Tony La Russa responds to criticism from Reds broadcaster Marty Brennaman

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Thinking the Reds-Cardinals rivalry could use some more juice? Me neither. But this will certainly kick things up a notch.

Reds broadcaster Marty Brennaman was highly critical of the Cardinals on Monday, one day after the Reds completed a three-game sweep of their division rivals. Among other things, Brennaman called Sunday’s starter Chris Carpenter a “whiner and excuse-maker” while describing Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan as “infantile” for yelling at Reds closer Francisco Cordero after he hit Albert Pujols with a pitch.

Cardinals manager Tony La Russa was away from the team during the series because a case of shingles, but told the Associated Press today that he didn’t appreciate Brennaman’s commentary.

“He earned the right to get into the Hall of Fame,” La Russa said. “And now he ought to keep earning that respect instead of abusing it.”

The Cardinals and Reds won’t meet again until until a three-game series beginning July 4 in St. Louis. Don’t worry, they’ll bring the fireworks.

Phillies, Red Sox interested in Carlos Santana

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The Phillies and Red Sox appear intent on pursuing free agent first baseman Carlos Santana, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports. Santana rejected a one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Indians on Thursday and is expected to draw widespread interest on the market this winter. The Mets, Mariners, Angels and Indians could make a play for the infielder, though no serious offers have been made this early in the offseason.

Santana, 31, is coming off of a seven-year track with the Indians. He batted .259/.363/.455 with 23 home runs and 3.0 fWAR last season, making 2017 the fourth-most valuable year of his career to date. Although he was primarily stationed at first base over the last year, he could step back into a hybrid first base/DH role with the Red Sox, who are hurting for infield depth with Hanley Ramirez still working his way back from shoulder surgery.

As for Santana’s other suitors, the Mariners are far less likely to pursue a deal after trading for Ryon Healy last Wednesday. Neither the Mets nor the Phillies have a DH spot to offer the veteran infielder, and the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins appears to be blocking the way at first base. Then again, Santana may not find a more enticing offer outside of Cleveland, where Edwin Encarnacion might otherwise be the club’s best option at first base. During the GM meetings, Indians’ GM Mike Chernoff said he “love to have both [Santana and Jay Bruce] back” in 2018, but hasn’t backed up that love with any contract talks just yet.