Highlights from the Tony La Russa roast

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Last month we learned that the St. Louis chapter of the BBWAA was going to have a roast of Tony La Russa.  Well, it happened last week, and FOXSportsMidwest.com has some of the highlights of it here.

The profanity is bleeped out, but it does get a tad blue.  There’s a good J.D. Drew joke by Steve Kline that was, sadly, kind of messed up in the delivery.  Kline makes up for it with a better Brendan Ryan joke that made me laugh.  Bobby Knight does a recurring telephone gag and talks about bird poop a great deal. Jim Leyland tells a story about he and is wife in bed in which he says “so I start feelin’ around a little bit and, lo and behold, my wife was kinda linin’ it!”  Probably didn’t need to hear that, but it led to a nice joke.

The highlight was the fake Harry Caray-fake Tony La Russa interview near the end.  It was supposed to take place in the early 80s. It is so shockingly true to life that I’m surprised that the real La Russa didn’t stand up and punch someone.

FOX Sports Midwest is going to air this Friday night at 8 p.m. central time if you’re in the neighborhood.

Cardinals extend José Martínez through 2020

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First baseman/outfielder José Martínez agreed to a two-year contract extension with the Cardinals on Saturday, per a team announcement. MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reports that Martínez will receive $3.25 million in the deal plus incentives if he earns a more stable place within the starting lineup.

Martínez, 30, played 887 games in the minors before making his major-league debut with the Cardinals at the tail end of the 2016 season. The veteran first baseman has been nothing but productive in the three years since his debut, however, and turned in a career-best performance in 2018 after slashing .305/.364/.457 with 17 home runs, an .821 OPS, and 2.3 fWAR through 590 plate appearances. While he brings some positional flexibility to the table, he’ll be forced to compete against Dexter Fowler and Tyler O'Neill for a full-time gig in right field this year, as Paul Goldschmidt currently has a lock on first base.

According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the extension wasn’t solely precipitated by Martínez’s productivity in the majors, but by a competing offer from an unnamed Japanese team over the offseason. Goold adds that Martínez would have earned “significantly more than he would in the majors” had the club sold his rights. In the end, they ultimately elected to ink him to a more lucrative deal themselves. He’ll be eligible for arbitration in 2020.