[Pictured, the Cardinals’ Tony LaRussa: “‘Jason,’ I says, “This is the business we have chosen.‘”]
It’s not a Cardinal season without a concussion, and thanks to Jason LaRue’s announced stay on the DL Friday, Tony LaRussa is that much close to a complete 2010. That’s usually a good sign LaRussa’s on his game, if not much comfort to his players long term careers. I don’t wish injuries on anyone, but LaRussa’s mix of calculator coaching and highly personal leadership more often than not put his teams in winning seasons and some brain rattling DL stays. For those of us on the CSTB Cardinal concussion watch, it’s been pretty quiet since 2008. Last year didn’t even have one and this year LaRue looks to be it. They’re a great a sign of just how wound-up LaRussa can get his players to the point where they’ll run headlong into a wall, Johnny Cueto’s spikes, or some other career-ending business for him.
While LaRue’s .196 on the season will be missed by the rest of the NL Central, the Cardinals will no doubt struggle on, as usual, in the mix for the play-offs. And I admit, after last night’s 6-3 sleepwalk loss to STL, and watching the Cubs lose Wednesday and Thursday in San Francisco this week, I wish they had some other that intensity. The Cubs fell behind and caught up several times at PacBell, but for everything the team actually has going for it talentwise, they look like they could care less. Watching Soriano knock powerful, loping line drives into the mitts of the Giants outfielders, you can see how little focus he has and how much talent and power there is when he does play all nine innings. Marlon Byrd and Starlin Castro and Tyler Colvin all showed up, but it’s hard to win fielding only a third or half your team.