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Tony LaRussa vs. Tom Lewand: Who Was More Drunk?

Now this is what I call fun.  Don’t take that the wrong way — there’s nothing fun or funny about driving a vehicle while under the influence.  But getting the opportunity to compare the DUI traffic stop videos of two prominent sports figures?  That’s a good time, so let’s get to it.  Today’s match-up features long-time St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, who was arrested for a DUI and struggled with the alphabet roughly three years ago, and Detroit Lions President Tom Lewand, who was arrested for a DUI last Friday.

Let’s see if you can help me figure out who was more drunk at the time of their arrest.  Let’s just say both men handle themselves differently while under the influence, which tends to be the case with a lot of people.  First, have a look at the Tony La Russa DUI traffic stop video, paying close attention to his attempts at reciting the alphabet and walking in a straight line:

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La Russa Gives Pass to Steroids Users

So would you call Tony La Russa an enabler? La Russa was the A’s manager back in their heyday when they had the Bash Brothers — McGwire and Jose Canseco. Doesn’t get much more roidier than that, unless you’re talking about the late 90s Rangers or something. Well Tony talked to the St. Louis Post Dispatch and passed along his thoughts on guys like McGwire, Clemens, and the looming speculation that both used performance-enhancing drugs:

La Russa maintained that both of them deserve a pass. “There’s a certain amount of credit that should be given to a guy who’s worked hours and hours to get stronger and bigger,” he said.

“Wait a minute, Tony. You still don’t believe McGwire used performance-enhancing drugs?”

“Absolutely not.”

“Come on.”

“Absolutely not,” he said. “If you see Mark today, he still looks like he did then.”

Yes, I agree that a lot of credit has to be given to guys who work their butts off and who care about getting better, but you don’t have to cheat to do so. Also, let’s not forget that these drugs are intended to make you recover quicker and workout longer and harder — they provide advantages. I’m guessing Tony just doesn’t care about that. He’s in a precarious position — he needs his players to perform otherwise he’s out of a job. And what’s he supposed to do if he sees his guys working out and working hard, tell them to take it easy? I’m not sure what the proper way is to handle the situation, but I do know one thing: Tony La Russa is the ultimate player’s manager. Look at it — he’s still backing Big Mac when nobody else is.

Tony La Russa Struggles With the Alphabet During DUI Arrest

We all know how volatile Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa can be at times. Usually he’s a pretty sharp fellow, on edge, defending his players and team. But when he was arrested for a DUI during spring training, he appeared completely helpless. Tony was hammered worse than a pledge at big sis night. Check out the following video of his DUI arrest that was recently released (around the one minute mark he struggles walking the line, then around the two minute mark is his attempt at the alphabet). Must see:

Now, as justice would have it, is a DUI bust in my future? Heck no. I’ll steer clear of that. At least if there is a bust, I’ll get the alphabet straight. Video via Ballhype.

No More Beer in the Clubhouse?

By now mostly everyone knows that Cardinals pitcher Josh Hancock was killed in a car crash, and that there’s heavy suspicion Hancock was driving drunk. I’ve already discussed several factors about the tie in between alcohol and baseball, for instance Tony La Russa’s Spring Training DUI, and the fact that the Cardinals home venue is named after Busch beers. Well in an effort to try and combat drunk-driving amongst players and staff members, Major League Baseball might be contemplating a ban on alcohol in clubhouses. It’s something the A’s did when pitcher Esteban Loaiza was arrested for drunk-driving, and it’s something to which Cubs manager Lou Piniella would not be opposed:

The Cubs don’t have any immediate plans to ban alcohol in the clubhouse, but if that’s what Major League Baseball or the club determines can help avoid tragedies such as the death of St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Josh Hancock, Cubs manager Lou Piniella said he would support it.

”I’m for what’s good for the player,” Piniella said Wednesday.

To tell you the truth, long gone are the days of players hanging out in the clubhouse after games, cracking open cold ones and enjoying a heater. From my one year of experience in a major league clubhouse, the players all get dressed, and get on out sooner rather than later. Meaning, even though most clubhouses are stocked with beer, there aren’t too many guys who are drinking them. But, in my eyes, it’s not the drinking that’s the problem — players should judge whether or not they can have a beer or two. To me the real problem is when people drive after drinking. That’s what must be stopped. I just don’t understand why people can’t call a cab or limo to drive them when they’re drunk. Doesn’t that seem to be the best solution?

(via Fark)

St. Louis Writer Said DUI Was Good for La Russa

Yes I realize that Tony La Russa’s DUI, mentioned in the previous post, is a month old, but now this issue is completely relevant. As my buddy Matt Watson pointed out to me, St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bill McClellan (pictured) wrote in March that a DUI could help Cardinals manager Tony La Russa’s image with the local fans.

So while everyone will agree that drinking and driving is a bad thing, this will, in a strange way, help his relationship with St. Louis.

I guess that was McClellan’s way of saying the DUI gave La Russa street cred. But correct me if I’m wrong — McClellan’s espousing a message that DUIs are OK. Are you saying anyone who read that would’ve taken back the sentiment that getting a DUI would endear them to the public? Maybe you should have thought twice before you wrote that McClellan. Seems to me like it’s about the worse way you could possibly spin a prominent figure getting busted for a serious offense. You should have been using your position to remind people what a poor choice that was by La Russa, and what the potential dangers and harms there are of driving drunk. Instead, you decided to point out that a DUI will help La Russa’s image. Given what has now transpired with the St. Louis ballclub, I hope you regret your words and will choose to pen your next column on the message of why drinking and driving is wrong.

Oh, and if you’re about to leave a comment defending La Russa’s DUI, or what McClellan wrote, then you clearly are missing the point.

Tony La Russa Does Not Like the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

As I alluded to in the previous post, Tony La Russa had a shouting match with St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bernie Miklasz on Friday after the Cardinals 5-3 loss to the Cubs (click here to listen). La Russa was upset over an article that ran earlier in the day on Friday, detailing in literally poetic form, why the Cubs would not break their curse.

We put a new twist on an old poem* to capture in verse why the Cubs will never break the curse … and list the reasons they are destined to not win a World Series.

These are the cruelest of echoing words:

No Tinker. No Evers. No chance.

Spend all they can, Cubs still chasing the ‘Birds.

Clearly La Russa was not happy about reading the article. It’s bad enough to deal with one of his own players giving the Cubs bulletin board material and more incentive to win. But it’s much worse when a local reporter does the trick. As a result, he boycotted questions from Post-Dispatch reporters both before and after the game until getting into an argument with Miklasz.

“That cheap shot against the Cubs, I don’t want to be a part of it, and I want them, I want everybody to know that the St. Louis Cardinals and their manager have an absolute disregard for that,” La Russa said.

“I know it’s the editor [who] makes those decisions,” La Russa said. “But I have a couple of ways [to protest], and the one way I’m going to do it is I’m not going to answer questions from the Post-Dispatch. If you disagree with that, write that you disagree with it. I don’t care. I really don’t. What I care is that I don’t put my stamp, any way shape or form, on the cheap shot like that at a Major League organization.”

I understand La Russa here, problem is, by not talking to the Post-Dispatch, it provides more fuel for their writers to tear apart the Cardinals in the paper. Probably not the wisest move by La Russa, but I understand why he’d be pissed about what was written.

Tony La Russa Boycots St Louis Post-Dispatch

Check out the exchange Cardinals Manager Tony La Russa had with St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bernie Miklasz following the Cardinals 5-3 loss to the Cubs on Friday. He had been boycotting questions from Post-Dispatch reporters because he was unhappy about an article that appeared in the paper on Friday morning detailing why the Cubs would not break the curse.

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