Former Cardinals manager Tony La Russa had his No. 10 retired in a ceremony prior to last night’s game against the Braves.
La Russa was joined by a select group of friends, former players and colleagues for the occasion, including Tom Seaver, Dennis Eckersley, Dave Stewart, Walt Jocketty and Joe Torre. He was awarded with a key to the city by Mayor Francis Slay during the ceremony and the team unveiled a decal with his likeness on the left center field wall.
La Russa is the 13th person to have his number retired by the Cardinals, joining Stan Musial, Ozzie Smith, Bob Gibson, Lou Brock, Red Schoendienst, Enos Slaughter, Dizzy Dean, Ken Boyer, Whitey Herzog, Auggie Busch, Bruce Sutter, Jack Buck, and Jackie Robinson.
In 16 seasons at the helm in St. Louis, La Russa compiled a 1,408-1,182 record and led the Cardinals to two World Series championships, three pennants, seven division titles and eight playoff appearances. He walked away last fall ranked third all-time in managerial wins (2,728) behind behind only Connie Mack and John McGraw.
Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.
On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.
Nick Groke of the Denver Post reports that the Rockies agreed to a $200 million, 30-year lease with the Metropolitan Baseball Stadium District, which is the state division that owns Coors Field. As part of the deal, the Rockies will lease and develop a plot of land south of the stadium, which will cost the team $125 million for 99 years.
As Groke points out, had the Rockies not reached a deal by Thursday, March 30, the lease would have rolled over for five more years.
Rockies owner Dick Monfort issued a statement, saying, “We are proud that Coors Field will continue to be a vital part of a vibrant city, drawing fans from near and far and making our Colorado residents proud.”
The Rockies moved into Coors Field in 1995. It is the National League’s third oldest stadium. In that span of time, the Rockies have made the playoffs three times, the last coming in 2009 when they lost in the NLDS to the Phillies. The Rockies were swept in the 2007 World Series by the Red Sox.