La Russa talks Holliday, Carpenter
Major League Baseball held conference calls with All-Star managers Tony La Russa and Ron Washington today. Various topics were discussed, including two that would be of interest to Cardinal fans.
La Russa was asked about not selecting St. Louis outfielder Matt Holliday, whose season numbers certainly stack up against other outfielders on the club. In particular, Holliday has, to this point, offensively outperformed Cincinnati’s Jay Bruce, and Bruce was named to the All-Star team.
Said La Russa: “It didn’t take the last three weeks to get Matt in consideration. He was a paper-thin difference between him and the couple that I had. You don’t add that many guys, like you used to do in the old days. When I look at some of the guys that I put on there, like Bruce, [Andrew] McCutchen, [Giancarlo] Stanton, Matt’s right there. So it really wasn’t anything about the last three weeks. I’ve got a lot of Cardinal fans on me about not putting him on the team, and he deserves to be on there. But you make some tough calls and if something goes wrong here in the next few days, maybe it will be Matt. He’s an All-Star. He’s having another great year. It’s just, the decision went against him.”
Stanton has been bothered by a sore right knee in recent days, so there is a chance La Russa will need a replacement outfielder before Tuesday’s game.
La Russa was also asked about recent news that Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter will miss the entire 2012 season due to thoracic outlet syndrome and surgery.
“Just for baseball, because you need your best people playing and pitching, I think it’s a big loss for the Cardinals,” La Russa said. “It’s a big loss. But when you know the gentleman personally, this guy, he lives to compete on the fifth day. And for four days, he’s one of the best cheerleaders and teammates I’ve ever been around. So this is a really difficult thing for Chris. It’s a big loss for all of us.
“But I was in touch with him yesterday, and I said I admire the fact that he is willing to go through that surgery and go through that tough rehab to get back out there. I put the flag at half mast. I’m exaggerating a little bit, because I don’t want to demean when you actually do that, but it’s just a really sad day. I don’t envy the job, the rehab that he’s got to go through. He’s been through it too many times already. He loves being out there, and I don’t like something being taken away from somebody who loves that thing so much.”
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