La Russa content watching Cards from stands
Former St. Louis skipper at AT&T Park for Game 1 of NLCS
SAN FRANCISCO -- Tony La Russa is one year removed from managing the St. Louis Cardinals, but that doesn't mean he's any less intense about the game. He's a consultant for Major League Baseball now, and in that capacity, the longtime skipper says he has to be neutral.But don't be fooled. La Russa still bleeds Cardinals red.
The team he led to an unlikely World Series victory in seven games over the Rangers in 2011 is battling against the odds again this season. The Cards lead the National League Championship Series after a 6-4 victory over the Giants in Game 1 on Sunday."I heard or saw a stat that 18 of the 25 guys were back from last year," La Russa told MLB.com on Sunday as he watched the game perched in a box high above home plate at AT&T Park. "They've got a bunch of gamers who are going to compete for every pitch until the end of the ninth inning every game they play. They're very, very tough." Last year, the Cardinals were 8 1/2 games behind NL Wild Card-leading Atlanta on Sept. 1, and they passed the Braves on the final day of the regular season. This year, St. Louis defeated Atlanta in the inaugural NL Wild Card game. Last year, the Cards were down to the last strike twice in Game 6 of the World Series against the Rangers, but came back to win that game and the Fall Classic. Just this past Friday night, they trailed the Nationals by two runs in the ninth inning of Game 5 and scored four times to win their NL Division Series. There seems to be no stopping them. "The thing about Game 6 of the World Series, there were probably 10 times that September against the Phillies and the Brewers that they had that situation," La Russa said. "And they never ever gave in. They never ever gave up. If you never give in, you never give up, sometimes you pull it off. They have no fear."
|"If you never give in, you never give up, sometimes you pull it off. They have no fear."|
|-- Tony La Russa|
|"I haven't forgotten how hard it is."|
|-- La Russa|
Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.