The next time someone pretends to be Tony La Russa on Twitter, he or she can tweet snarkily without fearing the Cardinals skipper will come from behind and start swinging a fungo bat.
Legally, that is.
La Russa's lawyers, reportedly, have dropped the suit against Twitter that said the company was allowing an anonymous person to "hijack La Russa's identity and damage his trademark."
"I would say that it looks like saner heads prevailed — I don't think this lawsuit should've been brought in the first place," said Corynne McSherry, a lawyer with the Electronic Frontier Foundation who has followed the case. "I think their legal claims were weak at best."
Earlier this season, a joker created an "@TonyLaRussa" account and tweeted what the real La Russa considered misleading and tasteless messages.
"Lost 2 out of 3," said an April 19 tweet, "but we made it out of Chicago without one drunk driving incident or dead pitcher" — references to the deaths of Darryl Kile and Josh Hancock, along with the DUI/sleepytime arrest of La Russa.
After Twitter reportedly disabled the account in June, La Russa told reporters, apparently incorrectly, that the suit had been settled. Twitter denied this, and said it planned to fight any legal action.
The tweets might have been out of bounds, but they and Twitter also enjoy a certain amount of legal protection because they are a parody. No one could reasonably believe La Russa himself would say these things — which is why he dropped the suit.
Enjoy your freedom, those who are about to mock.