Jason LaRue Retires

It wasn't the way he wanted to go out, but Jason LaRue tells Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he has played his last game in the majors. LaRue suffered a severe concussion when he was kicked in the head by Johnny Cueto during the Cardinals/Reds brawl last month, and doesn't want to risk further head injuries by continuing his career.

"I'm done. It's a simple decision," LaRue said. "As a catcher you're so vulnerable to getting another (concussion). All it takes a foul ball to the head. Even as a backup that happened 3-5 times last year. It's not a question of if it would happen again, it's when. Nobody can guarantee anything. It'll probably be worse."

According to Strauss, friends of LaRue say the 36-year-old was considering taking legal action against Cueto for the on-field assault, but ultimately decided against it. Still, he's disappointed with the way his career had to end: "I was going to retire on my own terms…. Does it suck that my career is over because Johnny Cueto started kicking me in the head? Yes, it sucks."

Although he played in just 29 games this season, LaRue hit .231/.315/.396 in 3103 career plate appearances, spending time with the Reds, Royals, and Cardinals. According to Baseball-Reference, the backstop earned $19.44MM over the course of his 12-year career.


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197 Comments on "Jason LaRue Retires"


DetroitTigers24
4 years 10 months ago

The Cardinals would love to have Phillips. He would be your 3rd best hitter

$1639238
4 years 10 months ago

Colby Rasmus is still a Cardinal. Unless you’re insane and consider Phillips a better hitter than Rasmus.

timmytwoshoezzz
4 years 10 months ago

Too bad Carp started running his mouth at Dusty Baker, this whole thing was completely avoidable. Maybe Carp can go visit once the season ends. For the Cards, that will be right soon

thebeast39
4 years 10 months ago

So what’s this your first time in the playoffs since when?

thebeast39
4 years 10 months ago

And this is the first time you’ve been in the playoffs since when was it? I don’t even think I was born yet.

chezzie10
4 years 10 months ago

Yes, this may be the Reds first playoff appearence in 15 years but more importantly it is the first of many in the next decade, as for your cards I think this is the beginning of the end (if not the end) of your 00″s/LaRussa era dynasty.

dunnetg
4 years 10 months ago

I remember Jason LaRue in his years with the Reds. Specifically, I remember him leading the league in passed balls three times in four years. I’m not sure what the market is for 36 year old catchers with less than stellar defensive skills who also haven’t managed a .300 OBP in four years. Cueto could have kissed him on the cheek and I suspect LaRue might still be retiring.

4 years 10 months ago

With the way he fights (or kicks) he may like to kiss grown men on the cheek.

dunnetg
4 years 10 months ago

Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

/seinfeld

dunnetg
4 years 10 months ago

Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

/seinfeld

4 years 10 months ago

With the way he fights (or kicks) he may like to kiss grown men on the cheek.

4 years 10 months ago

I can’t believe people are chirping a guy who had his career ended by avoidable injury.

Even if he couldn’t have got another job, everyone has the right to retire with dignity instead of being forced to.

Ever had a concussion? The effects can stay with you for a LONG time. That’s something that affects your quality of life, not just your baseball career.

dunnetg
4 years 10 months ago

True or False: Larue could have avoided the injury by remaining in the dugout.

Fights are ugly, ugly business. Anyone who chooses to take part in one risks getting hurt.

4 years 10 months ago

false….when the benches clear in baseball, if you stay in the dugout you might as well kiss all respect your teammates had for you goodbye. If you knew baseball, you’d know that.

dunnetg
4 years 10 months ago

Kissing all respect your teammates had for you goodbye is not an injury.

Guest
4 years 10 months ago

Stay in the dugout – loser, won’t get a job.

Get outs of the dugout – career over.

That sucks!

Dave_Gershman
4 years 10 months ago

No one stays in the dugout in a bench clearing brawl…Would you have suggeste that during the Nyjer Morgan incident?

chucktb
4 years 10 months ago

A lot of Reds’ fans here excusing Johnny Cueto’s actions.

It’s too bad none of them attend Reds’ games or there’d be more than 17,000 watching a playoff team.

brstreet9
4 years 10 months ago

Either he goes out of the dugout with his teammates (and gets the unfortunate concussion), or he stays in the dugout and has to deal with his teammates (Carp, Waino, Pujols, Holliday, Franklin, etc.) potentially give him a concussion in the clubhouse. You don’t run out with the team, you WILL pay for it.

4 years 10 months ago

Larue doesn’t need to seek legal justice against Cueto, I have a feeling poetic justice will soon be served on Johnny boy. Karma’s a bitch

stl_cards16
4 years 10 months ago

Larue will be missed by the Cardinals. He would of easily found a 1 year deal as another backup. He is a great in the clubhouse, handles a pitching staff fairly well, and accepts being a backup and new his role on the team. Not something you find in a veteran that’s had big league success too often. He took joy in mentoring some of the young players. Good luck to you Jason!

stl_cards16
4 years 10 months ago

yeah, because being the 3rd best hitter on a team is something worth taking a d-bag like him for? No thanks

4 years 10 months ago

Anybody else smell a lost-wages lawsuit against Cueto, the Reds, Major League Baseball, and the Player’s Union?

dunnetg
4 years 10 months ago

Judge: “Mr. Larue, your tale is a tragic one. But before I award you millions of dollars in damages, let me ask you one question: how is it you that found yourself in position to get kicked in the head?”

Larue: “Well, your honor, I saw a fight going on involving my coworkers and, of my own free will, I decided to abandon my entirely safe location in the dugout and charge into the fight myself.

Judge: “Wait a minute. You saw the fight was occurring and you deliberately ran out to get involved? And it was only after you voluntarily took part in this fight that you were injured?”

Larue: “Yes, your honor.”

Judge: “Case dismissed.”

moonraker45
4 years 10 months ago

You really should learn the law before you make stupid claims and posts like the ones your making.Did he run out to fight or did he run out of the dug out to break things up? Did he throw the first punch or kick? these are the question that determine a case dismissed.Not oh you ran out of the dug out so you deserve it, thats complete idiocy.. that’s like saying you’re at a bar and try to break up a fight but someone breaks a beer bottle over your head and kicked you in the face, somehow you think being in a situation gives others the right to assault or use excessive force. you’re reasoning is incredibly flawed, simplistic and pre school. .. If you knew anything about baseball, scratch that, you clearly know nothing about baseball, and the legal system for that matter.

4 years 10 months ago

That’s not really the point. He did not say that Larue deserved it. What he suggested was that it would be hard to press liability charges against the league or players union given the nature of the situation.

dunnetg
4 years 10 months ago

This. Deserve’s got nothing to do with it.

Please Google ‘volenti non fit injuria.’ The assumption of risk in sports is a bit different than that in a typical workers’ comp situation, but (as many have reminded me) fights are a part of baseball and players are expected to participate in them regardless of circumstance.

Larue doesn’t have a case any more than Juan Encarnacion did for his career-ending injury; players assume risk, even when the charge into a baseball brawl.

I have to ask all the legal eagles and baseball experts with the quickdraw ad hominem: if Larue so clearly has a case, if Cueto has unquestionably cost him hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost income and phyiscal + emotional distress, where’s the lawsuit?

moonraker45
4 years 10 months ago

Wrong sport chump.. If its hockey or football and there is a play on the ice or field that results in a career ending injury, even if its dirty, then its a hard lawsuit.

But because in this situation it wasnt a baseball injury. He didn’t run over the catcher on a play at home, or slide cleats up in to second to break up a double play. . I really don’t get why you are so adament in arguing for this a) you’re completely wrong about all the legality and b) your treating someone who got kicked in the head resulting in a career ending injury as an assailant not a victim

dunnetg
4 years 10 months ago

After giving serious consideration to your reply, I’ve realized why we have a disconnect. Frankly, I can’t possibly be expected to agree with the opinion of anyone who would name himself after the absolute worst installment in the James Bond franchise. 22 films in the series and you went with Moonraker? Not only do I yield the discussion, I now have to lay low and hope that no one I respect saw me conversing with you.

Please consider renaming yourself Octopussy and we can continue to debate.

moonraker45
4 years 10 months ago

It’s actually travis snider’s nickname.. don’t you feel stupid

dunnetg
4 years 10 months ago

No.

moonraker45
4 years 10 months ago

well, you should.

dunnetg
4 years 10 months ago

No.

moonraker45
4 years 10 months ago

It’s actually travis snider’s nickname.. don’t you feel stupid

dunnetg
4 years 10 months ago

This. Deserve’s got nothing to do with it.

Please Google ‘volenti non fit injuria.’ The assumption of risk in sports is a bit different than that in a typical workers’ comp situation, but (as many have reminded me) fights are a part of baseball and players are expected to participate in them regardless of circumstance.

Larue doesn’t have a case any more than Juan Encarnacion did for his career-ending injury; players assume risk, even when the charge into a baseball brawl.

I have to ask all the legal eagles and baseball experts with the quickdraw ad hominem: if Larue so clearly has a case, if Cueto has unquestionably cost him hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost income and phyiscal + emotional distress, where’s the lawsuit?

moonraker45
4 years 10 months ago

wrong. like I said below. This was not a baseball injury, it was excessive force that resulted in a career ending injury. If he decided to move forward with charges he would win quite easily. Whether or not he wants to be the guy who sues is the bigger question.

birdmanta333
4 years 10 months ago

Hey mr. judge…….ever stop to think that Cueto could, and would be charged, with assault. He was wearing METAL SPIKES. In the fashion that they were used they would be considered a weapon. If Jason Larue wanted to pursue legal action, he would win.

$1961279
4 years 10 months ago

Cueto deserves a lifetime ban from the game…same as LaRue received from Cueto. You have to wonder if the family “emergency” he had to attend to was simply to hide his money…

4 years 10 months ago

He was in the DR because his uncle died.

start_wearing_purple
4 years 10 months ago

Even though it’s a serious comment it’s an awesome come back…

chucktb
4 years 10 months ago

I wonder if Cueto killed him!

dunnetg
4 years 10 months ago

Wrong, but funny. :)

4 years 10 months ago

LaRue’s declining talent is the reason he isn’t returning to baseball. I don’t think Cueto can be blamed for the fact he was a LaRussa pet project that won’t be employed next year.

brstreet9
4 years 10 months ago

We will never know if he was going to be re-signed for next year. He pretty much had that decided for him when “Bruce Lee” started kicking and connected with LaRue’s head.

4 years 10 months ago

You may never have known, but those of us that can fairly evaluate Major League talent know.

brstreet9
4 years 10 months ago

Which team are you a scout for?

4 years 10 months ago

Shhhh.

brstreet9
4 years 10 months ago

Which team are you a scout for?

4 years 10 months ago

Brandon Phillips is a douche because he said some choice (see also: true) words about the Cards that have been pent up for years? Carp and LaRussa have been whining for years about the Reds, accusing them of cheating many times when they’ve lost because they aren’t man enough to accept defeat. Kudos Brandon Phillips.

$1639238
4 years 10 months ago

Lame. Kudos for calling another team a bunch of “little bitches” to a reporter? I personally enjoy baseball when it doesn’t devolve into pickup basketball games.

4 years 10 months ago

Its not what you call players from another team, its trying to act like its no big deal and acting like “we’re pals” after calling them out… that’s what is lame

$1961279
4 years 10 months ago

thanks Brandon…then again hard to trust anyone who did what he did as being 100% honest. He has no morals, ethics or integrity.

tomymogo
4 years 10 months ago

If I’m Cueto I’d be feeling really bad right now…… I can understand that Cueto was in high alert situation, and both teams were on the field arguing but he should have use punches instead of kicking with cleats on, that’s just plain retarded. Worst case scenario happened.

Donskoy
4 years 10 months ago

If I remember right, Cueto was pinned against the backstop, you can’t exactly throw punches like that. Also, I’m pretty sure most people would flay their legs to try to get away, regardless of who was near and what he was wearing on his feet.

4 years 10 months ago

Yeah because when I flay my legs to get away they always go high enough to hit people’s heads on the other team.

chucktb
4 years 10 months ago

Carpenter, also, was pinned against the net (it’s not a metal backstop!) and he didn’t resort to kicking people in the face and chest. Do you remember that?

Branson17
4 years 10 months ago

Cueto was pinned against the backstop by his own players.

tomymogo
4 years 10 months ago

Cueto should pay Larue a million bucks, and an apology. He ruined the guy’s income for the next two years. And that wouldn’t be enough but at least it would be something.

4 years 10 months ago

It happened during a FIGHT. A fight that was started by one of LaRue’s teammates (Molina) and then escalated by another one (Carpenter). Let’s not paint LaRue like some sad victim here. He was getting involved in the fight as much as anyone.

4 years 10 months ago

Brandon Phillips started the fight. You don’t say what you say about an ENTIRE team then go to the plate and tap the catcher of that team on the shin guard like you guys are buddies.

chucktb
4 years 10 months ago

Boy, there sure are a lot of Reds’ fans that frequent this site. Don’t you guys ever go to the games? I guess if you did, you’d be able to support your playoff team with more than 17,000 fans.

4 years 10 months ago

You don’t have to be a fan of either team to know what started the fight. Its like me saying to you, “I hate everything about you and everything you stand for… give me $20″ and then punching you on the shoulder. What would your reaction be?

tomymogo
4 years 10 months ago

Brandon Phillips started the bad blood between the two teams. I understand they’re in a playoff hunt, but there is no good reason of why he should have said the things he said. And during the fight Cueto wasn’t the one being cornered, it was Carpenter who Cueto started kicking, Larue came in to stop Cueto and he got a cleat in his face……That are the facts, and I’m no Cardinals fan I’m a Braves fan who likes the Reds more than the Cardinals, and it’s clear that the Reds Cueto was a little girl who ruined a guy’s career.

motiger68
4 years 10 months ago

Excuse me but Brandon Phillips should have kept his mouth shut and just played ball. The incident of him tapping Molina should never have happened because of disliking the whole team and Molina was defending his teammates. I feel that MLB should have done more to remedy the situation.

4 years 10 months ago

The whole situation is bad, and if Cueto hasn’t apologized then I agree, he should. He shouldn’t have kicked at LaRue and the whole thing was a quick, thoughtless reaction from a person who got involved in a fight and was overwhelmed. But it’s not like he went into the game or even the fight with the intent of hurting anyone. Calling him unethical and immoral is an ignorant and childish thing to say. Bottom line: If LaRue didn’t want to get hurt, he shouldn’t have gotten involved in the brawl.

blh2010
4 years 10 months ago

that is laughable, the Cardinals wouldn’t touch him with a ten foot pole.

blh2010
4 years 10 months ago

that is bull and you know it. Phillips started this fiasco

blh2010
4 years 10 months ago

what a coincidence on the timing

blh2010
4 years 10 months ago

you know the same could be said about Dusty Baker and the Reds.

4 years 10 months ago

Just saw the video for the first time and it makes me sick. No excuse for kicking someone in the head in any sort of fight or brawl. I wish the worst upon Cueto.

4 years 10 months ago

What you wish(that is the worst for Cueto)has probably already come into fruition. Baseball is a very funny game sometimes, and it sometimes can be a bitch. You know what a bigger bitch is? Karma. I predict one of the worst outing baseball has ever seen in the postseason for Johnny Cueto.

@NED! NED! NED! NED!

4 years 10 months ago

But no ill will on the guy that rushed him, correct?

4 years 10 months ago

I’d say tackling, punching, slapping, noogies, etc. is admissible in this sort of brawl (not to condone unnecessary fighting like this, but it happens in every sport). Wildly kicking in the air with cleats on?

It is a joke that anyone is defending this behavior. There are no set of circumstances where it is alright to do what he did

4 years 10 months ago

Larue went in after him after cueto started kicking carp in the back so why would there be ill will towards him. Unless you are one of those dbags who wouldnt stand up for a guy then yeah i see your point

jayness28
4 years 10 months ago

Didnt Cincinnati just celebrate the cheat Pete Rose last week, thats a classy organization for America.

TheFenwayFaithful
4 years 10 months ago

heh. that was what i was getting at. there are plenty of other things to attack other teams for, but don’t be remedial enough to pick the biggest thing your team could be bashed for.

timmytwoshoezzz
4 years 10 months ago

Who’s the St. Louis hitting coach again?

InTheKZone
4 years 10 months ago

And that applies to the situation, how?

4 years 10 months ago

Pot, meet kettle.

Taskmaster75
4 years 10 months ago

Actually, what McGwire did was legal at the time. Don’t see how that has any bearing at all on the situation.

4 years 10 months ago

Off course you don’t drug enablers never do.

moonraker45
4 years 10 months ago

So is sports betting tips.

InTheKZone
4 years 10 months ago

What the hell does this happen to do with the situation at hand?