La Russa expected to return as manager

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According to a report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Tony La Russa is “speeding to a conclusion” regarding a decision whether to return as Cardinals manager.

“I’m coming to an understanding of what I’m doing and intend to get it settled one way or the other shortly.”

“I don’t want to make any statements about being close to coming back,”
deferred La Russa, who has steered eight teams to the postseason since
being named the only manager under the team’s current ownership. “You
either do (come back) or you don’t. I’ve been checking the fire in my
gut. It’s one way or the other.”

Though La Russa said he hasn’t yet
discussed a contract yet with team chairman Bill DeWitt Jr, a formal
announcement is expected this week. If La Russa decides to return for
2010, pitching coach Dave Duncan is also expected to be back. It would
be their 15th season with the organization.

Joe Girardi is not a fan of Game 162 scheduling

Joe Girardi
Getty Images

The Yankees fell behind early to the Orioles on Sunday afternoon, a day after dropping both ends of Saturday’s doubleheader. Their game, as did every other game on Sunday with the exception of the Braves-Cardinals doubleheader, started at 3:05 or 3:10 EDT, a change Major League Baseball recently made to create fairness on the final day of the season.

Girardi is not a fan. Per the Associated Press:

It was cloudy at Camden Yards at 3:05 p.m., but late-afternoon games often make it difficult for batters to see pitches.

Girardi said, “Here’s the thing that bothers me: If it’s a sunny day you’re playing in shadows.”

He added, “If it’s the most important game of the year to get in, I don’t think that’s right.”

Understanding the idea is for every team to play at the same time, Girardi said, “Then play all night games.”

One wonders if MLB had scheduled Sunday’s slate of games for the night, if Girardi would have instead complained about batters losing fly balls in the stadium lights. Furthermore, both teams have to play in the same conditions.

Video: Ichiro Suzuki pitches an inning for the Marlins

Ichiro Suzuki
AP Photo

Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki was given an opportunity to play a new position in Sunday’s series finale against the Phillies. After the Phillies rallied to take a 6-2 lead in the seventh, the Marlins let Suzuki take the hill in the eighth. And, in news that surprises no one, he was impressive.

Though Suzuki gave up a run on two hits, he flashed a fastball that hit the mid-80’s and a breaking ball with some bite.

Suzuki, who turns 42 years old later this month, is 65 hits of 3,000 in his major league career. The Marlins are interested in bringing him back in 2016.