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LaRue says concussion will spell an end to his career

Sep 18, 2010, 10:48 PM EDT

If Cardinals fans disliked Johnny Cueto before, they're going to really despise the guy now. Cardinals backup catcher Jason LaRue told Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Saturday that he is done playing professional baseball due to a concussion...

If Cardinals fans disliked Johnny Cueto before, they’re going to really despise the guy now.

Cardinals backup catcher Jason LaRue told Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Saturday that he is done playing professional baseball due to a concussion suffered in early August when Cueto kicked him multiple times in the head.

“I’m done,” LaRue said. “It’s a simple decision.”

LaRue is still dealing with random bouts of headaches and nausea and said he gets a feeling much like seasickness when watching television or riding in a car.  He wasn’t able to cook for himself, either, even a month after the kicks.

The 36-year-old will finish up with a .231/.315/.396 career batting line, accomplished over 11-plus professional seasons.  He hit .196 this year with two homers and five RBI in 55 at-bats as Yadier Molina’s backup.

LaRue considered taking legal action against Cueto in the weeks after the on-field assault but has since dropped that idea.  We’re thinking the Reds may want to limit Cueto’s exposure to the Busch Stadium crowd for a while.  A long while.

Cardinals manager Tony La Russa — an almost overly loyal backer of the guys he likes, and he liked LaRue — is most definitely steaming about tonight’s news.

  1. RedsDouche - Sep 18, 2010 at 11:01 PM

    I feel bad that the guy is ending his career b/c of it. But seriously, when was the last time LaRue was any good? Why would Cards fans be so upset by this? Cueto was defending himself the only way he could while pinned up against the net but the crowd enraged by Carpenter running his co** sucker. Maybe LaRue should be mad at Carpenter for refueling a situation that was calming down. LaRue finally realizes he sucks anyway so he may as well call it quits b/c of an injury instead of admitting he sucks.

  2. Drew Silva - Sep 18, 2010 at 11:05 PM

    He didn’t play much as Yadi’s backup, but LaRue was a well-liked guy in St. Louis. And I’m not so sure about the idea that Cueto was “defending himself.” From the looks of things, he jumped into the scrum and then started kicking.

  3. andrewlw - Sep 18, 2010 at 11:28 PM

    He should have at least had the chance to be released, go unsigned as a free agent, toil in AAA for a few more years as a teacher backup ect.
    Not to mention cook for himself and ride comfortably in cars.

  4. John_Michael - Sep 19, 2010 at 12:07 AM

    A professional career is a romantic endeavor. Regardless of how valuable a player is, it’s a shame to see one go out like this. Better to be forced out by superior competition or to go out on your own terms.

  5. Old Gator - Sep 19, 2010 at 12:35 AM

    It wouldn’t strike me as a miscarriage of justice to see that scumbag Cueto do some hard time and spend every cent he makes for the next five years on lawyers.

  6. Shawon-O-Meter - Sep 19, 2010 at 12:49 AM

    Justin Morneau might be done then too.

  7. Buccofan - Sep 19, 2010 at 1:21 AM

    Typical Reds fan. It wasn’t so long ago (1999-2006) that LaRue was the Cincy catcher, hailed by the Reds and their media flacks as a “great handler of pitchers”. Now you treat him like an enemy. How quickly (and typically) you forget.
    Brandon Phillips is the one who really ignited the situation. If I’m LaRue, once I’m well enough, I find that punk Phillips and kick his a**, maybe end HIS career. Or perhaps LaRue will show more class, something easily done when compared to Phillips.

  8. Buccofan - Sep 19, 2010 at 1:24 AM

    One more thing, Douche. Why don’t you send a copy of your screed to the Cardinals with your name and address instead of hiding behind a screen name? Maybe LaRue will pay YOU a visit.

  9. f*ck la - Sep 19, 2010 at 1:46 AM

    Funny how he wasnt the only one being pushed into the backstop, but the only one kicking like a girl.
    I mean really from a grown man, cueto is a puuuusssy.

  10. Jess_Ball - Sep 19, 2010 at 3:49 AM

    I think Cueto needs to apologize to LaRue. And not through a team spokesperson or via the media. Jason might not accept it right away, but I’m he’d appreciate it. It’s going to be a long, depressing and frustrating winter for this guy. Johnny needs to do the right thing.

  11. walk - Sep 19, 2010 at 6:31 AM

    I feel sorry for larue and desise cuetos actions, BUT… Larue is a 36 year old catcher. It is not unusual for catchers to retire at his age. It is also common for them to serve in backup roles for many years after that. I have no way of telling how his career would have ended barring this injury but i tend to think this would have been his last year and this is a really crappy way for it to end for him.

  12. Paper Lions - Sep 19, 2010 at 9:20 AM

    Cueto wasn’t pushed to the backstop. He ran to get in front of the scrum and was throwing weak, girly punches at the backs of players before they reached the backstop. Cueto wasn’t defending himself. Watch the video, he was nearly surrounded by reds, had plenty of room, and no one was paying attention to him. His first kicks hit Carpenter in the back, then LaRue in the side of the head. There was no excuse for his actions. I don’t generally favor throwing at guys, but I’d have no problem if Cueto had balls thrown at his head every time he faces the Cardinals.

  13. RedsDouche - Sep 19, 2010 at 10:22 AM

    Haha that’s hilarious. I’d be glad for LaRue to come pay me a visit. I’ll tell him to his face he sucks at baseball. He sucked when he was here. He sucks in St. Louis. Yeah his first year here everyone was bending over for him saying how great he was. But he quickly corrected us that year. He was awful.

  14. RedsDouche - Sep 19, 2010 at 10:26 AM

    Cueto should serve time? Really? I can’t believe I just read that. Maybe your hitting coach should get a lifetime ban from the MLB and be in Clemmons shoes for CHEATING AT BASEBALL. Oh wait, he didn’t gamble on the game so he wouldn’t get a lifetime ban. Your team is full of whiners and cheaters. And the more you guys lose, the more you whine. It’s an old act. Everyone is saying that LaRussa may be coming to Cincy after this year. I sure as hell hope not. He’s the biggest a$$hole MLB manager in the league. He thinks everyone should bow to him. He does nothing but whine as soon as his team starts losing. You can keep that clown St. Louis. Oh and for Carpenter, how does any player or fan appreciate this guy? He’s just like LaRussa. He’s an ass to his teammates. He thinks he’s god’s gift. He’s a jerkoff too. Seems like a good trend with the Cards organization.

  15. CYGNUS X-1 - Sep 19, 2010 at 10:45 AM

    did any of you cards realy watch the video?he jumped into the scrum?he had plenty of room?seriously did you watch the same tape?he was pinned up against the wall in the net!normaly I would say kicking was a pussy move but in this case he had no other choice since he couldn’t move!what was he supposed to do?better some old washed up never was catcher get hurt than some young potential ace.one concussion and he is gonna retire? you guys are just pissed that after taking that series the reds took over the division while you guys folded,or as an ex-card said they quit.great you took the season series against the reds but they will win the division so does that matter?I am sure st.larussa will use larue’s injury as a key reason that you guys flat out sucked after that series right?whatever makes you happy but the reds will be in the playoffs and the cards won’t. deal with it!

  16. Old Gator - Sep 19, 2010 at 12:17 PM

    I’m not a Cards fan. I don’t like LaRussa or his politics. I respect Pujols grudgingly for his talent and achievements but lost a lot of respect for him when he let himself become a dumb stooge for Beck and Palin. So I have no homeboy axe to grind. But yeah, I’d like to see Cueto do time for what the little slimebag did to LaRue, and I’m sorry LaRue didn’t sue his miserable ass or press for a criminal citation. No one else behaved like such a barnyard-raised animal in that brawl. If Cueto needed space, he should have gulped down a couple of Skyline Coneys and blasted a Cincinnati chili fart or two. That would have done the job. I know that in such crowded circumstances that might have been the biggest gas-related disaster since Bhopal and Lake Nyos combined and that there are some amongst you who think one concussion would represent an acceptable trade-off, but still….

  17. jde - Sep 19, 2010 at 12:50 PM

    I don’t care about either team, but am I missing something? I understand fans protect the players on their team, often irrationally, but this is ridiculous. Kicking players in the head while wearing cleats is okay? How was Cueto any more threatened than the players standing all around him? Reds fans defending his actions are doing much more than simply drinking the Kool Aid.

  18. Paper Lions - Sep 19, 2010 at 12:54 PM

    Go watch the video. Cueto was not between the crowd and the wall when the Rolen/Carpenter pushing started. He was on the 1B side of the crowd. Then he ran to get in on the action and he was almost completely surrounded by his own team mates. A lot of guys were getting pushed around, no one else decided to start kicking people in the head and back….people, by the way, that were being held by Cueto’s team mates and were not engaged with Cueto at all. In any other scenario (i.e. not in a ball park), Cueto would have had charges pressed against him the same day.

  19. Benny Blanco - Sep 20, 2010 at 9:13 AM

    Your really defending Cueto’s actions?

  20. BC - Sep 20, 2010 at 11:27 AM

    I still fail to believe how Cueto wasn’t suspended for umpteen games. Dirtbag.

  21. Omega - Sep 20, 2010 at 12:07 PM

    Ok, I am about to puke reading most of these comments.
    It is ok that LaRue got kicked in the head and is now out of baseball because he was coming to the end of his career anyways? It is a good thing it wasn’t some young up and coming talent? Are you reading what you are typing? You are talking about a human being here, living, breathing, flesh and blood human being. He has family and friends and dreams and ambitions. I can’t believe you would wish this on anybody.
    I hope his head eventually clears and he is able to ride in a car again, and cook for himself, and will be able to enjoy his retirement a bit without headaches.
    This Cueto character needs to face criminal and civil penalties for kicking someone in the head.

  22. GoGigantos - Sep 20, 2010 at 2:41 PM

    the both squads have much to be ashamed of, managers most of all. long I loved Baker and appreciated LaRussa, maybe their acts are tired and done. They both need to own up to their roles in this fracas of children, maybe a portion of their future dollars should go to the families of these palyers, victims of their own egos and stupidity.
    previous post,.,,
    I remember a certain Ozzie taking a rabbit style shot at a certain Thrill, and a very special, though hated in the end, CandyMan bloodying the lip of that Wizard. Card fans,,,, lots to remember, still remember and curse that CandyMan sliding and giving away game six, a gem pitched by some guy who now has one arm less. Los Gigantos, the only team to have a pitcher’s arm literally fall off.. Dravecky is still a beauty, it was a beauty series doomed to an Atlee finish and some guy name Ahkendoe,, this last brawl was kindergarten foolish and all should be ashamed, especially the schoolmasters Baker and LaRussa, they going at it escalated all to the point of pointlessness,, egos boys, men among children, or still children considering their dollars and contracts and percieved worth, tired of them both, and long have their acts played…. Baker to Aaron to Alston to generations,,, no doubt LaRussa the lawyer assigns fault and accepts none responsibility… all a shame on OUR game,, said to much, gonna put one flap down and shut up

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