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Shocker: Tony La Russa interested in a lefty reliever

Aug 3, 2011, 10:00 AM EDT

Rhodes_Arthur

Tony La Russa suggested to MLB.com that the Cardinals may be interested in Arthur Rhodes, who was just DFA’d by the Rangers.  His comment:

“He’s been a hell of a pro for a long, long time,” La Russa said. “He’s got all our respect. Does that sound like intrigued?”

Word on the street is that La Russa’s interest in Rhodes only bloomed when someone told him that Tony Fossas turns 54-years-old next month.  No word, however, on whether La Russa would actually use Rhodes to pitch or if he just wants him around in case he wants to throw the ball at someone’s back.

  1. drmonkeyarmy - Aug 3, 2011 at 10:04 AM

    How many relief pitchers does LaRussa need?

    • ditto65 - Aug 3, 2011 at 10:07 AM

      All of them.

  2. thefalcon123 - Aug 3, 2011 at 10:29 AM

    Uggg…I hate him! (LaRussa).

    How about next year, we just let LaRussa get it all out his system. Just give him a team that consists of Aaron Miles, Arthur Rhodes, So Taguchi, Ryan Theriot, David Eckstein, Randy Winn, Craig Paquette, Pedro Felizand everyone else he comically overvalues. It’s clearly what he wants. He has weird fetish for not very good players. This way, they can lose the 120 games that he clearly is going for, and then the Cardinals can go back to having normal, good teams instead of a bunch of wise-old scrappy veterans that LaRussa can complain about how these no-goodnik kids too.

    • spudchukar - Aug 3, 2011 at 11:48 AM

      Hey Falcon, hate all you want, but LaRussa doesn’t have the degree of influence in personnel decisions you believe he does. The Cards are a mid-market team, at least their owner insists they are. A handful of players are the recipients of the majority of their payroll leaving little for those in other positions. Unless the purse strings are loosened we will continue to plug holes with a combination of youngsters and scrappy veterans. The notion that LaRussa always chooses older players over younger ones is foolish. This year alone he has employed the youngsters Cleto, Dickson, Lynn, Salas, Sanchez, Valdez, Cruz, Carpenter, Descalso, Greene, Hamilton, Kozma, Brown, Craig, Augenstein, Walters, and Jay. They most likely lead MLB in call-ups. Some have excelled, some contributed, some sucked, but all got a legitimate shot.

      Currently, we only have one lefty on the 25-man squad. We can either recall Valdez, who pitched OK, but not great, and cannot hit 90 on the radar gun, or look elsewhere. The Cards have always liked Rhodes, and it is understandable. Does he have much left in the tank? I dunno. But he was just released by a team that paid heavily to add two other relievers, so his availability wasn’t entirely due to suckitude. You tell me who you would prefer.

      • thefalcon123 - Aug 3, 2011 at 12:40 PM

        I would argue that LaRussa has more control over roster decisions than any other manager in baseball. And he certainly has control over playing time.

        Players like Miles and Taguchi earned *far* more playing time than they would have for any other team, much to the Cardinals detriment. He pushed for Pedro Feliz before the Cardinals got him, and no one can argue that he wasn’t the primary factor in moving Ray Lankford, Colby Rasmus and Brendan Ryan.

      • spudchukar - Aug 3, 2011 at 3:39 PM

        I can guarantee you that he was not the driving force in the Brendan Ryan departure, it was his veteran teammates. Lankford was done when he was moved and the jury is still out on Rasmus, but to date he hasn’t played up to his potential and was beaten out of a job by Jon Jay. As for Feliz, if you remember we didn’t have anyone who could catch the ball at third, the market was and still is dry for third basemen, and we reluctantly chose Feliz, primarily for his defense.

        As for playing bench players “more”, that is a philosophy which I admire in LaRussa and year in and year out the role players are successful for him because he doesn’t let them rot on the pine.

  3. proudlycanadian - Aug 3, 2011 at 10:35 AM

    He might be thinking that Dave Duncan can work his magic on Rhodes. It would be akin to teaching an old dog new tricks.

  4. cintiphil - Aug 3, 2011 at 10:38 AM

    Say what you will about Arthur. He was great here, and the Reds could use him now. For three or four batters, he was lites out. That was perfect for a situation type guy or even a closer. I don’t know what is gong on in Texas, or he is getting too old, but he knew how to pitch.

  5. metalhead65 - Aug 3, 2011 at 2:16 PM

    please sign him! it would be awesome to see a washed for red in a cardinal uniform for a change instead of the other way around. hopefully he plays as well as renteria has for the reds this year.

  6. wlschneider09 - Aug 3, 2011 at 2:38 PM

    I guess Ray King was busy

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