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Ryan Ludwick's "terse meeting" with manager Tony La Russa preceded trade to Padres

Aug 3, 2010, 11:46 AM EDT

I wrote yesterday that the Cardinals’ decision to trade Ryan Ludwick for Jake Westbrook struck me as odd given the team’s apparent need for offense and Ludwick’s strong production for the past four years, but Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch sheds some interesting light on what may have motivated the move behind the scenes.
According to Strauss “hours before” the trade “Ludwick voiced concerns over his choppy playing time during a terse meeting with manager Tony La Russa.” General manager John Mozeliak admitted that “there was already some level of frustration” from Ludwick regarding La Russa regularly keeping him out of the lineup following his stint on the disabled list with a calf injury.
Mozeliak and La Russa both downplayed the role that frustration and the subsequent “terse meeting” played in the trade, with La Russa stressing that the move was “motivated by our chance to win this year” and “if we could have gotten Westbrook and kept Luddy, that would have been the best of both worlds.”

  1. Jonny5 - Aug 3, 2010 at 12:18 PM

    Most “bad trades” are for a very good reason, We just don’t normaly judge these things on anything more than stats and numbers. Which isn’t even close to the entire picture is it?

  2. YankeesfanLen - Aug 3, 2010 at 12:26 PM

    You’re absolutely right. There can be attitudes much less difficult than Milton Bradley or Zambrano that rub a manager the wrong way. LaRusso of course would be most susceptible to these kinds of things, but I can detect that Girardi (and Cashman) are getting tired of the FAT TOAD and are sending out messages.
    Then there are the managers in a fog who keep Ollie around

  3. Paper Lions - Aug 3, 2010 at 1:05 PM

    Unfortunately, the reason here is that LaRussa is the one that is difficult to get along with…sure, it’s easy if you are one of the few players he’ll write in everyday. But for most players, playing for LaRussa is difficult and frustrating. LaRussa refuses to play Rasmus every day despite it being obvious to everyone that he is the best option. Similarly, he has refused to play Ludwick every day, despite it being obvious he was the best option.

  4. jram - Aug 3, 2010 at 1:30 PM

    I will be glad when LaRussa is gone.

  5. Jonny5 - Aug 3, 2010 at 1:43 PM

    Yup, just like those saying the Escobar trade was a “bad deal” for the Braves. Hey, if the guy is dragging people down around him with his attitude,maybe the Braves didn’t get a bad deal afterall? Just saying sometimes “bad deals” are still the best option for some teams, and work for their favor.

  6. The Rabbit - Aug 3, 2010 at 2:52 PM

    Agree completely. As I wrote when the trade was announced, my friends here in Cardinal-land were impressed that Ludwick could perform as well as he has given the treatment he’s gotten from “The Genius” the last couple of seasons. Unfortunately, it looks like Rasmus can expect the same.
    I also pointed out that my cat, Ozzie, (if he had an opposable thumb and could fill in a line up card) could manage a team that consisted of Albert, Holliday, some decent position players, 3 good to great starters, and a closer. He’d have a winning record, too. It really doesn’t require a genius.
    IMHO, LaRussa completely overlooks the value of consistent play both offensively and defensively; therefore, the stats don’t improve, i.e., if you expect a hitter to suck against lefties, he will because he never faces them. I view LaRussa no differently from managers in many occupations: They’ve been doing it for a long time, had much success, and fallen in love with their own ideas to the exclusion of other strategies that might actually work better…. but, I’ve never been a major league manager; therefore, in the words of Lou Piniella, I have no right to comment.
    @jram…what you said! and I’m not even a Cardinal fan

  7. shea801 - Aug 3, 2010 at 4:17 PM

    @jram Me too….
    And I am a Cards fan :/

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