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Albert Pujols didn’t speak with reporters after Game 2 loss

Oct 21, 2011, 10:06 AM EDT

Texas Rangers v St Louis Cardinals - Game 2 Getty Images

Albert Pujols wasn’t present to answer questions from the media following last night’s 2-1 loss to the Rangers in Game 2 of the World Series. Neither were some other prominent veterans on the team, including Yadier Molina, Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman.

There’s plenty of blame to go around with this snubbing, but naturally the focus from the media this morning is all about Pujols’ early exit from the clubhouse.

Here’s Jon Paul Morosi of

It’s unclear how St. Louis will respond after fumbling away a grand chance to take command of this series. Pujols didn’t stick around to address the media after the game, after his botched cutoff of Jon Jay‘s throw from center allowed the winning run to advance into scoring position. The lack of accountability was inexcusable from a man who is frequently described as a good teammate — and will soon want to be paid like the greatest player in the game.

In almost every case, answering questions from the media has little to do with whether a team wins or loses its next game. But this was one occasion when Pujols, as a team spokesman, should have accepted the blame for his defensive blunder and reassured those inside and outside the clubhouse that the Cardinals were going to be fine. (There is no doubt Texas leader Michael Young would have done so if the Rangers had lost.)

And Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports:

Part of stardom – perhaps the hardest part – is accountability. Pujols is not accountable to the media. This is not about that. Nor is it about his accountability to fans that may or may not want to know how he spit the bit in a crucial game. Pujols, more than anything, must be accountable to his teammates, those he ostensibly leads. He needs to stand up after losses so Jason Motte and Jon Jay and and Allen Craig and David Freese don’t have to.

Listen, was this a weak showing by the Cardinals’ veterans? Absolutely. It would have been nice for each of them to stick around and say a few words so that someone like Jason Motte isn’t forced to stand there for 30 minutes. In another city like Boston or New York, that just wouldn’t fly. The atmosphere in St. Louis has routinely coddled Pujols over the years, which is one reason why I’m skeptical he would ever seriously consider leaving via free agency if he receives comparable offers this winter. But this whole leadership thing is bit of a stretch. Makes for a great storyline in a series like this, but we won’t be saying a word of it if he goes 4-for-4 with two homers on Saturday night.

I don’t want to just gloss over the Cardinals’ actions, because in a perfect world they should be present, but the media needs to understand that this is something they care about more than the fans do.

133 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. kappy32 - Oct 21, 2011 at 10:16 AM

    More than the fans do? Do you honestly think the media writes stories to or for the and? They write stories in order to feed their own insatiable ego.

    • skids003 - Oct 21, 2011 at 10:38 AM

      You are right on. And to Jeff Passan, NONE of us are accountable to the media. You people have gotten so egotistical I guess you think the world revolves around you. It doesn’t. Leave the man alone. Half th time you write stories and attach “unnamed sources” just so you can spin stuff the way you want it anyway. I, for one, am sick of the media.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 21, 2011 at 10:47 AM

        Where does Passan say that the players are accountable to the media? In fact he says the exact opposite. He is saying that Albert is accountable to his teammates and should have stepped up so the likes of John Jay don’t have to deal with all the inane questions. He is right.

      • Old Gator - Oct 21, 2011 at 11:08 AM

        John Jay has to learn that cliches are his friends. This is the only way to do it.

      • fearlessleader - Oct 21, 2011 at 1:03 PM

        After Wednesday’s game, CJ Wilson took questions from the media and acted like a sarcastic douchebag the entire time. I wonder whether Passan and Morosi would have preferred that approach….?

    • pancakeeater - Oct 21, 2011 at 9:51 PM

      Pujols likes cats

  2. elmaquino - Oct 21, 2011 at 10:19 AM

    How can we assume Pujols, Holliday, Berkman and Yadi were ALL absent for NO reason? They have ALL been out there in the clubhouse after losses tougher than this.

  3. b7p19 - Oct 21, 2011 at 10:21 AM

    I always get a chuckle out of how pissy the media gets if the players aren’t nice to them. They write their hate columns complaining about it to us (fans/readers) about it as if we care. If I was a Cardinal fan I would be happy that Albert is so pissed off over the loss that he doesn’t want to talk to anyone.

    • kopy - Oct 21, 2011 at 10:33 AM

      I’m sure Pujols will read Morosi’s piece and think to himself, “Boy, if Michael Young would have spoken to the media in that situation, then I should have done it as well!” Classic peer pressure of the weakest kind.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 21, 2011 at 10:34 AM

        If people want to bash the media over this for whatever reason, that is the line they should focus on. Seriously, what in the hell is that?

      • kopy - Oct 21, 2011 at 10:39 AM

        I have no idea. I’m glad I’m not the only person who got stuck on that line. The fact that it’s in parentheses means Morosi knew that it was a redundant thought and had no business being in the article. If it was a good, thoughtful argument then there would be no need for the parentheses. It’s just dumb, and makes Morosi look petty and spiteful.

      • Kanonen80 - Oct 21, 2011 at 2:37 PM

        I just assumed D.J. and HBT inserted this to prove their point about the Michael Young love fest :-)

    • Old Gator - Oct 21, 2011 at 11:09 AM

      See: Maris, Roger.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 21, 2011 at 12:13 PM

      Yep…my first reaction was “I don’t blame him one bit.”
      Regardless though…I tip my hat to the Rangers as they played a full 9.

      • b7p19 - Oct 21, 2011 at 12:21 PM

        Just wait till next year when he walks out after his first world series game loss. Boy will the Chicago media tear him a new one…

      • b7p19 - Oct 21, 2011 at 12:30 PM

        I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist.

      • jimbrashear - Oct 21, 2011 at 6:12 PM

        @b7p19 – this is Pujols world series – not like he has never lost a world series game. Maybe the dude just wanted some space and is perfectly entitled to it. Grow up.

      • jimbrashear - Oct 21, 2011 at 6:12 PM

        @b7p19 – this is Pujols 3rd world series – not like he has never lost a world series game. Maybe the dude just wanted some space and is perfectly entitled to it. Grow up.

  4. paulie3323 - Oct 21, 2011 at 10:26 AM

    Clearly Passan, a no-name journalist from KC, is trying to make a name for himself by calling out the big boys. Albert will do his talking/apologizing/leading behind closed doors, with his teammates, where it belongs during a high-intensity series like this. Then he’ll do his talking with his stick on Saturday.

    • sknut - Oct 21, 2011 at 11:18 AM

      My thoughts exactly just because he doesn’t throw out a few quotes to the scribes doesn’t mean he doesn’t talk to his teammates. Its a weak effort to make a story where there isn’t one.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 21, 2011 at 12:24 PM

        B7: Riiiiight. He wants to win. Chicago? You must be referring to the White Sox then. Cause’ again…he wants to win.

    • terrik2525 - Oct 27, 2011 at 2:42 PM

      Paulie you are 100% right. The only apologies he owes is to hi teammates. Passan is just another Bush League journalist we have to put up with here in KC. They make it a point to bash the Cards for any and all things. It’s called jealousy…..and to think AP was in their own backyard and the idiots didn’t even look at him.

  5. paulie3323 - Oct 21, 2011 at 10:28 AM

    Furthermore, Passan doesn’t even give the reader a chance to comment. Kinda the same thing, isn’t it?

  6. drmonkeyarmy - Oct 21, 2011 at 10:30 AM

    I think Passan has it right. “He needs to stand up after losses so Jason Motte and Jon Jay and and Allen Craig and David Freese don’t have to.” I think that is the point. All other talk about Albert doing the talking “with his stick” and media bashing is irrelevant. If one is a leader they are there…not leaving secondary players to deal with the media. It is a bush league move.

    • b7p19 - Oct 21, 2011 at 10:59 AM

      Those “secondary players” are grown men that can make their own decisions. This isn’t little league. They shouldn’t need Albert Pujols to stick up for them.

      I’m starting to tire of all the over emphasis on “being a good teamate.” Being a good teamate takes place outside the eye of the media. Just like the Red Sox should not have needed the chicken crew to sit on the bench and watch, these guys should not need Albert Pujols to answer questions to the media. I think Freese and Motte would agree.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 21, 2011 at 11:12 AM

      Nobody is saying they needs Albert to “stick up for them”. Just that he should have been there to answer his share of the questions. That is all. Also, leading does indeed go on behind closed doors but also for the entire world to see. Those notions are not mutually exclusive.

      • b7p19 - Oct 21, 2011 at 11:36 AM

        I think thats exactly what the writer is saying. He thinks Albert needs to answer questions “so Jason Motte and Jon Jay and and Allen Craig and David Freese don’t have to.”

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 21, 2011 at 11:42 AM

        I took it that Albert and the others should have been there to take their share of the questions, not so Motte could sleek off into the night without being bothered. If your comprehension of what the writer said is correct then I agree with you.

    • phillyphreak - Oct 21, 2011 at 11:27 AM

      But why shouldn’t Jason Motte have to stand up there?

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 21, 2011 at 11:33 AM

        He should have to stand up there but the veterans should have been there too.

      • phillyphreak - Oct 21, 2011 at 11:38 AM

        But Passan is saying that Pujols et al. should be up there so Motte et al don’t have to be. Which is the wrong way of thinking. I understand that it bothers people, particularly journalists, but I couldn’t care less about it.

        If Jay makes a better throw, Pujols probably cuts that ball off. Plus, to me, this game is more on TLR and his over-managing than it is on Pujols missing that cutoff.

      • phillyphreak - Oct 21, 2011 at 11:41 AM

        Also re:leadership. It probably isn’t great to try to paint a picture about leadership after one game.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 21, 2011 at 11:44 AM

        I didn’t say he wasn’t a leader. I said, as a leader, he should have been there. Different notions in my mind. If I implied that he was a bad leader, based upon this event, then I apologize for lack of clarity on my part.

      • phillyphreak - Oct 21, 2011 at 11:47 AM

        Oh no, I was more referring to the Passan and Morosi accusation not yours- I apologize if that’s what I made it seem like. I honestly really understand where you and a lot of people are coming from. Should they have talked? Yea probably. Does it bother me or show lack of leadership (in my opinion)? Not at all.

      • jimbrashear - Oct 21, 2011 at 6:16 PM

        Say phillyphreak – someone wanna remind me where Albert said he was a leader outside of statistically speaking?

  7. paperlions - Oct 21, 2011 at 10:36 AM

    You can put this on the list of things I don’t care about. When was the last time a reporter asked an insightful question after a game or a player provided an insightful answer?

    Passan: “Talk about the play on Andrus’ hit where you missed the ball”.

    Albert: “The throw came in and I wanted to cut it off to hold the runners, I missed it.”

    Passan: “Yadi, what happened on that stolen base by Kinsler”

    Yadi: “He got a good jump, I made the best throw I could, but he was safe”

    Serionsly…this is what post-game interviews are like.

    • The Dangerous Mabry - Oct 21, 2011 at 10:45 AM

      Ken Rosenthal last night epitomized this, when he asked Josh Hamilton:

      “You were down to your last three outs, and losing would have put you down 2-0. Talk about how tough it would have been if you had lost, even though you didn’t?”

      What the hell kind of question is that? “Give me your reaction to something that didn’t happen, Josh”

      “Ok, now, let’s say a tanker truck had crashed into the outfield fence, and you and Albert Pujols had to work together to save the lives of the 5 children pinned under the burning truck. How would that have felt?”

    • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 21, 2011 at 10:49 AM

      I think the line of questioning that maybe asked is irrelevant. Albert should have been there so the others didn’t have to answer those questions. It is what leaders do. Just my two cents. In the end, I really don’t care whether he was there or not. I just don’t get all the bashing of this Passan fellow for what he wrote.

      • paperlions - Oct 21, 2011 at 10:54 AM

        I understand the “leadership” perspective…but really, if at the end of your worst days at work, you don’t know what it is like for people to shove a microphone and camera in your face while you are trying to go shower so that they can ask you insipid questions….you probably aren’t in position to criticize some for their actions in that context.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 21, 2011 at 11:10 AM

        I have a lot of respect for you but the argument that if I haven’t experienced it so I have no right to comment/criticize is complete bullshit. You criticize TLR all the time….since you presumably haven’t been a MLB manager, how can you do that? If that were the case, how could anybody on this blog make any time of comment or criticism about anything?

      • Old Gator - Oct 21, 2011 at 11:12 AM

        Passan bashing is fun, healthy and reinvigorationg. For all we know, it might even be nutritious. On the other hand, Heyman bashing is not good for you – it’s like eating an entire Austrian kirsch torte and washing it down with a hot mug of mulled cider. Besides, Heyman is Craig’s bitch.

      • paperlions - Oct 21, 2011 at 11:19 AM

        I would argue (of course) that those are different things. One is judging someone for an action that occurred right after an emotional event, a situation we have not experienced and don’t know how we would respond. The other is criticizm of decisions that are made that all available information shows decrease the likelihood of your team winning. There is no excuse for LaRussa to not know that sac bunts decrease your chances of scoring, or that Motte is far more effective against lefties than Rhodes, or that Freese is the far superior overall player to Descalso, or that a defensive alignment that increases BABIP is always a bad idea….and if he does know those things, there is no excuse for the decisions made in those contexts.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 21, 2011 at 11:31 AM

        I think that comes with the territory of being a professional athlete…dealing with the media after emotional events both good and bad. If you are going to be there when times are good, you should also be there when times aren’t so good. If it comes out that those guys had to go to the trainer for nagging injuries (which is a real possibility) then my apologies. However, if it was to run from the media because they didn’t want to answer inane questions then I believe that is wrong. You disagree and that is cool. However, I believe that my comments on the subject are completely valid even if I have never experienced that situation before.

      • paperlions - Oct 21, 2011 at 11:37 AM

        I understand what you are saying…I do. I am a pretty unemotional guy and am generally calm during high stress events, so these types of situations probably wouldn’t bother me….but I have come to understand (as it has now been explained to me by multple friends and family members) that how I would respond during an emotional event is not how most people respond….so I try not to judge people’s emotional responses from a morality perspective.

        That said….you are correct. For baseball players it does come with the territory….and you have to deal regularly with giant jackholes like Passan, and guys like Pujols, Molina, et al. SHOULD have answered questions….but I won’t judge them (or others in their place) for choosing not to do so.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 21, 2011 at 11:39 AM

        I’m a lot like you actually in the way I deal with high pressure situations. Always have been. I didn’t mean to come off judgmental and don’t think that Albert and the rest are bad guys for this.

    • Alex K - Oct 21, 2011 at 10:50 AM

      You can add this to my list as well.

      I was very annoyed a few years ago when Carlos Beltran or Delgado (don’t remember for sure which one, and it might have been both) were getting blasted in NY for not staying and talking to the media after some tough losses. I didn’t care then and I don’t care now. I’m glad that it happened in STL because it should die a lot quicker that way.

  8. Tribe&Browns&Cavs - Oct 21, 2011 at 10:43 AM

    I would prefer my team’s player be so upset they lost they have to get out of there.

    And furthermore, “There is no doubt Texas leader Michael Young would have done so if the Rangers had lost.” Really?

    • paperlions - Oct 21, 2011 at 10:52 AM

      Yeah, really. Didn’t you know the press is who you talk to if you want to request a trade, order a pizza, or express discontent about being asked to switch positions. Young is always willing to talk to the press.

  9. thefalcon123 - Oct 21, 2011 at 11:18 AM

    Every game needs villains and people to point out fault to. In this case, the narrative will be Pujols until he does something good, then he’ll be the leader and the hero again.

    This game was decided by great pitching, a bloop single, a ballsy steal, a solid single, a missed cutoff and two sac flies.

    I give the Rangers a lot more credit than I give the Cardinals blame for this one.

    • paperlions - Oct 21, 2011 at 11:20 AM

      That wasn’t a bloop single, that was a soft fly ball to middle LF.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 21, 2011 at 12:11 PM

        It was a wounded quail to no man’s land. Not taking anything away from Kinsler as he fought off the pitch and did what he had to do get on base. But a wounded quail to no man’s land…nonetheless.

      • paperlions - Oct 21, 2011 at 12:25 PM

        Yes, but it was only no man’s land because the Cardinal OF was playing VERY deep in the TLR favored “no doubles defense”. If Holliday is at normal depth, that ball is easily caught….watch the replay and see how far Furcal ran to get there…in a normal defensive alignment, Holliday is standing there waiting for it….it was in the air a long time.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 21, 2011 at 12:35 PM

        Matt Holiday hasn’t caught an “easy fly ball” since High School. Which is why (by my guess)..he will be the DH and A.C. will start in the OF when they go to Texas.

      • thefalcon123 - Oct 21, 2011 at 12:58 PM

        You take ONE flyball off the nuts and your labeled as a poor defender for the rest of your life!
        UZR and +/- show him as a pretty solid outfielder. I tend to believe it. Yeah, he looks awkward sometimes, but that doesn’t mean to he doesn’t get the balls he should get to.

        …and if Holliday DHing instead of Berkman would be a deeply stupid move.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 21, 2011 at 1:01 PM

        In fairness, the flyball off the nuts was at a pretty big moment. I do agree, however, that overall his is and has been a fairly neutral defender while Berkman has been trending down. Berkman should be the DH.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 21, 2011 at 1:06 PM

        Falcon: I hear what you are saying in regards to the ball he got handcuffed on (you referred to it as taking one in the nuts). I defended him over that play.
        You are entitled to your opinion (if it’s okay…I would like to also be entitled to one).
        In my opinon…Berkman is a better defender that Matt. Yep…you read it correctly.
        In my opinion…Berkman has caught at least 3 balls in the 1st two games that Matt didn’t have a snowballs chance in hell at catching.
        So yeah…A.C….J.J…and Lance in the OF in Texas.

  10. phillyphreak - Oct 21, 2011 at 11:20 AM

    This whole leadership thing is really getting out of hand. We’re talking about major league baseball players (grown adults)- they have to take cues from other athletes? Sure it’s good for when the team is down or in a funk for someone to be focused on how to change the mood but come on with this stuff. Overblown in my opinion.

    Also, does anyone else think that it was a really bad throw that Pujols missed?

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 21, 2011 at 12:23 PM

      Hell yes. The talking heads referred to it as a “cutter.” J.J. even admitted it wasn’t a good throw. In my opinion…the error should have been charged to J.J. Kinsler’s error earlier in the game should have been ruled a hit by Berkman (Kinsler played him to pull as he should have and was forced to back hand it in the grass). Still ruled an error by Kinsler (incorrectly in my opinion). Sometimes, score keepers also get it wrong.
      Regardless, the Rangers did what they had to do to win the game.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 21, 2011 at 12:26 PM

        It was a terrible throw but if Pujols cuts if off as he should, no runners advance. He was there in plenty of time and should have cut if off.

      • phillyphreak - Oct 21, 2011 at 12:59 PM

        I guess I’m wondering while people are piling on Pujols for not catching the ball (not necessarily on this board, just in general) but not Jay for the poor throw.

        And while we’re at it…that was a beautiful error by Young….he’s the consummate professional. A true leader.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 21, 2011 at 1:04 PM

        Here is my guess: I think the throw by Jay was a physical error. That happens. It looked to me like Pujols got distracted by Kinsler’s wide turn and took his eye off the ball….a mental error. That shouldn’t happen at that stage of the game.

      • phillyphreak - Oct 21, 2011 at 1:11 PM

        That still doesn’t excuse Jay’s throw.

        On a separate issue, if your mental error guess is correct, I wonder how many players shift their eyes as the ball comes to them. I’m sure a lot of them do this. I still put more blame on Jay than Pujols.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 21, 2011 at 1:19 PM

        I would usually agree, but I think Pujols was there in plenty of time to make the play…bad throw or not. It wasn’t on a short hop or anything.

      • cur68 - Oct 21, 2011 at 2:45 PM

        Philly; Are you talking about the ball that clanked off Young’s glove? The same play that no mention was made of? The same play that lead directly to a run scoring? That happened with class, man. And when it happens with class, its because Mike Young was involved.

      • phillyphreak - Oct 21, 2011 at 3:45 PM

        The very same….

      • rempokesfan - Oct 21, 2011 at 6:38 PM

        Perhaps Pujols doesn’t talk to the media about the cutoff because he doesn’t want to throw his Rightfielder under the bus when everybody is already thinking Pujols blew it?

        Take the blame for an error he believes to be on the RF’er, or trash a teammate by telling the truth?

        From where I sat watching TV in DFW:

        It was an awful throw!

        On Hamilton’s sacrifice, Schumaker couldn’t decide whether to try to get Kinsler at home, or throw to second to keep the force in order, so he throws it in the general direction of the pitchers’ mound.

        Pujols figures the ball should go to Second, since the tying run is conceded (see also TLR’s comments after the game.) When the throw is NEITHER to Second nor Home, Pujols moves too late to cut it off.

        I’m not convinced the replay really shows him touching it at all. What it does show, is Pujols standing out of the line of the ACTUAL throw and ON the line the throw WOULD have gone had it been going Home.

        He didn’t need to be on the line to Second since that would have been only a short throw. He’s not particularly energized since the throw shouldn’t come Home and is NOT his play if it goes to Second.

        The replay pretty clearly shows Pujols reacting late to cut it off as if he’s surprised by the throw!

        Error Pujols? No way. The cut-off man is where he should be. BAD THROW! If it’s an error, it’s E9!

        And, excellent heads-up base running by The Flying Elvis!

  11. Jonny 5 - Oct 21, 2011 at 11:21 AM

    Umm Pujols didn’t pull out the closer (who has the best chance of fixing that situation last night imo).

    The only blame I see to go around revolves on the button pusher with an all too itchy button pushing finger.

    • paperlions - Oct 21, 2011 at 11:38 AM

      I love you man

      • Jonny 5 - Oct 21, 2011 at 12:15 PM

        Right back at you.

        I mean Rhodes? Really?

        Not because I think Rhodes isn’t pretty good or anything. Think about the situation where a fly ball gets in the runner to score. Crunch the numbers on fly ball outs for both pitchers PL. Motte gave up 70 fly balls in 1118 pitches this season. Rhodes had 53 in 531 pitches. TLR really screwed the pooch by pulling out a flame throwing pitcher much less likely to get outs by the fly ball.C’mon, these are his frigging players. He needs to know these things.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 21, 2011 at 12:16 PM

      I hear you. Those same buttons he pushed to get them where they are right now.
      Alright…last call to board. Hop on the TLR “Hatetrain.”
      Chugga, chugga, chugga, chugga, chugga, wooooo, woooo!

      • Jonny 5 - Oct 21, 2011 at 12:23 PM

        Please see above where I explain why it was the wrong decision. Tell me if you honestly think I’m wrong. No hate, just using past results to make a better decision now. Like TLR should do as a manager in the major leagues.

      • paperlions - Oct 21, 2011 at 12:27 PM

        Those were the same buttons that the players had to overcome being pushed.

        These are the exact same dumb decisions I was bitching about all of September….just because they still won (mostly) doesn’t mean that the decisions didn’t make it harder for them to win…they most certainly did because it is demonstrable that those decisions reduce the likelihood of desirable outcomes.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 21, 2011 at 12:32 PM

        Not the point Jonny. The point is all of those on the TLR “hatetrain” salivate at the mouth to climb aboard once something goes wrong. Point is he pushed all the buttons to get them where they are now “itchy button pushing finger” and all.

      • paperlions - Oct 21, 2011 at 12:36 PM

        God dang it…he did not push buttons to get them here….the players played great baseball to get themselves here…the fact that he was pushing buttons was incidental to the quality of baseball played and generally was something the players had to overcome.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 21, 2011 at 12:38 PM

        And just for the record Jonny…I believe last week (when I called you a sell out for going out of the NL to root for the Rangers)…your words were something to the effect of…
        “I typically stay in the NL…especially with the team that beats us.” But I “hate” TLR so this year is different.

      • Alex K - Oct 21, 2011 at 12:40 PM

        The wrong decision doesn’t always give the wrong result. The right decision doesn’t always give the right result.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 21, 2011 at 12:41 PM

        Wow Paper: That is a whole lot of ‘W’s’ over the years considering they are winning in spite of him (according to you). Come on man…you can’t have it both ways. When they lose…it’s TLR’s fault. When they win…it’s in spite of TLR. That is ludicrous. Again…you can’t have it both ways.

      • Jonny 5 - Oct 21, 2011 at 12:45 PM

        Yes, I said that. But that didn’t form the fly ball rates now did it? I love Charlie Manuel and I said he made a mistake by letting the Cards into the playoffs too. And he makes plenty more at other times. With that said I still respect your right to defend tlr’s decisions as all managers make mistakes. It’s going to be amplified in the WS, just know that. Just pointing out a mistake isn’t a bad thing.

      • Alex K - Oct 21, 2011 at 12:46 PM

        How is disagreeing with TLR’s moves when they win or lose having it both ways? That seems like a very consistent thought process.

      • b7p19 - Oct 21, 2011 at 12:48 PM

        “Come on man…you can’t have it both ways. When they lose…it’s TLR’s fault. When they win…it’s in spite of TLR. That is ludicrous.”

        If one was to think TLR sucks he/she would absolutely expect to have it both of those ways. Because bad decisions are being made (in the mind of the person that thinks TLR sucks), those are the only two options.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 21, 2011 at 1:18 PM

        Alex: Having it both ways is precisely what he is doing. When they win…TLR receives ZERO credit. When they lose…TLR receives ALL the blame. See my post below…this is what I refer to as “having your cake and eating it too.” Easy way out. You can’t lose with this line of thinking.

      • badmamainphilliesjamas - Oct 21, 2011 at 1:22 PM

        Correlation does not necessarily equal causation.

      • Alex K - Oct 21, 2011 at 1:27 PM

        I’m putting words in paper’s mouth here, but this is how I imagine he thinks.

        He disagrees with most of the moves that TLR makes. I don’t see it as him blaming the entire loss on TLR, just complaining about specific things he did to help the team lose. When they win he still disagrees with the moves and thinks that they won even though TLR made awful decisions. In that case why would someone give TLR any credit?

      • paperlions - Oct 21, 2011 at 1:53 PM

        I am not having it both ways, it is a logically consistent approach. I think TLR’s moves overall have a negative effect regardless of whether they win or lose….this is because many of his favorite moves (e.g. sac bunts, removing superior players for bench guys, favoring matchups without regard for talent) have been shown by decades of data to have an negative effect on things that lead to winning (i.e. scoring and preventing runs). If I think this (and I do) then he makes it harder for his players to win….so, logically, if they win it is while overcoming this and if they lose he contributed (in general) to it.

        Now….I recognize that there are plenty of individual games where whatever any manager does, it has zero effect on the outcome because the scores were not close…BUT in THIS game, it is clear that the bad decisions made by TLR directly effected the outcome.

        Take a look at TLRs career, he has ALWAYS had above average payroll (usually top 10) and above average talent (again, usually top 10); he has not won at higher rate than you would expect based on the talent his has had….he has won about as much as you would expect. Look at the roster’s he has had….how is a .536 winning percentage (60th all-time for managers) considered exceptional? He has managed the 2nd most games, he has the 3rd most wins and 2nd most losses. He has been around a long time….but he is the Michael Young of managers.

      • paperlions - Oct 21, 2011 at 1:59 PM

        Exactly Alex. Bad moves are bad moves regardless of the outcome….and moves that decrease the teams chances of scoring or that improve the other team’s chances of scoring…are ALWAYS bad moves.

        Winning the lottery because you spent your entire paycheck on it instead of buying food and paying your mortgage doesn’t justify the stupidity…and would not be advisable for anyone else to do….the fact that baseball outcomes are highly stochastic makes it harder for people to see the patterns even though they are crystal clear if you bother to view the data at proper sample sizes. Individual outcomes do not matter within this context, only the likelihood of outcomes determines if moves are good ones or not.

    • gostlcards5 - Oct 21, 2011 at 1:29 PM

      Jonny, completely agree…when La Russa lifted Motte after the second hit, the first thought I had was “wow…really?”. The guy has been nothing short of great for the last 2 months. On Wednesday night, he mowed through the middle of the order for the save. Thursday, he gives up 2 hits, and TLR pulls him?

      IMO, he should have left him in to pitch to Hamilton (success against lefties, factored in, of course), trying to get him out, but not leaving anything over the plate. If he walks him, so what? Then you have the chance to turn an infield grounder into a force play at home, or possibly even a double-play. I just thought Motte was by far the best-equipped pitcher to get out of the jam. Additionally, as already stated, he honestly wasn’t to blame for getting into the jam anyway.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 21, 2011 at 1:34 PM

        I don’t have any problems with that line of thinking at all. As you said…worse case…he walks him and the bases are loaded with the force play at home. Sure…you gotta’ bring the infield in which makes it tougher. But the DP ball is also in order. With this in mind…TLR goes with matchups. This is no secrect. As Hal Bodley said in one of his articles…EVERYBODY LOOK (Paper…Jonny, et al…)
        “Tony La Russa pushed the same buttons Thursday night, but nothing happened.”
        “The same moves that have worked to perfection this postseason failed.”

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 21, 2011 at 2:12 PM

        Paper: Man you have it all right and Owners, GM’s and other Baseball types have it all wrong. They have been making mistake after mistake with TLR for over 30+ years.
        Essentially, you saying he has racked up wins and LOSSES (losses in Caps cause’ I know that is your focus) as a result of longevity is like saying Pete Rose leads MLB in hits solely because he played for a long time.
        Yes Paper…you are taking the easy way out. You can’t lose with that line of thinking.
        No credit when they win…and all the credit when they lose.

      • paperlions - Oct 21, 2011 at 2:26 PM

        Owners and managers make obviously dumb decisions all the time….managers are the one’s that hand out GGs and have given them to some of the worst defenders in the league on a regular basis….because they have no idea who is and is not good.

        Here is the thing about my line of thinking: it is fact based and data driven. I didn’t just up and decide to think something to suit my fancy or because someone said to do so. I think what I think because it is the logical interpretation of the available data.

        ….and dude, you just said that Berkman is a better OF than Holliday…when Holliday is and always has been an above average OF and Berkman in RF is currently one of the worst defensive players at any position in the majors. Your opinion is not defensible…because there is no data that suggests it is correct (even TLRs moves repeated and unnecessary moves, always replacing Berkman but not Holliday, are in opposition to your opinion.)

        There really isn’t any point in us arguing. You don’t use information to form opinions and therefore can’t provide me with any reason to change my opinion…nor is there any way to change an opinion based on nothing tangible.

      • Jonny 5 - Oct 21, 2011 at 2:27 PM

        STL1, If it makes you feel better better TLR pushed all the right buttons in game 1 admittedly. I don’t like the way he tries to match up his pitcher to the batter because it only makes sense to the most rudimentary of baseball minds to only look at what hand they throw with (there are more important things to look at). In this case a fly ball or two can win the game, so you don’t put in a guy who makes his living getting fly ball outs just because he’s a lefty on lefty match up. Especially when you have a dominant closer who gets outs from lefties and has half the fly ball rate. And no matter how many times he’s burned, he doesn’t change his method either.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 21, 2011 at 2:42 PM

        Paper: I will agree with one thing…there is no point in arguing. I simply think you are taking the easy way out. All blame…no credit…regardless of the situation. You can’t lose in this scenario. And “dude”…while Lance is easily a below average defender…you can’t dispute that there have been 3 balls in this series (all shallow hit balls that Lance caught) that Holliday has NO chance at. Again…Lance is below everage. I guess that just tells you what I think about Holliday’s lumbering ass in LF. We are going to have to agree to disagree cause’ this conversation is going nowhere.

      • paperlions - Oct 21, 2011 at 3:09 PM

        That’s the thing…I am not “taking a way out”. I have an information based opinion.

        If you read what I write, I usually give TLR no credit or blame because it is on the players to perform (indeed, teams with good players win regardless of whether or not they have people considered to be good managers sitting in the dugout), and most games the decisions TLR makes have no net effect. Last nights game was not one of those games, he made several horrendous decisions….the most annoying thing about TLR is that he has an aggressive attitude toward learning or new types of information, he admits that he ignores the information that suggests anything he does may be a bad idea.

      • Alex K - Oct 21, 2011 at 3:29 PM

        stlouis1baseball- How should people view TLR? Should we give hime credit when they win and blame him when they lose?

        Or do you think people should give him credit when they win and not blame him when they lose?

        I guess I just don’t understand where you stand on this. Is this just a case where you think everyone should defer to TLR because he’s been successful?

  12. charlton62 - Oct 21, 2011 at 11:25 AM

    The snubbed press immediately assumes the worst since they exist in a bubble and take themselves way too seriously. How do we know what the real deal is? Maybe the players had an impromptu team meeting and Jason Motte gladly offered to go deal with the weasels…maybe they held a spontaneous prayer session and Jason Motte gladly offered to go deal with the weasels…maybe they noticed something extremely important during the game and immediately set to planning strategy and disseminating the new information and Jason Motte gladly offered to go deal with the weasels…

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 21, 2011 at 12:55 PM

      B7: I do not agree. In essence…he is taking the easy way out.
      When they win…TLR has no bearing. When they lose…TLR is 100% at fault.
      This is what I call “having your cake and eating it too.”

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 21, 2011 at 4:18 PM

      Alex: No…I don’t think everyone should defer to him because of his past success.
      Come on. Why is this so hard to understand? Pretty simple really.
      If you are going to continue to bust a guys balls on a regular basis…then you better be prepared to ALSO give him credit when it is deserved. Otherwise, you have no credibility.

      • Alex K - Oct 21, 2011 at 4:43 PM

        I don’t give managers much credit in the first place. They don’t win and lose games, the players do.

        If a team wins, but the manager made a bad decision that worked out (an IBB, double switch, or whatever) they don’t deserve credit. They deserve to be criticized for making a bad decision that hurt their team’s chances of winning (even if they won).

        If a team loses and the manager made a bad decision that didn’t work out they deserve some blame because they didn’t put their team in the best position to win.

        On the flip side if a team wins and the manager doesn’t make a bad decision then they should get some credit for putiing their players in the best position to win.

        If a team loses and a manager doesn’t make a bad decision he shouldn’t be blamed because he put his team in the best position to win. And it just didn’t work out.

        I said it earlier and it is still 100% true, the wrong decision doesn’t always give the wrong result. The right decision doesn’t always give the right result.

      • Alex K - Oct 21, 2011 at 4:48 PM

        To sum that up-

        A manager that makes bad decisions should be blamed for making bad decisions even if they work out.

        A manager that makes good decisions should be given credit for making good decisions even if they don’t work out.

      • paperlions - Oct 21, 2011 at 6:27 PM

        Manager’s have a lot bigger ability to have a negative affect on a game than a positive effect.

        If you would bother to remember, I applauded TLR for his management of the NLCS, which I though was fantastic…because he stayed out of the way, only 1 double switch and the constant dumb pulling of Freese, but otherwise, he kept the best players in all game long. I did give him credit for that…but, of course, they still won because the player played great…helped a little by the manager only managing when it was required. He did a great job of recognizing when the starters were failing and needed to be pulled, but otherwise (again, except for Freese) stayed out of the way.

        Most losses aren’t his fault either, as I have said, they are usually on the players….last night’s loss was precipitated by TLR, first by pulling Freese, second by the “no doubles defense”, and third by pulling Motte. Yes, Motte could have just struck everybody out…players often bail managers out of bad decisions, but that didn’t happen…and Tony’s decisions didn’t help…and many people recognized the decisions as bad ones at the time.

  13. baccards - Oct 21, 2011 at 12:14 PM

    Perhaps fans of the game can take this “snubbung” to the level it deserves. Encourage all players to refuse to answer inane questions from all reporters.. cancel the whole waste of time referred to as press conferences after the game.

    • baccards - Oct 21, 2011 at 12:15 PM

      or snubbing if you prefer that spelling

  14. chadh88 - Oct 21, 2011 at 12:31 PM

    I know baseball is different, but isn’t this the same as when Lebron skipped post game media sessions after losing to the Magic a couple years ago. I remember most people calling for him to get fined. As a professional athlete, like it or not, you assume a responsibility to the media by accepting your paycheck. The media helps hype the game and gain viewership, thus making the sport popular and increasing paychecks for the stars. Not saying he has to be nice or happy about it, but show up, own what happened and that would be fine.

  15. jeffrp - Oct 21, 2011 at 12:39 PM

    How much you want to bet that all the “yeah, screw the media” comments here are coming from guys that watched the game Fox, then the postgame, then Baseball Tonight and then the MLB Network? The next day they came to this baseball blog and probably ready the coverage in the St Louis Post-Dispatch.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 21, 2011 at 12:51 PM

      Great point Jeff. Probably a pretty good guess as well.

      • baccards - Oct 21, 2011 at 2:26 PM

        Had XM music on, didn’t hear a word of pre-game, game, or post game yapping by any media..Close as I get is here

    • b7p19 - Oct 21, 2011 at 1:04 PM

      I will bet you one million dollars. Hell, I didn’t even watch the whole game. Sunny was on.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 21, 2011 at 1:07 PM

        Funniest show on TV.

  16. skids003 - Oct 21, 2011 at 12:41 PM

    Being ugly to the media cost Ted Williams the MVP in 1941 when he hit .406. One guy didn’t have him in his top 10. Some of thes guys have to much say so over the sport. They think too much of themselves.

  17. kmprato - Oct 21, 2011 at 1:13 PM

    wow. first off, just by writing about it, the media is contradicting any statement that Pujols isn’t accountable to them. He knows he missed it, he knows he is responsible, just because he doesn’t publicly talk with his teammates about it doesn’t mean he’s not doing his part. Just because he doesn’t address the media about it, doesn’t mean he’s not doing his part. We dont know what happened today when they met for their flight or what might happen at practice, or in the locker room tomorrow. Stop making assumptions.

    Secondly, I didn’t see anyone jump all over Cruz after the Rangers lost game 1. Had he caught that ball the game could have had a different outcome.

    let the men do their jobs. their job right now is to win a world series title for their home team. it’s a TEAM effort and not one person is responsible. Hell, if Motte had been on his game, Pujols never would have been in that position to begin with… we could go on and on with the six degrees of separation. And until you’ve been in a position such as his, it’s unfair to assume there’s a lack of anything, other than a lack of desire to be fed to the wolves such as the media.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 21, 2011 at 1:23 PM

      How is writing that he didn’t speak to the media contradicting the notion that he isn’t accountable to the media? I am missing that connection. You are right though, we don’t know what happens behind closed doors, however, I believe that misses the central point. Nobody is saying that he didn’t or doesn’t hold himself accountable to them behind closed doors, just that he should have held himself accountable to them in front of closed doors. Also, can’t compare the Cruz and Pujols plays. Completely different. The Cruz play wasn’t one that he necessarily should make. Flat run, dive, ball just past his glove. Albert had time and was there but failed to catch the ball.

      • kmprato - Oct 21, 2011 at 1:31 PM

        You gonna tell me that writing an entire column about how Pujols didn’t speak to the media after the game isn’t a contradictory action to saying he’s not accountable to them?

        and also, yeah, Cruz shoulda made the catch. he was right there – heck at first i thought he HAD caught it and dropped it. after some of the defensive plays that Cards put out in game one, you can’t tell me that there’s no way Cruz could have made that catch.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 21, 2011 at 1:35 PM

        I didn’t say there was no way he could have…but it wasn’t a play he should have made. Pujols was standing there and just missed the ball. And yes, I don’t find writing an article about them dodging the media contradictory to the notion that they are not accountable to the media.

      • kmprato - Oct 21, 2011 at 1:35 PM

        bottom line is that by not speaking to the media doesn’t spell lack of accountability… no one else can speak for him and Pujols owes the media nothing… doesn’t mean he doesn’t own his mistake

  18. badmamainphilliesjamas - Oct 21, 2011 at 1:27 PM

    Berkman called in to MLB Network radio this am to defend his teammates

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 21, 2011 at 1:54 PM

      Another reason I love Lance Berkman. Thanks for taking the time to post it Mama!

  19. stlfan - Oct 21, 2011 at 2:22 PM

    A journalist demanding accountability???? LMFAO!!!!! What’s next, politicians accepting accountability????

  20. readhed - Oct 21, 2011 at 3:52 PM

    Paper – I don’t understand the hate just for hates’ sake. The Red Sox and Phillies have “above average payrolls” too and look where they are this post season. The guy has won more games than just about any manager in baseball and for some reason you can’t give him any credit. What’s behind all the hate? It’s ridiculous to say the Cardinals have won as many games as they have in the post season in spite of him. Ask his players how they think he is as a manager. Do you always perform whatever job you have perfectly? Get over it, the man is a baseball genius.

    • paperlions - Oct 21, 2011 at 4:14 PM

      I don’t hate TLR, I just don’t like him managing the team I root for….yeah, he has won the 3rd most games….he has also lost the 2nd most and managed the 2nd most. His winning % is nothing special and he has had above average talent to manage his entire career. If you look at his career, the roster’s he has had…never a rebuilding year, never a low payroll….and he has a .536 winning percentage. He has been okay, but he gets worse every year. He simple does a lot of things that he thinks are “strategy” that are simply bad baseball tactics based on decades of data….data he has said he will ignore….ignoring informationthat could help you make better decisions out of arrogance is a bad trait in any administrator.

      I am sure TLR does plenty of things well, in game managing is not one of them. In the media, he gets too much credit for wins and never any blame for loses…just look at the headlines. “LaRussa pushes right buttons” and “bullpen fails”….either give him credit and blame or none of it. In game management of baseball games isn’t nearly as complex as TLR wishes it was….he may be playing chess when other are playing checkers….but when the game really is checkers…playing chess isn’t going to win you any games. Really, all you have to do is put the best players on the field as much as possible and 95% of your job is done.

    • Alex K - Oct 21, 2011 at 4:24 PM

      I hear people refer to him as a genius from time to time and I don’t understand why. What does he do that is so genius? Is it the constant pitching changes for no other reason than the platoon advantage? Is it all the double switches?

      I’m not being snarky….I’m very curious. Why is TLR called a “baseball genius”?

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 21, 2011 at 4:44 PM

        I think genius is a little over the top. I would say…”good baseball man.”
        Has baseball accumen if you will. It is the little things that most people pick up on…and have no problems acknowledging. Like delaying his starter earlier in the year due to the threat of rain against the Redlegs and making Dusty look like an idiot. Pitching Scrabble in game #1 with Murphy on deck (and knowing Washington’s hand would be forced because he would have to leave his best PH’ers…ALL Lefties in the dugout). Little things.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 21, 2011 at 4:49 PM

        And just for the record…I read your response in the post above and I agree.
        In a nutshell…for me it is all about balance. Again…if you are going to continually get on a guys ass for every little thing (and in my mind maybe even fabricate some things)…then you better be prepared to give accolades where it is deserved. Otherwise, it falls on deaf ears and you lose all credibility. .

      • Alex K - Oct 21, 2011 at 4:58 PM

        If you agree why do you have a problem with people criticizing TLR for bad decisions that work out? I’m not going to give him credit for a sac bunt with the #2 hitter if Pujols is on deck. Even if Pujols singles him in.

  21. stlouis1baseball - Oct 21, 2011 at 5:24 PM

    I am not sure I am following. If people criticize TLR what they “perceive” to be bad decisions and those decisions work out I find that funny. Hilarious in fact as it gives me ammunition. J.J. (or whomevever is in the 2 hole) rarely bunts for purposes of sacrificing. If so…that opens up 1st base and they pitch around or IBB A.P. This makes no sense. Cause’ again…all it does is open up 1st base for A.P. to be pitched around or get an I.B.B. Look…please know TLR drives me absolutely crazy at times…and Yes…HELL Yes…he tends to over think things at times. I also don’t like it when Freese or Berkman’s spot comes up late in the game and they are in the dugout for defensive purposes. However, I would NOT trade TLR for any Manager in MLB (you can take your pick). Again…my point is…you have to have balance. If you are going to continually bust a guys balls at the drop of a hat then you better be prepared to dish out the praise when it’s due. Otherwise, the continual bitching falls on deaf ears and you lose all credibility. This is what I call “having your cake and eating it too.” You want it both ways…it’s the easy way out. You can’t lose. Kind of pansified if you ask me.

  22. readhed - Oct 21, 2011 at 5:40 PM

    Paper – which other manager in baseball would you rather have managing the Cardinals? Ron Washington is the only other one who got to the big series, and he’s a little busy right now. I guess according to your logic when Tony loses a game it’s not his fault because the players played poorly, right? Your “logic” just makes no sense.

    • paperlions - Oct 21, 2011 at 6:21 PM

      That isn’t my logic at all. The manager’s job is to put players in situations to succeed. For the most part, that means playing the best players as much as possible and leaving it to them. For the most part, any interference on the part of the manager is likely to be a negative. Sacrifice bunts are nearly always a bad idea (except when 1 run is all you need to win), favoring matchups over skill is always a bad idea, defensive alignments designed to reduce one type of hit but that lead to more hits overall are bad ideas….those aspects of tinkering just impede the players ability to win a game. I would have been much happier with a loss that was 100% on the players (which is generally what happens), but last night’s loss was set in motion by horrible decisions by the manager (no doubles defense turning an easy out into a single, pulling Freese, pulling Motte, the sac bunt attempt in the bottom of the 9th instead of just letting a wild pitcher walk the guy – which may be all on Punto for not taking the pitches).

      Who would I prefer to have manage? Any guy that sets the lineup and then stays out of the way as much as possible. I would also love to have a manager that uses the right types of information to make his decisions and doesn’t have such a bad attitude toward learning anything new.

  23. readhed - Oct 21, 2011 at 5:46 PM

    Maybe genius is a little over the top, but he is constantly working to get the tiniest advantage. He has done some “crazy” things that other managers are doing routinely now. He has a great baseball mind that never stops cranking. I wonder if he can even turn it off after the WS. I read that Ron Washington doesn’t pay attention to stats. Maybe he’ll come out on top, who knows? I’ve listened to a show on Sunday mornings with him and the local KMOX sports guy. He answers fans questions carefully and completely. It’s obvious he loves to talk baseball with anybody. I love the guy and hope he stays in St. Louis until he retires.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 21, 2011 at 5:51 PM

      I am right there with you.

  24. artisan3m - Oct 21, 2011 at 7:27 PM

    I back Pujol’s decision to bail out, Hell, we already know how he feels about the botched play and don’t need some reporter to ask that question. I don’t think he should be crucified for a muff and I’m a died in the wool Ranger fan. My gripe is with the person directing camera shots. Can we please have the standard center field shot for pitch deliveries ~ framing the pitcher, batter and catcher? I don’t want to see a pitch from the dugout and most certainly not from the upper deck behind home plate. Its almost as though “we are paying these guys to be here; lets work ’em hard and get our money’s worth.”

  25. eagles512 - Oct 21, 2011 at 7:44 PM

    I hate the media but agree that was weak by Pujols. Not for the media, for his team.

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