TONY LARUSSA HATES SCOTT ROLEN
St. Louis Cardinals thirdbaseman Scott Rolen has been a hot trade topic during the winter meetings and I guess now we know why. Manager/light weight wine connoseiur Tony Larussa can't stand his guts. My first guess was it had something to do with Larussa demanding his star player to be his designated driver but there is much more to the story. Apparently Rolen isn't a team player and has no desire to play for the Cardinals or Larussa.
As for the rift with Rolen, La Russa said, "I can't remember ever being the combination of mystified and concerned as I am about this situation."
La Russa admitted hostilities began after Rolen expressed unhappiness over the way he was treated while suffering shoulder problems last year but indicated the veteran third-sacker was off-base.
"I think he has put some things in his mind, and I think he needs to understand that our Cardinals have given him a lot since he's gotten there. He's been given a contract, he's been given a couple of World Series, he's been given a world championship, been a part of it, and he's given back some. But he needs to give back more."
As for Rolen's desire to be traded, La Russa said, "The whole idea isn't to please Scott. It's to take care of the St. Louis Cardinals. I don't understand why he can be down on the Cardinals. I don't understand why he can be down on me, to be honest.
"The idea is to accommodate the St. Louis Cardinals, our team, our responsibility to our players and to the competition. So, no, I don't want to accomodate Scott.
"What I care about is that he re-establish his stature as a major league, productive star. He needs to understand that he has slipped. Not in his play, but just in the way he's perceived in being the Scott they knew for years. It's in his best interests, and I think that means a lot to him. He can play mad every day if he wants to. That's OK."
I think the moral of the story is for Larussa to start bumming rides from other people when he has a little too much to drink. No wonder the Cardinals have been talking to the Orioles about Miguel Tejada, another player whose performance is slipping with every missing B-12 supplement down the drain.