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View Full Version : Tony La Russa on Ozzie Smith: 'He's not welcome'


JimEdmonds15
05-22-2006, 02:01 AM
Rare Bird Sighting: Ozzie Smith
By Rick Hummel
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
05/21/2006

http://images.stltoday.com/stltoday/resources/ozzie290newbusch052106.jpg

In the 10 years since his retirement, Ozzie Smith has been only a distant Cardinal, and says he'll remain that way until team management changes.

Smith said he hadn't felt he belonged with the Cardinals since his last year with them coincided with manager Tony La Russa's first year as manager.

"I think everybody knows that I didn't fit in," Smith said. "And when you don't fit in . . . that's one of the reasons why I kind of backed off (of doing on-field work with the Cardinals). I won't do anything as long as the current management is in place."

[More in URL] (http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/sports/stories.nsf/cardinals/story/9694831BB7739860862571750009402F?OpenDocument)

Tony La Russa on Ozzie Smith: 'He's not welcome'
By Rick Hummel
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
05/21/2006

http://images.stltoday.com/stltoday/resources/larussastare155.jpg

Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, after reading a story in Sunday's Post-Dispatch that, in part, reiterated Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith's disinclination to participate in club-related field activities as long as La Russa was manager, said he had changed his mind about inviting Smith to spring-training camp as an instructor.

La Russa, before reading the text, had said he didn't think they would be going to dinner, given their past differences, but that Smith could be helpful if he wanted to join the other Hall of Famers who generally go to Jupiter, Fla., in the spring. Upon further review, there was a stark reversal of field Sunday by La Russa, who was not proffering an olive branch.

"Speaking personally, I don't think he would be good for our ballclub," said La Russa, who sought out the Post-Dispatch before the game. "For him to repeat those comments is really unreasonable. That invitation is no longer there.

"He's not welcome."

[More in URL] (http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/sports/stories.nsf/cardinals/story/EB238DB17CC0A0F186257176001A4DE7?OpenDocument)

What a damn joke this is becoming.. the two are acting like little kids.. Really sad... :angry:

FedEx227
05-22-2006, 03:20 AM
I'll have to side with Ozzie on this one, he's been (from what I've noticed) a class-act his entire career and continues to be a class-act.

However, La Russa seems to always have controversy follow him, I'm sorry but a man that has housed Mark McGwire, Jose Canseco and their insane body transformations and never once did a damn thing about it is a negative point for me.

SouthSide_HitMen
05-22-2006, 04:07 AM
I'll have to side with Ozzie on this one, he's been (from what I've noticed) a class-act his entire career and continues to be a class-act.

However, La Russa seems to always have controversy follow him, I'm sorry but a man that has housed Mark McGwire, Jose Canseco and their insane body transformations and never once did a damn thing about it is a negative point for me.

I also side with Smith. I never like LaRussa - Not with the White Sox, Not with Team Steroids in Oakland and not with the Cardinals (with McGwire in tow). He is overrated and can be an ******* at times.

I love Ozzie's take on the wildcard as well:

Smith, who played his whole career before the institution of the wild card, laments the hold that the battle for the wild-card berths late in the season has on the public at the expense of the actual pennant chases. He figures that people should be talking more about teams trying to finish first, rather than teams trying to finish second.

"That's bad," Smith said. "I understand it's progress and all that. But that's not baseball, as we knew it."

Then, referring to the commissioner's office, he said, "You have to be cognizant of that when you start making changes."

:thumbsup:

JimEdmonds15
05-22-2006, 12:10 PM
Yeah well I'm on nobody's side but if I were on one it would turn out to be Tony's.. He made the decision and Ozzie got hurt by it in 96.. if Ozzie is still po'd about that then my god... Tony has tried to let it go and patch things up, Ozzie's the one blowing it off still .. then Ozzie makes those comments he did.. of course Tony wasnt gonna let it go by..

My Actual Thoughts:
Ozzie: It's been 10 years, LET IT GO!
Tony: Tried to make peace with him, Ozzie didnt accept.. LET IT GO!!
Hummel: If that's all you can write about to try and stir stuff up again, maybe he should LET IT GO!!!

Palehose13
05-22-2006, 12:25 PM
So what is the actual story behind this? Is this like a Sox/Fisk or Sox/Thomas thing that Ozzie Smith wanted to stay and LaRussa decided that he wasn't a good fit for the team or something like that? What is the verbal assault history?

chaerulez
05-22-2006, 12:26 PM
La Russa is one of the best tactical managers in the game, but as a person I can't stand him. The guy is a defender of steroid abusers, treats the whole thing with a creepy and ignorant mob like attitude and just is an ass at times. He's one of those managers if you aren't one of "his guys" you get treated differently.

JimEdmonds15
05-22-2006, 12:28 PM
So what is the actual story behind this? Is this like a Sox/Fisk or Sox/Thomas thing that Ozzie Smith wanted to stay and LaRussa decided that he wasn't a good fit for the team or something like that? What is the verbal assault history?
Basically in '96, Ozzie didnt have a strong arm and the Cards acquired Royce Clayton.. Ozzie and Royce had a battle to see who would win the regular season SS job.. Despite Ozzie hitting a little better (he still didnt hit that great), Royce won the job and was basically the everyday starter.. Ozzie has been pissed off ever since, since it was his last year.. I guess the loyalty factor didnt come into this.. the Cardinals and Tony thought that Ozzie didnt have much anymore and he was hurt from that.. and is still hurt from that decision to this day..

Basically the gist of the story.. in the first link I provided.. there's sorta more on Clayton and Ozzie's battle.. so check that out to know a little more.

Palehose13
05-22-2006, 12:31 PM
Basically in '96, Ozzie didnt have a strong arm and the Cards acquired Royce Clayton.. Ozzie and Royce had a battle to see who would win the regular season SS job.. Despite Ozzie hitting a little better (he still didnt hit that great), Royce won the job and was basically the everyday starter.. Ozzie has been pissed off ever since, since it was his last year.. I guess the loyalty factor didnt come into this.. the Cardinals and Tony thought that Ozzie didnt have much anymore and he was hurt from that.. and is still hurt from that decision to this day..

Basically the gist of the story.. in the first link I provided.. there's sorta more on Clayton and Ozzie's battle.. so check that out to know a little more.

Ahhhhh...the ole' "Star doesn't know when it is over" syndrome. Well, if La Russa did in fact extend and olive branch in the past, then O.Smith is bieng a baby, IMO. Thank goodness our Ozzie just said what he had to (and he was cut) and then eventaully decided to come home.

FarWestChicago
05-22-2006, 12:48 PM
Basically in '96, Ozzie didnt have a strong arm and the Cards acquired Royce Clayton.. Ozzie and Royce had a battle to see who would win the regular season SS job.. Despite Ozzie hitting a little better (he still didnt hit that great), Royce won the job and was basically the everyday starter.. Ozzie has been pissed off ever since, since it was his last year.. I guess the loyalty factor didnt come into this.. the Cardinals and Tony thought that Ozzie didnt have much anymore and he was hurt from that.. and is still hurt from that decision to this day..

Basically the gist of the story.. in the first link I provided.. there's sorta more on Clayton and Ozzie's battle.. so check that out to know a little more.Hell, if I lost out to The Choice I would pissed for at least a decade, too. :redneck

:buddylee

I kicked Ozzie's ass!!

steveironcity
05-22-2006, 07:19 PM
I'll have to side with Ozzie on this one, he's been (from what I've noticed) a class-act his entire career and continues to be a class-act.

However, La Russa seems to always have controversy follow him, I'm sorry but a man that has housed Mark McGwire, Jose Canseco and their insane body transformations and never once did a damn thing about it is a negative point for me.

I side with Ozzie too. I havent liked Larussa since his unexplained feud with Lloyd Mcclendon. I believe the only reason that Jason Bay was the only NL all star to not play last year was to spite Mcclendon.

AZChiSoxFan
05-22-2006, 07:31 PM
I'll have to side with Ozzie on this one, he's been (from what I've noticed) a class-act his entire career and continues to be a class-act.

However, La Russa seems to always have controversy follow him, I'm sorry but a man that has housed Mark McGwire, Jose Canseco and their insane body transformations and never once did a damn thing about it is a negative point for me.

Ozzie's always been a class act? That's news to me. Like the time he said the only reason they lost the 1987 WS was due to the Twins turning on the A/C whenever they were up to bat during that series? I've always thought of the guy as a complainer and excuse maker. He's the primary reason why I hate the Cardinals, even to this day.

Tragg
05-23-2006, 01:44 AM
Basically in '96, Ozzie didnt have a strong arm and the Cards acquired Royce Clayton..
I can't imagine a greater indignity for a hall of fame baseball player.

mike squires
05-23-2006, 01:55 AM
Not a Tony fan either. Still got him to sign my seat back with those 83 players though. I'll make sure I have that 5 bucks ready for his animal fund in hand.

soxinem1
05-24-2006, 08:56 AM
I liked LaRussa as a manager, but I do agree that he seems to have his circle of players and coaches. He also has that 'my decision is golden' philosophy for years, and many players have left his teams really hating him. I know Fisk and Paciorek, among others, couldn't stand him with the Sox.

But in this instance, it's a tough call. Ozzie had lost a step, was already a non-regular the previous two years when Joe Torre managed the team, and was a non-factor with the bat because he couldn't run anymore. Clayton, at the time, was not a bad upgrade because he could run, had a good arm, and offered more at the plate than Ozzie did by far.

Tony has always valued offensive palyers over defensive ones, so in that manner he was consistent. He could have handled it a little cleaner, but Ozzie should have seen it coming. When Tony Gwynn was at the end, he had no illusions of playing everyday and finished up as a once-a-game pinch hitter.

Both of them should put their egos in the closet and move on.

PKalltheway
05-25-2006, 01:37 AM
I've learned to quit listening to whatever Tony LaRussa says a long time ago. Although the Cardinals have a good lineup and a decent pitching staff, everybody seems like they're under the impression that this team is invinicible and that LaRussa is the best manager EVER. I just wanna say something that most of the posters on here already know. The Cardinals are CHOKERS. MAJOR CHOKERS, much like most of the teams LaRussa has taken to the postseason. They made it to the 2004 World Series on life support, then they had the plug promptly removed by Boston. The following year, they lost to an inferior Houston ballclub in the NLCS. I don't think many people realize that LaRussa has lost 8 consecutive World Series games. Swept in '04 and swept in '90. Bobby Cox has also lost 8 straight World Series games, but I'll give him a little more credit since he has taken teams to the postseason the last three years that had no business being there. I'm not saying that the Braves aren't chokers, but you have to give them credit for being able to maintain a dynasty since 1991. That's hard to do PERIOD.