Tony La Russa to overmanage his 5000th game tonight

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Ah, I kid La Russa, because he’s a kidder.  Wait, no he’s not. He’s one of the more humorless managers in recent history. Hmmm, how about I kid Tony La Russa because I’m just not that big a fan.

But even if I’m not a fan I do admire and respect his accomplishments, which will have him in Cooperstown someday.  It’s pretty astounding that he has lasted as long as he has with as much success as he has in a job that just seems designed to chew dudes up and spit them out.  Bobby Cox managed my favorite team and Joe Torre won more rings, but really, I think I’m more impressed with La Russa and his track record than I ever was with Cox or Torre.  La Russa has never wanted for talent or backing, but he never had the kind of luck , money or backing that Cox and Torre in Atlanta and New York, respectively.

Over at the Post-Dispatch today there is a nice story by Bryan Burwell about La Russa and his very long and very successful run in the majors. A good read about a guy who stands a great chance of being the last guy with this kind of staying power in Major League Baseball history.  Almost makes me want to go back up and change that cheapshot headline.

Almost.

Pirates activate Starling Marte

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Pirates outfielder Starling Marte is back in the lineup after the team reinstated him from the 10-day disabled list on Saturday. Marte served the bare minimum on the DL after making a rapid recovery from the right oblique strain that sidelined him several weeks ago.

Prior to landing on the disabled list, the 29-year-old outfielder was off to a strong start. He slashed a robust .308/.366/.503 with six home runs, 10 stolen bases and an .869 OPS in 175 plate appearances with the team. This is the first time he’s dealt with an oblique issue, and the first DL stint he’s served since he suffered a bout of back tightness in 2016. While he has yet to prove he can bounce back to his pre-injury production levels, his quick recovery bodes well for a successful return to major-league play.

In a corresponding move, outfielder Jose Osuna was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis. The move came as somewhat of a surprise, given that the Pirates elected to retain top prospect outfielder Austin Meadows rather than the more established Osuna. Meadows was recalled from Triple-A in the wake of Marte’s injury and has only played seven games at the major league level so far, but he’s already made a strong impression: he went 13-for-29 with three home runs, two stolen bases and five RBI since his call-up on May 18.