 

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