La Russa’s Rant

One of the staples of the Winter Meetings is a half-hour, informal gathering with 29 of baseball’s 30 managers (Dodgers manager Joe Torre never attends). It’s usually bland and lacking in anything controversial, but that wasn’t the case in Tony La Russa’s session today.

La Russa lambasted third baseman Scott Rolen, with whom he’s feuded for more than a year. Rolen remains on the trading block, and he’ll have to stay there; can’t imagine he can return after these comments.

Some excerpts:

Q: If the situation is serious enough that would like you to explore it, what can you or do you do to remedy that?

La Russa: Well, you know, I’ve had a long career, and I can’t remember ever being the combination of mystified and concerned that I am about this situation. Because speaking for any level of the organization, he has received first-class consideration, respect, gratuities. … I think he needs to understand that our Cardinals have given him a lot since he’s gotten there. He’s been given a contract; he’s been given a couple of World Series, he’s been given a  World Series championship, been a part of it, and he’s given back some. But he needs to give back more. And so, we need him.

Q: Based on what you’re saying, why would the club just not say, you’re under contract, we have an obligation to you, you have an obligation to us; this is the way it’s going to be. … Why accomodate him?

La Russa: You said it perfectly. Speaking for me, and I think that I haven’t heard anybody say this differently, there’s absolutely no intention to accomodate Scott. I mean, that’s not how you run an organization. The idea is to accommodate the St. Louis Cardinals, our team. Our responsibility [is] to our players and to the competition. So no, I don’t want to accomodate Scott.

Q: Do you think barring a trade, your next conversation with him is spring training?

A: You know, I’ve tried to converse. … I told somebody the other day, I can make a list of 50 respect points that this man has been given by our organization. It’s time for him to give back. … He’s got a contract to play, and we need him to play. And he’s going to be treated very honestly. If he plays hard, and plays as well as he can, he plays. And if he doesn’t, he can sit. If he doesn’t like it, he can quit.


  • proxl

    Slusser says the A’s are about to conclude a deal with Bonds.

    Say it ain’t so, Ricky!

  • I would love to have Bonds play in Oakland. All the A’s fans who say they hate Barry will change after Barry’s first homerun. All we have now is Mark Ellis the rest of the team doesn’t have much to offer.

  • Speaking as one of the ‘All the A’s fans’ my opinion of Bonds will not change after he hits one homer. It will take much more than that, he’ll have to change the attitude and lose the circus that follows him around. He’s not bigger than the game, no matter how much he feels that he is. Where the Giants fans have been blowing smoke up his bathole over the years, Oakland fans are much more grounded in the world of reality and will let him know where he stands. Jason Giambi still gets booed at the coliseum and it’s been years since he left the team. And he was awesome for us. I don’t think Bonds will be getting anything from A’s Fans.

    But I don’t feel that any of that will happen, because I don’t think that Bonds will be coming anyway. I really hope he isn’t. We will get a superstar on his way out again, a la Gant, Justice, Thomas, Piazza, but it won’t be Bonds.

  • Derek

    As a long time A’s fan (since 1970), I would love to see the A’s sign Barry Bonds. Bonds in still a top flight talent who could help the A’s tremendously.

    Currently the A’s are a punch of mediocre, no names who play a dull brand of baseball, and can’t win a division.

    Signing Bonds, puts a bat in the cleanup spot and gives the team a recognizable star. Bonds has done nothing but win since he’s been in the league.

    As for those who don’t want to see him join the team or who will refuse to pay to see a game in which he wears an A’s uniform, I say; see yah !!

    You will be replaced by other fans who enjoy watching the A’s win. Like it or not attendance will increase with Barry on the team, your purchase of a ticket will not be missed.