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Tony La Russa explains last night’s bullpen insanity

Oct 25, 2011, 10:30 AM EDT

I don’t know what really happened with Tony La Russa and the Cardinals’ bullpen last night. I suspect that La Russa made some mistakes or was slow to get to the phone or something because the explanation of a miscommunication on the bullpen phone is just really hard to understand. I’m not saying La Russa lied, just that the explanation as currently given raises some other questions that seem important to me.

But for now, it’s all we have. And here it is straight from the horse’s mouth:

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  1. frankvzappa - Oct 25, 2011 at 10:51 AM

    Now that you mention it, La Russa does have kind of a horseface.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 25, 2011 at 10:58 AM

      Yeah really. LOL! And what makes your post even funnier…you seem to be obvlious to Frank Zappa resembling Mr. Ed (while eating an appled through a mud rail fence).

      • nolanwiffle - Oct 25, 2011 at 11:11 AM

        And furthermore……Mr. Ed was eminently more talented than Frank Zappa.

      • frankvzappa - Oct 25, 2011 at 11:56 AM

        Oblivious? Nobody took more pride in being ugly and ugliness in general than Frank Zappa. And no one is more aware of this than myself.

        “I have an important message to deliver to all the cute people all over the world. If you’re out there and you’re cute, maybe you’re beautiful. I just want to tell you somethin’ — there’s more of us UGLY MOTHERFUCKERS than you are, hey-y, so watch out.” –Frank Zappa

      • frankvzappa - Oct 25, 2011 at 11:57 AM

        i dont feel sorry for people very often, but i feel sorry for nolanwiffle

      • nolanwiffle - Oct 25, 2011 at 2:25 PM

        Save your sorrow for someone who truly deserves it. I’m just a guy who doesn’t like Frank Zappa’s “music”.

  2. joshfrancis50 - Oct 25, 2011 at 11:01 AM

    I’m surprised LaRussa was so calm when the media, collectively, went *cough*bullsh*t*cough. I mean, that DID happen, right?

    • cur68 - Oct 25, 2011 at 11:17 AM

      Actually, I agree about that calmness. The interviewer in me also got all antsy when I say how he answered those questions. Why so calm Tony? Why so philosophical? There should be an element of outrage or frustration here.

      We can’t put much faith into visual cues from that snippet of tape, and the interviewers don’t follow up well enough, but at no point do you see LaRussa’s (who is I think, right handed) eyes shifting to our left when asked to recall what happened. Eye shifts to the viewer’s right, which is what LaRussa’s do, indicate memory. He’s, for the most part, telling what he remembers. The trouble is, under direct questioning, no eye shift at all, he looks focused directly on the questioner. Reinforcing a point just made with personality. You generally don’t do this with the truth. People telling the truth, who are perplexed about what the heck just happened, look all shifty eyed as they try to make sense of it all. People with a pre-fabricated reality are trying to reinforce something; they stare down the speaker, trying to use force of personal presence. The question now comes up; what’s he remembering? A recent conversation, where the events were spun to conform to some sort of blameless reality, or what really happened?

      Visual cueing isn’t foolproof, but it tends to be a good place to start when interviewing someone for truth vs untruth. You can tell right where you need to ask more questions. I think Tony still got some ‘splainin to do.

      • rollinghighwayblues - Oct 25, 2011 at 11:34 AM

        Hardball Talk, come for the baseball, stay for the polygraphic analysis. Thumbs up, cur.

      • cur68 - Oct 25, 2011 at 2:46 PM

        No worries rhb, but in reality I’m here for the boobz….

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 25, 2011 at 4:25 PM

        Yeah…I thought he did a great job of showing restraint as well Cur.

  3. metalhead65 - Oct 25, 2011 at 11:53 AM

    what a shocker, another cardnial loss and somebody other than larussa getting the blame. well at least he did try and blame the rangers for the mound and not being right ir the naseballs to slick or for the lights behing the plate being to distracting. no he decides to go with the dog ate my homework excuse and throw his bullpen coach under the bus.that is the nest you can come up with? we expect more from the genius of the whiney bitches.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 25, 2011 at 4:23 PM

      PlasticHead: Just the other day I was wondering where you have been. I haven’t seen your useless drivel on HBT in a couple of weeks. Strangely…the Cardinals have a couple of issues pop up in a game and low and behold…here you are! Hmmmm… Please do your homework prior to spouting off. Otherwise, your ignorance is illustrated (and confirmed) for all to see. TLR was actually making excuses for (and deflecting blame from) Lilliquist. So again…do your homework.
      Otherwise, not only will your ignorance show through you are going to look unprepared like those 2011 Redlegs. Have a good afternoon PlasticHead.

  4. dlevalley - Oct 25, 2011 at 1:51 PM

    I remember something my pops used to tell me:

    “Explanation is not the same as Justification.”

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 25, 2011 at 5:35 PM

      Oh I am with you (and your Father) 100% Valley. It is in NO WAY justified. As Cal Eldred said during the Cardinals Post Game last night…”these bullpen things sometimes happen during the regular season. But they should NEVER happen in a World Series.”

  5. bigleagues - Oct 25, 2011 at 3:28 PM

    Leo Mazzone was on the phone with Bob Leeon outside the lines and had a pretty excellent examples of how bullpen miscommunication is minimized.

    1) he made his bullpen coach repeat everything verbatim before hanging up.

    2) the bullpen coach had to stay right next to the phone. Bobby Cox had a rule that no players were to ever answer the phone, only the BP coach.

    Mazzone starts to answer a question Ley put to KERKshen, stops, then a moment later laughs out loud at a Tim KERKshen one-liner, that may or may not been an attempt at humor by TK, because you never can tell, then interrupts TK with exuberance to explain Bobby Cox didn’t allow players answer the BP phone.

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