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Archive for Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tony La Russa owns up to costly phone flub

October 26, 2011

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— Manager Tony La Russa is taking full responsibility for the bullpen phone mix-up that dearly cost the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series.

La Russa says it was entirely his fault that closer Jason Motte wasn’t warming up in the eighth inning Monday night in Texas. The Rangers scored twice for a 4-2 win and took a 3-2 edge in the Series.

The teams were off Tuesday. During an interview session at Busch Stadium, La Russa said he twice called to get Motte ready. La Russa says the first time, he might have mentioned Motte after bullpen coach Derek Lilliquist had hung up the phone. The second time, La Russa says he wanted Motte, but Lilliquist instead heard the name of reliever Lance Lynn.

La Russa says the Cardinals don’t double-check on names during those calls. La Russa says he has assured Lilliquist “10 times” the miscommunication was the manager’s fault.

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