Tuesday, October 24, 2006

La Russa: Dirt Under The Rug Should Stay There

Not a big fan of Tony La Russa. Fits too easily into that category of the "Importance of Being Me" school of managing.

But La Russa has done a fine job in a thankless position the last two days, having to explain why he didn't get down-and-dirty because of Kenny Rogers and DirtGate in Game 2 of the World Series.

La Russa explained that he didn't want to get into B.S. by having the umpires charge the mound and undress the Tigers starter despite the obvious: Rogers had some substance on his hand that shouldn't have been there, and was doing little to hide it in the first inning of his 3-1 victory over La Russa's Cardinals.

La Russa instead says he asked the umpires to take care of it - and they had Rogers wash his hands - rather than force the issue, and perhaps force Rogers' ejection.

"I have no regrets, because we got it fixed and," La Russa added - with a ton of class, "we still couldn't beat them."

La Russa also addressed concerns that some of his players might have disagreed with his approach. That is why he held a team meeting Monday, in part to explain to the Cardinals in uniform.

"I briefly explained where I was coming from and I said, anybody felt like I should do different, then I disappointed you, but I went to sleep at night and I looked in the mirror," La Russa said. "You've got to live with yourself. And they didn't raise their hand and say, hey, I disagree, they just didn't say anything."

Kenny Good, Christy Off The Charts

Sunday, Major League Baseball notes suggested that Kenny Rogers' 23-inning scoreless streak ranked second only to Christy Mathewson's 27 thrown for the New York Giants in the 1905 World Series.

Turns out Rogers is tied for third for such a streak in a single post-season, behind Lew Burdette (24 scoreless innings for the '57 Milwaukee Braves).
Rogers' seven scoreless innings in Game 2 put him in a tie with Jerry Reuss, who pitched 23 straight scoreless for the 1981 Dodgers.

It should be noted that Mathewson and Burdette shut down the opposition in the World Series - Mathewson doing so with three shutouts of the Philadelphia A's in a six-day span.

Burdette pitched three complete games and two shutouts against the '57 Yankees, the last on two days' rest after stepping in for flu-ridden Warren Spahn.

Reuss, like Rogers, pitched in the era of multi-tiered playoffs. Rogers' streak was built through three levels of playoffs and he pitched at least 7 innings of shutout ball, against the Yankees, A's and Cardinals, in each round.