Remarks haunting La Russa

first_img The 37-year-old first baseman had shoulder surgery in May and has been limited to pinch-hitting duty throughout the playoffs. He was 1-for-3 heading into Monday’s game, with an RBI single against Atlanta. Bagwell still has trouble throwing, but he’s confident he could shoulder four or five at-bats per game in an extended series with Chicago. “No problem, no question about it,” Bagwell said, “but let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves.” Astros general manager Tim Purpura said Bagwell pushed to have his surgery as soon as possible to give himself a chance to make the postseason. “He could have put off surgery a month or two, but I think he put that carrot out there for himself,” Purpura said. “We went to him and told him he was going to be put on the postseason roster. I think he was kind of concerned. He didn’t assume anything. It just shows you what kind of guy he is, that just because he went through all of this, he wasn’t assuming his spot was solid.” Before going to the ballpark Monday, Astros manager Phil Garner spent part of his morning helping shop for a Halloween costume for his 2-year-old granddaughter: a bumble bee outfit. While his granddaughter often chants “Big-gi-o”, Garner insisted he wasn’t sure if the costume was a tribute to one of the Astros’ “Killer Bs” that include longtime fan favorites Craig Biggio, Jeff Bagwell and Lance Berkman. “I don’t know,” Biggio said. “It’s just cute. She’s too young to understand that.” Like last year, kids in his neighborhood cut out letters and spelled out “We Bee-Lieve” on his garage door. They also lined the street with Astros pennants. Cardinals reliever Al Reyes will undergo reconstructive elbow surgery today in St. Louis. Reyes, one of the team’s top setup men, was hurt on the final day of the regular season and this will be his second reconstruction on an elbow that was also repaired in 1995. Dr. Lewis Yocum, the Dodgers’ team physician, did the first surgery and Reyes wanted him to do it again. But Yocum was booked until Nov. 8, so Reyes opted for former Cardinals team physician Dr. George Paletta to start the clock ticking on a 9-to-10 month recovery schedule. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! HOUSTON — Critical remarks by Tony La Russa, directed at umpire Wally Bell, before Game 3 of the NL championship series may have come back to haunt the Cardinals manager. On Saturday, La Russa said he hoped that Roger Clemens wouldn’t get preferential treatment from Bell, who worked the plate in that game. The next day he made certain the media knew he had complimented Bell for an evenhanded effort. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week “When you go against a guy like Greg Maddux or a Roger Clemens, I don’t care if it’s a regular season game, is a guy with that kind of command and if he starts getting an edge he pushes and pushes it so it’s up to whoever the umpire is,” La Russa said. “So, I wasn’t calling out Wally Bell. “That’s why sometimes you think, well, maybe you’re better off not saying anything.” Still, before Game 5 La Russa seemed to be extending an olive branch. “A lot of the emotion they fire back at players is because of the scrutiny they get, and they’re just human, too,” La Russa said. “There’s replays all over the place. But they are held accountable for everything.” Jeff Bagwell is ready to be the Astros’ designated hitter in the World Series. center_img Then came his problems with Phil Cuzzi, the plate umpire on Sunday. Cuzzi ejected La Russa in the seventh inning of Game 4 and then tossed Jim Edmonds in the eighth, both for arguing pitch calls, after several innings of acrimony. La Russa now says his focus before Game 3 was on how a pitcher like Clemens, in some cases, can establish his own strike zone. last_img read more