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Tony La Russa won’t manage the Cardinals tonight

May 10, 2011, 10:00 AM EDT

St. Louis Cardinals v Arizona Diamondbacks Getty Images

As Matthew mentioned, Tony La Russa went to have doctors check out the condition that has left his right eye swollen and painful and has left him fatigued.  The verdict: shingles, which are proving to be antibiotic resistant and which are making La Russa miserable.

As a result of it, La Russa is taking tonight’s game against the Cubs off.  According to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, his job will be filled with some combination of bench coach Joe Pettini, third-base coach Jose Oquendo and pitching coach Dave Duncan, each of whom “will run various aspects of game strategy.”  Cardinals’ GM John Mozeliak will provide more detail later today. If you really want to see how ugly La Russa’s eye is, Strauss’ article has a pic.

It’s not clear how much time La Russa will miss, but given how stubborn he has been since this hit him — he has resisted pain medication due to the side effects and has declined previous suggestions to take time off — you have to figure that things have gotten pretty bad if he’s taking off a game. A Cubs game, no less.  It’s possible that he’ll be out for a while.

  1. cur68 - May 10, 2011 at 10:30 AM

    He’ll probably be gone for awhile. Shingles are caused by the same virus as the chicken pox and herpes (varicella zoster) so you get very similar lesions. Imagine that in or around the eye. Anyones who’s ever had shingles will tell you it hurts like the devil is flaying you as the virus is in the nerves themselves.

    His immune system must be really low right now to allow the virus to go active. This kind of thing is usually brought on by stress. Maybe his daughter becoming a cheerleader is stressing him? It would stress me. Either way, this is no little thing. TLR is in some serious pain and may have long term eye damage. He could easily be in pain for months.

  2. 78mu - May 10, 2011 at 10:42 AM

    When Mike Martz was coaching the Rams he had to take time off for a bacterial infection to his heart. While watching a game he called the Rams press box to have the coaches call plays he wanted run. I bet TLR would love to do the same thing so he can claim to be the only manager to use 5 pitchers in an inning even though he was hundreds of miles from the stadium. It will be another thing Whitey Herzog or Casey Stengel won’t be able to match and give Buzz Bissinger a reason to write another book about him.

  3. brucewaynewins - May 10, 2011 at 12:40 PM

    LaRussa could let his doctor coach the team tonight and the Cubs would still lose.

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