La Russa On Duncan, McGwire, His Future

In the wake of his newly-signed contract to return as the Cardinals' manager, Tony La Russa met with the media to discuss his new contract and a few other outstanding coaching issues facing the Redbirds.  Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has some of the pertinent info…

  • La Russa said that pitching coach Dave Duncan wants a multi-year contract from the club.  A Cardinals official tells Goold that "the organization is not closed off to the possibility," which is an understatement given Duncan's wizardry at rebuilding pitchers.  Duncan leaving would be a big blow to St. Louis and would hurt their efforts to sign free agent starters, such as Jake Westbrook.
  • Mark McGwire will "definitely be offered a chance to come back" as the team's batting coach, La Russa said.  McGwire's hesitation over returning stems from not wanting to spend so much time away from his family.
  • Since La Russa's contract was a one-year deal with a mutual option for 2012, the manager was asked if there could be another "Tony Watch" next season.  La Russa sounded as if he's taking his baseball future on an annual basis and wouldn't be comfortable in agreeing to a long-term contract in case his desire wanes.  "You take every year like it's last year. That how you should manage," La Russa said.  "Day in, day out, working with the players, they either believe you or they don't. … If you give a manager a multi-year all you're doing is guaranteeing him some money. It doesn't have anything to do with how effective you are at doing your job."


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13 Comments on "La Russa On Duncan, McGwire, His Future"


Ferrariman
4 years 10 months ago

sign Duncan to a 20 year deal. he can probably still help pitchers recover when he doesn’t know what day of the week it is in 20 years, dude is that good.

chaifetz10
4 years 10 months ago

I agree. I would be completely happy with Duncan getting a 3 year deal…especially because he likes to work with young pitchers too. If memory serves me right, during the Mark Mulder trade Duncan pushed hard to keep Haren from being dealt. He needs to stay around to get Miller and more young arms ready for when Carpenter retires and Lohse/Westbrook are no longer with the team (aka a few years down the line).

Ferrariman
4 years 10 months ago

i don’t think its fair to say he is any better with young talent as he is with any other talent. He couldn’t connect with Chris Perez or Anthony Reyes but has with other young’ins of recent memory.

chaifetz10
4 years 10 months ago

Oh I’m not saying he is BETTER with young talent, just that he does have an impact when he gets to work with them on a consistent basis (aka Garcia) and he has an eye on what young pitchers will stick and who is better suited in the pen.

The_BiRDS
4 years 10 months ago

Im sure he hits better than his son.

start_wearing_purple
4 years 10 months ago

Dear Dave Duncan,

Please consider signing with Boston if Farrell leaves. I’d personally go around Boston taking up a collection to make sure your bonus is greater than your yearly salary.

Your friend,
Start Wearing Purple

untdrum99
4 years 10 months ago

What is McGwire thinking? He took the job and may walk away after one season because he doesn’t want to spend as much time away from his family? This isn’t his first year in professional baseball; he knew the time commitment that goes with the job. If he really wanted to help the Cardinals, I don’t think taking the job for a season and then walking away would ever be helping the team. Continuity in coaching staff helps build a team, not another selfish move by Big Mac.

STL_Bulldog
4 years 10 months ago

Its not fair to call him selfish for wanting to help raise his family. Keep in mind that his wife gave birth to TRIPLETS during the season. Raising three toddlers is a tremendous responsibility, further complicated when the husband is gone for most of the year.

It’s impossible to know whether he knew his wife was pregnant with triplets before agreeing to be the hitting coach. If he did, then that’s a pretty short-sighted move. If I had to guess, though, I’d say he didn’t know and found out sometime during the contract.

If anything, leaving the team (which obviously meant a lot to him considering all the he put up with in the media, etc) to be with his three newborn children and wife is a very selfless act. If I were in his shoes It wouldn’t even be a tough decision – baseball be damned.

$1742854
4 years 10 months ago

Birth to triplets? Wouldn’t be suprised if his wife took drugs too…

Hermie13
4 years 10 months ago

Or McGuire just now has super sperm

untdrum99
4 years 10 months ago

She did used to work as a pharmaceutical sale rep

untdrum99
4 years 10 months ago

I agree with you that there’s nothing wrong with choosing family over your job, especially when you can afford it like McGwire can. I’m just saying that taking the job as a hitting coach has to be something long term. You’re doing the team a disservice by signing and only staying one season. There’s always a transition period with new coaches and it takes longer than a season for a coach’s impact to be seen. If you have doubts, then work as a consultant or advisor like many retired players do.

After doing a little research, here’s the timeline: McGwire was named the hitting coach by LaRussa at the end of October of 2009 and his wife gave birth to triplets on June 1, 2010 which is a little over 7 months apart. According to ESPN reports at the time, she gave birth 5 weeks premature, which would mean that it happened right around the time he signed. I won’t even go into the debate of fertility drugs or not. But if the triplets were planned, that’s pretty poor timing, but if they just happened then I can see how that would make for some difficult decisions on his future as a coach.

Hermie13
4 years 10 months ago

Don’t really get LaRussa’s comments on not signing a long-term deal.

Is he saying he doesn’t want to stay in St. Louis long-term?

Because there is nothing that stops a guy under a long-term contract from retiring whenever he darn well pleases. LaRussa could sign a 10 year extenstion, then retire after next year. He would just have to give up the money he would get.

Signing a long-term deal is only an issue if you’re unsure you want to be someplace in X amount of years versus another place. He’s going to get paid well no matter if he signs 1 year deals or a 3 year deal.