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Tag:Tony La Russa
Posted on: May 10, 2011 6:34 pm
Edited on: May 10, 2011 11:46 pm
 

La Russa to miss road trip with shingles

CHICAGO -- Tony La Russa doesn't miss baseball games.

He just doesn't.

This week, he has little choice. Suffering from shingles for the last month, the Cardinals manager will miss this week's entire trip to Chicago and Cincinnati.

Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said late Tuesday night that the Cardinals are hopeful -- but not certain -- that La Russa will return to manage the team during the homestand that begins next Monday against the Pirates. Mozeliak spoke to La Russa during the Cardinals' 6-4 win over the Cubs Tuesday, and made the decision in consultation with doctors.

La Russa was in Arizona the last two days for tests.

"They feel the best treatment is rest," Mozeliak said. "He recognizes it's for the best for him."

Staying away is tough for the hard-driven La Russa, and before Tuesday's game some Cardinals players were confidently predicting that their manager would be back in the dugout Wednesday night. But even as they said that, the players and the Cardinal coaches seemed relieved that La Russa had finally agreed to seek treatment.

Last month, when the Cardinals were in Los Angeles, they begged La Russa to go to the hospital, and he refused. He has continued to manage the team, even while those around him can tell that he has been in severe pain. The area around La Russa's right eye has been badly swollen.

"He's done an amazing job doing his job, but it's certainly not the same Tony," Mozeliak said.

Bench coach Joe Pettini will manage the team in La Russa's absence, and Mozeliak expressed confidence that the coaching staff could keep everything in control. He said that the team doesn't plan to call up any minor-league coaches, at this point.

Pettini talked to La Russa Tuesday afternoon, and it was La Russa's lineup that the Cardinals fielded Tuesday night. Pettini said he expects La Russa to continue making out lineups for every day that he's out.
Category: MLB
Posted on: September 24, 2010 11:45 am
Edited on: September 24, 2010 12:23 pm
 

3 to watch: The Giant issue edition

Even if you count the Rockies as now basically out of the National League West -- the standings say they're in serious trouble, their recent history says who knows? -- the Giants' three games this weekend at Coors Field are a potentially huge obstacle to San Francisco's chances of winning the division.

Despite what happened Thursday at Wrigley Field (a nine-run inning, a 13-0 win), the Giants' path to first place in the West has been built almost totally on pitching. Including Thursday, they've now gone 17 games since they last allowed four runs, a streak that according to the Elias Sports Bureau is the longest by any team in a single season since the 1917 White Sox went 20 games in a row.

Now they go to Coors Field, where the Rockies have scored four or more in 19 of their last 21 games, and where the home team hits so well that some Giants apparently think the Rockies have been monkeying with the humidor process .

Since Coors Field opened in 1995, only five teams have gone through an entire three-game series without ever allowing four runs. All five of those series have come in the humidor era (which began in 2002), but it still comes down to one series a season -- and it hasn't happened yet this year.

And the Giants, despite all their pitching and despite three trips a year to Colorado, have never done it.

Maybe that's why the Giants haven't won a season series at Coors since 2005. They're 2-4 in the first six games this year, so they'd need a sweep to win this season series.

Given the Rockies' collapse on the road this week -- they couldn't hold a 6-1 lead Sunday in Los Angeles, then got swept in three games in Arizona -- the Giants don't necessarily need a sweep this weekend. Their lead over the Padres is only a half-game, but San Diego also faces a potentially tough series, at home against the Reds.

Besides, the Giants' head-to-head showdown with the Padres next weekend will be at AT&T Park, where the Giants have allowed just 16 runs in their last nine games.

On to 3 to watch:

1. Tim Lincecum hasn't won at Coors Field since May 20, 2008. Then again, Lincecum hadn't won anywhere for a month before his 2-1 win over the Rockies on Sept. 1 in San Francisco. He's been very good the entire month, and maybe that means he'll win at Coors, too, when he opens the series in Giants at Rockies, Friday night (8:10 ET) at Coors Field . While the Giants are 0-4 in Lincecum's last four starts in Colorado, he hasn't been awful, with a 4.32 ERA in that span.

2. The Reds enter the weekend with a magic number of 3, and that means the soonest they could clinch their first division title in 15 years is in Reds at Padres, Saturday afternoon (4:05 ET) at Petco Park . That would take a little cooperation from the second-place Cardinals, but all the Cardinals have been doing recently is cooperating. As Ed Price of AOL Fanhouse pointed out on Twitter, the Cards are 9-17 since Tony La Russa and Albert Pujols attended Glenn Beck's rally in Washington.

3. The biggest advantage the Braves have in the National League wild-card race is that the Giants and Padres play each other next weekend. That means for three of the remaining 10 days on the schedule, either the Giants or the Padres is guaranteed to lose (and that the team that wins could win the division and not affect the Braves' wild-card chances at all). For it to be an advantage, though, the Braves need to win. They need to do to the Nationals this weekend what they did to the Mets last weekend, and that means they need to beat Livan Hernandez in Braves at Nationals, Sunday afternoon (1:35 ET) at Nationals Park . Hernandez threw eight shutout innings in a 6-0 win over the Braves last weekend in Atlanta, and he's 2-1 with a 2.19 ERA in four starts against the Braves this year. The Braves starter Sunday, they hope is Jair Jurrjens, who missed his Monday start in Philadelphia with a knee problem. As manager Bobby Cox said, "He'd better be able to pitch." Sunday is also the Braves' final regular-season road game, which means it's the final time an opposing team will pay tribute to Cox, who is retiring at the end of the season. The best gifts he has received so far: a No. 6 from the scoreboard at Wrigley Field, a set of wine glasses with all the NL team logos from the Reds, and many checks to support his charity helping homeless veterans. Cox entered the weekend with 2,499 wins in 4,499 career games.




Posted on: June 24, 2009 1:54 pm
Edited on: June 24, 2009 1:58 pm
 

Brewers optimistic about Parra

In his first start after the Brewers sent him to the minor leagues, Manny Parra was throwing 84-87 mph and was so unimpressive that one person watching said, "They announced Manny Parra, but it sure didn't look like him."

But Parra rebounded well Tuesday night, going seven innings and allowing just one run for Nashville against an Albuquerque team that featured that other Manny (who, by the way, struck out and grounded out against Parra). The Brewers were encouraged enough that they now think Parra could rejoin their rotation within the next few weeks.

Brewers people hope Parra could follow the same path as Ricky Nolasco, the Marlins opening day starter who seemed to be helped by his two Triple-A starts. Nolasco, who had a 9.07 ERA when he was sent down, has a 2.50 ERA in three starts since returning, including a win at Fenway Park.

The Brewers have made it this far into the season using only five starting pitchers. That will change when Parra's spot comes up on Saturday (the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported that Seth McClung is the leading candidate for that spot). The Brewers will also need to fill Dave Bush's spot, with Bush now on the disabled list.

*****

While many people in baseball believe that the Nationals should give Mike Rizzo the full-time job as general manager, the team has continued to look at other options, and some people are saying that the Nats owners want "a big name." The Nationals contacted Gerry Hunsicker, the former Astros GM who now works for Tampa Bay, but it appears that he doesn't want the job.

One name that has circulated: Jed Hoyer, who now works as Theo Epstein's assistant in Boston.

Meanwhile, other teams are wondering how much freedom Rizzo has to make trades. The Nationals have spoken to many teams about Nick Johnson, and to a few about Adam Dunn.

*****

While the Rockies' slow start cost manager Clint Hurdle his job, their strong rebound is good news for general manager Dan O'Dowd, whose job now seems much more secure.

The Rockies' rebound has a few other effects, notably allowing other teams to believe that they could make the same sort of move back into the race. The Rockies themselves are no longer seen as a July seller, although sources said they're still trying to move Garrett Atkins.

The problem is that Atkins has a .206 batting average and has also regressed defensively.

"He can't play first base," one scout said. "And he can't play third base, either."

*****

Without Carlos Delgado, Carlos Beltran and Jose Reyes, the Mets lineup is awful, and they know it. Asked Tuesday night if we should expect more games like Tuesday's (a two-hit Joel Pineiro shutout) or like Monday's (a scrappy 6-4 win), manager Jerry Manuel answered honestly: "That's a good question."

The Mets expect to get all of their injured players back at some point this season, but they can't say exactly when on any of them. While they say there's a chance Beltran (bruised knee) could miss just two weeks, GM Omar Minaya said the All-Star break could be a safer bet.

"If you told me right now we'd have him to start the second half, I'd sign up for that," Minaya said.

*****

Good line from 2,501-win man Tony La Russa, when asked what qualities make a good manager.

"Outstanding players," said La Russa, a fine manager who has also been blessed with many outstanding players.

*****

Among all the impressive Albert Pujols stats, how about this one: In six plate appearances this year with the bases loaded, Pujols is 5 for 5 with three home runs and a sacrifice fly. In those six plate appearances, he has 16 RBIs (out of a possible 24).

For his career, Pujols is a .411 hitter with the bases loaded.

Posted on: June 23, 2009 8:04 pm
 

La Russa: Leyland, Kelly could have won 2,500

NEW YORK -- With 2,500 career wins, Tony La Russa has gone where no other manager in the last half-century has gone.

But La Russa strongly believes other managers could have reached 2,500, as well. Two managers, in particular.

Tom Kelly and Jim Leyland.

"Two of my best friends," La Russa said today. "I feel, after a ton of conversations, that we did our job a lot the same way. There's no doubt -- zero doubt -- in my mind that if either one of those guys had been with the three teams I was with, they'd have 2,500. Maybe 2,600. There's no doubt in my mind.

"I think they're both outstanding. Tom Kelly's 2 for 2 in World Series."

Leyland and La Russa have worked together twice. Leyland was La Russa's third-base coach with the White Sox in the early 1980s, then worked as a Cardinals scout after leaving the Rockies at the end of the 1999 season.

Kelly and La Russa have never worked together, but they developed a friendship while managing against each other in the American League West, when Kelly managed the Twins and La Russa the A's.

Leyland has 1,364 wins in 18 seasons. Kelly retired in 2001 with 1,140 wins.

As for La Russa, he'll be 65 in October but has no thoughts of retirement.

"I plan to go, go, go," he said. "I'll either go, go, go in this job, or go, go, go out of this job."
Category: MLB
Posted on: June 24, 2008 7:48 pm
Edited on: June 24, 2008 7:50 pm
 

Friends don't let friends ... win games?

Jim Leyland hates managing against his friends, because either you lose or they do. Dusty Baker says the same thing.

"You'd rather manage against adversaries," the Reds manager said today. "It's more fun."

As it turns out, though, there are a whole bunch of friendly matchups around the majors this week. Leyland against Tony La Russa. Baker against Cito Gaston. Bobby Cox against Ned Yost. Cox against Gaston.

Leyland worked for La Russa in Chicago, and worked with him in St. Louis. Yost worked for Cox in Atlanta. Gaston played with Cox, played for him and then coached under him in Toronto. Gaston and Baker were teammates when Baker broke into pro ball in Austin, Texas, in 1967.

"My first game was in Little Rock, and I dropped a fly ball," Baker said. "I cried, and I said I was going home. Cito said, "Don't worry, kid, I'll take care of you. . . . He helped raise me in the game."

So how does Gaston feel about facing both Baker and Cox in his first week back on the job? He doesn't mind it. He has no problem facing his friends.

"I've always felt that if someone's going to lose, let them lose," he said.

*****

Tonight's A.J. Burnett-Bronson Arroyo matchup didn't attract any special-assignment scouts to the Rogers Center, something of a surprise since both starters are candidates to get traded.

While the Jays are willing to move Burnett, they're said to be setting their sights high, looking for an established outfielder (preferably left-handed hitting) in return.

As for Arroyo, it's just as well for him and for the Reds that no scouts were here. He didn't record an out in the second inning and left trailing, 9-1, after the shortest start of his career.

*****

Atlanta advance scout Bobby Wine was at the game, because the Braves play the Blue Jays this weekend. Wine was just happy to be somewhere where a manager isn't about to be fired.

"I was in New York the weekend before Willie (Randolph) got fired," Wine said. "Then I was in Seattle for (John) McLaren's last game. Then I was in Milwaukee for (John) Gibbons' last game (with Toronto). Holy cow, I'm like a black cat."

*****

You've seen the numbers that show the American League is once again dominating the National League in interleague play. The difference between the two leagues isn't lost on the players.

"We know what we're capable of doing against the National League teams," Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels said, after the Phils lost five straight to the Red Sox and Angels.

Did he mean that the Red Sox and Angels are better than any NL teams?

"Hands down," Hamels said. "They're a lot better than the NL teams. Even playing in an NL park."

 
 
 
 
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