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Did Tony La Russa pull a fast one on Dusty Baker last night?

Apr 23, 2011, 9:39 AM EDT

Tony La Russa Getty

Tony La Russa used the weather and the rules to his advantage in last night’s 4-2 win over the Reds, moving his club back into first place in the National League Central.

La Russa scratched Kyle McClellan from his scheduled start because of the threat of inclement weather, instead sending Miguel Batista out for the first inning. He threw just six pitches before play was stopped, which resulted in a rain delay of two hours and 10 minutes. Meanwhile, Edinson Volquez warmed up as the starting pitcher for the Reds, but never entered the game. When play resumed, McClellan came out to pitch for the Cardinals while Dusty Baker was forced to use Matt Maloney.

Maloney lasted just two-plus innings, giving up three runs on eight hits, while McClellan allowed two runs over six innings for his third win of the season. Well played, La Russa.

I honestly never knew this until last night, but MLB rules state that the home team — and not the umpires — have control over whether a game starts on time. According to Matthew Leach of, Baker said he was informed that there was a window to play the ballgame.

“It’s really a tough start,” Baker said. “The information that we received was probably not the same information they received, or else we wouldn’t have started [Volquez] in the first place. We were told there was going to be a window of opportunity there. That window lasted about three minutes.”

While it sure seems like La Russa used the situation to his advantage, don’t you think Baker could have just fired up the internet or had someone check the weather forecast before sending Volquez out to the bullpen? Wasn’t he at least a little suspicious when Batista began to warm up for the Cardinals? Just sounds like he was one-upped by his longtime rival.

  1. roseann894 - Apr 23, 2011 at 10:07 AM

    Same think happened a couple weeks ago; the Yankees were facing the Twins, having lost the night before and with an unfavorable pitching matchup. In spite of fair weather along the entire eastern seaboard, the game was mysteriously “rained out.” The Twins are too nice to complain about such things, though.

    • heffmessina - Apr 23, 2011 at 12:08 PM

      It poured that day in NY

      • heffmessina - Apr 23, 2011 at 12:24 PM

        Who gives a thumbs down to factual statements about the weather?

      • paperlions - Apr 23, 2011 at 1:51 PM

        In general, people only like facts when they corroborate what they already believe or what they want to believe. Contrary to how most people view how they form opinions, people generally are not interested in what is true, but in being considered right or in what they wish were true (which are often the same thing, just not true). Typically, people form opinions immediately and then pay attention only to “facts” that support the presupposition.
        In this case, people hate Yankees and would like to think that they manipulated the situation unfairly…making the fact that it rained all day irrelevant to them.

  2. cincikid513 - Apr 23, 2011 at 10:33 AM

    screw the cards. the redlegs will be on top when the time comes.

  3. a125125125 - Apr 23, 2011 at 11:15 AM

    Tony LaRussa outsmarts Dusty Baker…..and in other news……RoadRunner outsmarts Wil E. Coyote…..Jerry outsmarts Tom…..and Lucy pulls football from Charlie Brown.

  4. okwhitefalcon - Apr 23, 2011 at 1:14 PM

    Too funny..

    The Reds are taking a butter knife to a gun fight in the managerial matchup, I think the sweat bands have once again cut off the circulation to the Dustbunny’s brain..

    • visnovsky - Apr 23, 2011 at 5:11 PM

      You sure Dusty has a working brain?

  5. henryd3rd - Apr 23, 2011 at 1:44 PM

    This reminds me of the time the Orioles were playing the Yankees in old Memorial Stadium. Earl Weaver was the Orioles manager and Billy Martin managed the Yankees. The Yankees had a 6 run lead going into the bottom of the 5th. The rains came and the Umpires ordered the grounds crew to cover the field.

    After the rains stopped the Orioles grounds crew “mistakenly” rolled the tarp up the wrong way and the water on the tarp spilled onto outfield making it unplayable. The game was suspended. One had to see the smirk on Weaver’s face and then see Martin raise Holy Hell when the game was stopped. He was tossed from a game that was suspended. It’s called gamesmanship. None better at then Earl Weaver. Dusty should et up to speed on his computer skills, use his laptop and learn to go to for the forecast.

    • umrguy42 - Apr 23, 2011 at 2:30 PM

      I was about to say – it’s called “gamesmanship”, people. So what if Tony did? It was in the rules, and if you can’t figure it out… well, tough :p Also, I prefer to go direct to the National Weather Service, and use

  6. frankvzappa - Apr 23, 2011 at 2:20 PM

    i doubt Dusty Baker has ever even heard of the internet…

  7. raidergreg2000 - Apr 23, 2011 at 3:39 PM

    Dusty is a complete Idiotic manager. I live in Cincy and and love my Reds but I can’t stand the guy.

  8. visnovsky - Apr 23, 2011 at 5:05 PM

    This is bleeping ridiculous. There is no reason that this game should have been started on time.

  9. king3319 - Apr 24, 2011 at 1:54 AM

    a125….now that funny!!!! Lmfao!!!! Very good I think that’s one of the best I’ve seen on this site!!!

  10. massivedick - Apr 24, 2011 at 11:53 AM

    If Dusty was white … he’d be out of a job long ago.

  11. cur68 - Apr 24, 2011 at 12:41 PM

    Really living up to that handle, aintcha dickie?

    Fun facts about Baker;
    The Cubs have been to the post season 15 times and, since 1947 (when baseball integrated), 6 times. Baker’s Managed one of those clubs
    3 times manager of the year
    A better win loss record than Bruce Bochy.
    The Reds have improved every year he’s been there
    You’d have to go back to Davey Johnson or Lou Pinella before you find a manager with comparable time on the job who did as well. He’s even got a better record with the Reds than Pete Rose who had a longer run at it.

    What a loser. So yeah, of course he’d be out of a job. (<— sarcasm)

    Amazing really; TLR pulls a fast one and rather than give TLR his due for being a weasel and a sharp tack, you dump on Baker for believing what he was told about the weather like most mangers would have. I guess that's easier for some people.

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