The Return

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The Return
While it's not official yet, it sounds like Tony La Russa will take the helm for the St. Louis Cardinals again next season.  The UCB has talked about this already as part of the roundtables that are going on right now (you can see the list over at the official site), but since Cardinal news is pretty scarce right now, it's worth discussing again.

I'm not really sure what I think of this move.  Earlier in the year, I was ready for TLR to pack it in. 16 years in one place is a long time, and maybe it was time to get some new ideas or approaches in here, since the team has been in a funk for large parts of the last four years.  This season's August collapse seemed to seal the deal.

That said, TLR is still fairly effective, at least most of the players like him, and he would have Dave Duncan coming back with him, which is definitely a selling point.  Besides the fact that you don't know if a new manager could have the respect or the ability to deal with this veteran clubhouse and the fact that Albert Pujols really likes Tony La Russa and you can talk yourself into acceptance of his return.

I really thought, though, that the longer this took to get a decision, the more likely it was that La Russa would just stay home.  As Bernie Miklasz's column this weekend noted, there's not a lot that has changed in St. Louis.  TLR knows who is going to be here, he knows what his relationship is with the owner and GM, he knows what goes into the job.  You'd have thought that he'd only needed this much time if he was trying to make peace with walking away.  Either that or, as some suggest, he's been asked to make some changes on the staff that he doesn't necessarily want to do.

It'll be interesting to see if the announcement comes today.  It sounds like, when it does some, it'll be by press release and not a press conference, so we may not get a lot of the answers we want until later on in the winter.

In other news, the telecasts on Fox Sports Midwest topped major league baseball in ratings this last season.  As you know, I got to see the work these guys put in on a regular basis and I have to say it is an honor well deserved.  I think St. Louis is a town that would have wonderful ratings if there was just one stationary camera at the park, because they love baseball, but FSMW puts on a presentation that's much more than that.

Speaking of FSMW, I have some questions in to Geoff about their dispute with DISH Network.  Hopefully I'll bring you the answers to those later this week.

Some special guests for the UCB Radio Hour this week.  In our regular slot on Wednesday night, we'll be talking to MLB.com beat writer (and a blogger in his own right) Matthew Leach, talking about the past season and the upcoming moves that will need to be made.  Matthew is always a great conversation, so you should definitely tune in for that one.

But before that, Tuesday afternoon we get another crack at Bill DeWitt III.  You may remember that he came on last year about this time and talked about various things.  Bill Ivie from i70baseball and I will talk to him about social media, the off-season plans, and anything else we can squeeze into 20 minutes.

Keep checking back this week as the Baseball Bloggers Alliance releases a couple more of their postseason awards.  I will be voting on the Walter Johnson (our Cy Young), so you'll see that ballot as well.
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