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What does the La Russa extension really mean?

Oct 19, 2010, 11:57 AM EDT

La Russa in dugout

Bernie Miklasz has a great column up over at the Post-Dispatch today, analyzing the announcement that Tony La Russa is coming back to the Cardinals next year. More specifically, analyzing the part of the announcement in which it was revealed that bullpen coach Marty Mason was not coming back.

A small detail to outsiders — I almost ignored it completely when I read about it yesterday — but Miklasz explains how that seemingly small move has big implications for the Cardinals. How it plays into what appears to be an ongoing power struggle between the front office on the one hand and La Russa and his coaching staff on the other. Miklasz goes one further by noting how La Russa’s one year + option extension may leave some of his coaches wondering where they fit in the world.

This is all very inside baseball of course, but it’s fascinating inside baseball.  Every team has a dynamic like this, and only a select few people are truly aware of it. An even smaller select few of those people are willing to write about it, but Miklasz does here.  Cardinals fans are better off for knowing it and the team will be much more interesting to watch because of it.

  1. BC - Oct 19, 2010 at 12:02 PM

    It’s a mutual option, isn’t it?

  2. Jonny 5 - Oct 19, 2010 at 2:17 PM

    What does the La Russa extension really mean? 2011 is really going to suck for Cards fans. All that talent, all that $$ and no championship yet. In other words, they’ll play like they have poopy pants for at least another season.

    • saints97 - Oct 19, 2010 at 2:36 PM

      Great point about “no championship yet”, Jonny5. Each team in a 30-team league should expect to win a championship every 5 years, right? Have you already forgotten 2006?

  3. The Rabbit - Oct 19, 2010 at 4:18 PM

    Other than his relationship with Albert, I wonder why ownership made the decision to keep LaRussa.
    He was quoted last month as saying that it wasn’t fun and he wasn’t enjoying working with young players. (Like that hasn’t been obvious for the past three seasons.)
    Although I live in the midst of Cardinal territory and watch the games with the team’s fans, I must say that I take perverse pleasure when LaRussa’s numerous pitching changes backfire.

    • JBerardi - Oct 19, 2010 at 8:23 PM

      Doesn’t like working with young players? Then what the hell good is he? There’s approximately one way to build a winning team in modern baseball, and that’s with young players.

  4. cintiphil - Oct 19, 2010 at 7:27 PM

    Why the people in St.Louis want TLR out is beyond me. We would trade him for Dusty in a minute in Cinti.

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