Why are Tony La Russa's Cardinals suddenly again paling in comparison to the NL Central's top dogs late in the season?
Maybe unreported health problems are to blame. La Russa reportedly had shingles this season and has been looking paler since last year. I hope he's all right. Privacy is a touchy thing for a public figure.
TLR's health could be the reason the Cards continue to fold late in campaigns. Maybe it's best for La Russa to walk away in silence and deal with the matter with his doctors, family and famous friends.
Whatever the reason, it's quite embarrassing. The fact is La Russa has had many embarrassing moments as manager of the Cardinals.
These are the 10 most memorable. Roll the slides, dear readers, if you dare.
La Russa blew through his lightning rod in the form of a rant against the local St. Louis media in the first week of the season. I repeat, the first week of the season.
The reporters were doing their jobs and questioning the lack of offensive production. I call it:
Wait...did he just say Colby Rasmus was going to hit well this season? Why, yes. Did I mention it was the first week of the season?
La Russa claims the Brewers cheat at home with, of all things...the lighting. The man who looked over the complaint was Joe Garagiola Jr. His father, left, is a native of the South Side who is much beloved in Greater St. Louis.
Garagiola Sr. has said in the past that he isn't down with the steroids in baseball bonanza. I wonder what he thinks about La Russa's hiring of Mark McGwire.
Don't worry, beloved readers—I'll ask him when I see him and bring the facts back to you live within list articles of illumination.
La Russa blamed Colby Rasmus' poor hitting later in the season on Colby not listening to coaches. The insinuation was that Rasmus was listening more to his father, Tony Rasmus, who is an outstanding hitting coach in his own right.
Colby broke some of Bo Jackson's hitting records as a prep star in Alabama on a team coached by Tony Rasmus. I detect a hint of jealousy from La Russa. My player hater alarm is singing like a high and hard one to the back of Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun.
Brawny Mark McGwire, left, is an admitted steroid user. That's old news, but it became bigger news since he's the current Cardinals batting coach.
Great move, TLR and John Mozeliak. Way to drag down the good name of the St. Louis Cardinals. It wouldn't matter to me if I wasn't born and raised in the city and concerned about the way beloved former and current Cardinals are being done in.
I refuse to let this happen, and you, my beloved, shouldn't. Where's Babe Ruth when we need him? I need "The Bambino" to ask McGwire: Why, why...why?
In the 2004 World Series, the Redbirds faced the hot Boston Red Sox, and they were promptly swept.
The American League had home-field advantage, having won the All-Star game that year, so Busch Memorial Stadium was where the "Curse of the Bambino" was buried.
Cardinals fans everywhere are proud, I'm sure.
La Russa went on a tirade against the fans in Milwaukee during the last road trip there. The sad thing is, the Cardinals actually won that particular game—Beanball War I with the Brewers.
During the interview in the bloody aftermath, La Russa labeled some of the people supporting the Brewers that night "idiots." He cleaned it up almost immediately, but the damage was done.
The Cards' reputation as whiners under TLR was forever sealed with confirmation that night in Miller Park. And La Russa supposedly gets into his opponents' heads.
Fans and reporters in attendance that night will probably always remember it and won't let Tony, or his Cardinals, forget.
Reporter: This is the second time in two seasons your team has lost first place in the second half of the season and proceeded to collapse. What happened?
La Russa: The lights in Milwaukee and the sunshine in Chicago.
La Russa: We haven't been lighting it up, and I don't know why.
Reporter: Do you blame Joe Garagiola for the lights in—
La Russa: You idiot reporters, not reporters, fans, I mean...you know what I mean. Does any fan at home think this is fair? I'm out of here. I need to light one up.
In this photo, the illuminated and distinguished-looking Smith proves that clothes don't make the man—some men make the clothes look better.
Class personified, Ozzie couldn't look more the part of a total opposite of the spectrum from La Russa. Way to go, Oz. The beloved former Cardinal hasn't been allowed near the team for most of the last 15 or 16 years, during TLR's often disrespectful tenure.
Considering his diss of the substantive Smith, it makes me wonder if La Russa is truly under the influence of some dangerous substance.
La Russa was arrested for a DUI in Jupiter, Florida during 2007's telling spring training.
The Cardinals haven't been the same since. In fact, they haven't won a postseason game since winning the 2006 World Series. Could La Russa be drunk off his own legendary success, or is some other former substance abuser to blame? That's rhetorical, but TLR does know former admitted abuser Glenn Beck.
I haven't heard Tony blame him for anything, but stay tuned. Next...
Yes, that Glenn Beck—the former Fox News talk show host.
The one known to make controversial statement after attempted ratings-grabbing controversial statement, ranging every topic from the president of the U.S.A. to Adolf Hitler.
La Russa and Pujols made headlines when they attended Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally on August 28, 2010 in Washington, D.C. The Cardinals were in town for a series against the Washington Nationals.
La Russa decided to attend after being told by Beck that the rally was not political in nature. Really, Tony? You fell for that pathetic excuse and took Albert with you?
Too bad you didn’t restore honor to the “Cardinals are whiners” theory floating around MLB these last few years.
This has been the honorable Lake Cruise reporting live. Catch me next time on Reasoning on the Mississippi River.
Contact Lake Cruise: Lakecruise@att.net