January 13, 2010
There is no way to get an exact count for all the "yeah Tony, suuurrrre" actions that have taken place ever since the Cardinals manager went on his "Mark McGwire is the greatest person in the history of planet Earth, but I honestly had no idea he was taking steroids" defense tour on Monday.
I would, however, conservatively place it around 29 million scoffs, smirks and eyerolls.
Also, it looks all of those doubting Thomases are making La Russa's chapped behind a little more crimson than usual. That's because a fed-up Genius dropped the f-bomb when a St. Louis radio station said it was getting a lot of texts and calls saying that La Russa had to have known.
"Well they can believe it or not. I don't really give a (naughty verb) to be honest. If they think that I'm lying, then they think I'm lying. I've tried to build my career on credibility and trust, that's what we do with our players. I'm telling you — we ran a clean program. That's the way it is. That's what I say, that's what I believe. If they believe differently, that's America, they can believe anything they want to."
Now, I'm not saying that La Russa definitely knew. Big league teams have trainers, doctors and nutritionists so that the managers can sit in their offices and dream up lineups and go over charts while arguing with the GM to get them players. To think that La Russa was even coming close to designing McGwire's workouts or fixing his "protein shakes" is absurd.
But to also think that La Russa was walking around the St. Louis and Oakland clubhouses with his fingers in his ears and a hat like Fat Albert's Dumb Donald also requires a huge leap in logic. Here's one of the smartest guys in the game of baseball, only he was completely stupid in just this one area? That's difficult for people to reconcile.
No one other La Russa and the Cardinals of that era will ever know the truth and I suppose that doubt can be classified under the collateral damage caused by the cheating. La Russa really has no choice than to not give a (bleep).
But there has to be better ways to express his supposed non-chalance, no?