My LaRussa Story

Deadspin is running a comment-themed post on former Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa called Tony La Russa: Asshole Or Dipshit? Let’s Discuss! Clearly, they’ve drawn their own conclusion already.

For two years, I lived in the same building as Tony LaRussa (Dave Duncan, Reggie Walker, Larry Walker, and Tony Womack). The Chase Park Plaza is a lovely hotel in the Central West End that had a nice high rise apartment complex. The players lived in the apartments, which were affordable (I paid more to live in an Alexandria basement) and the coaches lived in the hotel.

Tony LaRussa was not the kind of guy who spent a lot of time in the public places at the Chase. I saw him on a handful of occasions, and he always stopped if somebody asked him for an autograph.

The other Cardinals were very polite as well, and in summer of 2004 I closed the bar with Larry Walker and his wife. Larry has a hilarious comedy bit on being a Canadian in the MLB. My next door neighbor was Reggie Sanders, though I rarely saw him, he was a gentleman.

Here’s the LaRussa story. The Chase had 3 restaurants, the Tenderloin Room (highly recommend), Cafe Eau, and Eau Bistro. I was pals with the Bistro’s manager, Sara.

I went over for a drink with a friend one night and she said (paraphrasing):

Jim, you’ll never guess what happened to me in the parking garage. I was walking from my car into the building, and there was a sports car blasting rock music. I stopped, and the music stopped and Tony LaRussa walked out.

He looked at me strangely, and said:

“What, you don’t like YES?”

Sara replied that she did. He nodded, and she walked on to work.

Draw whatever conclusion you want, but in my experience, Tony LaRussa is neither an asshole or a dipshit. He’s a stand up guy.

As a child, my girlfriend wrote him a fan letter. She made suggestions on how to improve the team, and he responded with a detailed handwritten note that she treasures to this day. 

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One Thought on “My LaRussa Story

  1. Tony LaRussa > Scar

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