Redbird skipper denies scheme
Posted: Thursday, July 1, 2010 6:09 am
By R.B. FALLSTROM
AP Sports Writer
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa says getting ejected near the end of a comeback victory was definitely not a strategic move.
“I never, ever, use the umpires for some kind of competitive or whatever advantage,” La Russa said Tuesday. “That’s a big no-no. You don’t use them to entertain your fans, you don’t use them to shift blame from your players or fire them up.”
La Russa said he got his first ejection of the season because he had been genuinely upset at balls and strikes calls by home plate umpire Mark Carlson all night.
“Hey, we had a disagreement and I didn’t want to go into the clubhouse without saying something,” the manager said.
Arizona pitcher Dan Haren, who came up in the Cardinals organization, accused his former manager of gamesmanship after La Russa got tossed for arguing balls and strikes in the ninth inning of a 6-5 victory Monday night.
Haren was far from angry about the resulting delay, but said he’d seen La Russa use the tactic before to ice the opposing pitcher.
The Cardinals scored three times in the ninth, benefiting from two hits right after the ejection and a pair of Arizona throwing errors.
“Tony’s good at delaying like that,” Haren said. “I’ve seen it before and I knew exactly what he was doing. I can almost tell you before the inning that something like that would happen.
“But he’s a great manager and it’s one of the things he does. I guess he’ll probably use it again because it looks like it works, and that’s that.”
La Russa said Tuesday that he would never use umpires as a tool to throw off an opposing pitcher, and had a member of Arizona’s media relations staff relay that message to Haren.
Published in The Messenger 6.30.10