The St. Louis Cardinals dropped Game 5 of the World Series last night to the Texas Rangers, and one of the major storylines was Cardinals manager Tony La Russa’s inability to communicate with his team…literally. In a tight spot late in the game, La Russa had trouble using the phone in the dugout to communicate with the bullpen, leading to relief pitchers not being ready when they should have been and a pitcher coming to the mound who wasn’t supposed to pitch that night. It was the type of general chaos and confusion that would make George Will weep into his bowtie with the notion that the genius had lost his touch.
But it turns out that Monday night wasn’t the only recent mix-up for La Russa. A Sporting Nerds investigation has uncovered several recent incidents where the Cardinals skipper has had a hard time getting the recipient of his message to fully grasp what he is trying to say.
- Orders a large pepperoni and mushroom pizza from Imo’s. Winds up getting a pineapple and ground beef pizza instead, but doesn’t check until the delivery driver has taken off with his money (plus a $2 tip). Calls to complain but the restaurant is closed. Eats two slices before giving the rest of the pizza to Lance Berkman.
- Asks for a Diet Coke with Lemon while dining at Mike Shannon’s Steaks and Seafood. Waiter mishears order and brings him a double Jack and Coke. He drinks three before noticing the difference, and decides to sleep it off in the car. Later, he has trouble communicating this with the authorities.
- During an interview with St. Louis radio station KFNS, responds to a question with the answer “Pujols.” Static during the call leads to a misunderstanding and a record $125,000 fine levied against the station by the FCC.
- Calls 1-800-FLOWERS to order a dozen long-stemmed roses for his mother on her birthday. Worker at customer service center in India bungles order, instead sending 57 daffodils to a confused Rene Russo.
- Fields congratulatory phone call from President Obama after winning the NLCS. Short from champagne on the phone line causes call interference with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is on hold with the President. Tactical decision to invade Kyrgyzstan nearly made in the confusion.
- Tony La Russa explains last night’s bullpen insanity (hardballtalk.nbcsports.com)
- Report: La Russa’s Daughter Tweets About Ron Washington, Insists It Was A Joke (tracking.si.com)
- Tony La Russa cost his team Game 5 (hardballtalk.nbcsports.com)