Tony La Russa vs. Ozzie Smith: Which St. Louis Cardinal Will Stand Down First?

Lake CruiseAnalyst IOctober 7, 2010

Ozzie Smith: The best fielding shortstop in baseball history - bar none.
Ozzie Smith: The best fielding shortstop in baseball history - bar none.Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

What does a baseball manager who starts off his career with a new organization by drawing the publicized rage of a legendary organization’s most prolific shortstop do to recover his image?

What does a future Hall of Fame baseball player near the end of his career do to recover his image after going through a messy divorce at home and a nasty public spat with the new manager?

That’s easy to answer: They keep the nasty public spat open for public review and journalistic investigation for the next 14 years and counting.

If I held a grudge against someone who I felt disrespected me back in 1996, over 14 years ago, then I would never talk to any of my family members again.

That’s immature and dysfunctional, but I witnessed other families operate like that.

How has holding this mutual hate for one another for so long made either Tony La Russa or Ozzie Smith look like mature grown men? It has not, and that is a St. Louis Cardinals sin.

The St. Louis Cardinals are one of the most storied franchises in all of sports, right up there with the New York Yankees. 

In fact, by defeating the Yankees in 1926, 1942, and 1964, the Cardinals own a 3-2 World Series advantage over the Yankees—the only team that can say that.


Here is a term I would like to introduce to some, if not to all, of my readers: “janky.”

Jankee as in New York Yankee, of course, but that is for one of my soon coming articles.

This slang term was made famous by Snoop Dogg’s "Got Beef" music video and by Ice Cube and Mike Epps in the movie Janky Promoters.

Now both La Russa and Ozzie “The Wizard” are the ones acting “hella janky.”  

Smith vowed that as long as La Russa was affiliated with the Cardinals, Ozzie would keep his distance from the organization, and La Russa blasted Ozzie by snatching the "visit my team whenever you want to" card.

Is it my job to pull the who is right, who is wrong card? Yes.

But in this case, I’m bigger than that. I wish both men would shake hands and come out fighting for the 11th World Series title in the organization’s history.

History has shown that this particular letting bygones be bygones scenario is very unlikely. 

That said, since La Russa is the one who is there at present, he has to be the man to stand down first. The Cardinals Nation deserves much, much better than this.