The Master Of Misdirection

No longer to be known as LaGenius, moving forward Tony will now be referred to as LaMagician. No matter which side of the LaRussa fence you sit one you have to admit he’s one crafty old dude. Maneuvering through a press conference with grace of an elephant yet somehow able to keep reporters’ questions and thought away from the real issue.

Slight of hand is a key element in any magic trick. A good magician will show his audience the elephant he is going to make disappear then distract them with excited movement and speech. In the end the elephant is gone but you don’t really know what happened. The crowd leaves one part amazed and another part confused.

Monday night’s press conference TLR put on his best David Copperfield. Making the elephant in the room (Cardinals 1-12 with RISP, 12 runners left on base and 2 runs scored despite being issue 9 BB’s) disappear, by focusing everyone’s attention on the fact that bullpen coach Derek Lilliquist cannot decipher between Motte, Rzepczynski and Lynn.

Simply check out Twitter, ESPN, Fox Sports, Facebook or any number of outlets and you’ll find that 98% of all conversation pertains to the ridiculous bullpen incident from game five and not the Cardinals lack of production and execution in the critical moments.

Like him or not, one of the main reasons guys state they like playing for TLR is he will defend them to the death and to his own fault. Monday night is a perfect example. NO ONE is talking about RISP fail, no all the talk is about how game five may have been the worst managed of Tony’s career. It is all about TLR fail.

In all reality we should be sitting around discussing why it took TLR four games to realize the 0-14 Jon Jay might need to sit. Or that Furcal and Holliday are a combined 6-38 with 7 strikeouts and no RBI through five games. The Cardinals are coming home for two games with a chance to win the World Series and no one seems alarmed that the best player of the last decade has hits in only one of five games.

The fact that St. Louis still has a shot with early World Series MVP favorite Allen Craig now 0-9 with five strikeouts since his home run in the 1st inning of game five. LaMagician has made it all seem to disappear with one swipe of his hands.

Hopefully his greatest magic trick still lies ahead. If Tony can somehow work his magic on the Cardinal hitters the way he did with the bullpen, turning them into the monster of October, we’ll be standing curbside as the parade heads down Market St.

If not…LaMagician better have one more trick up his sleeve. To convince the masses that blowing a 2-1 series lead of which the Cardinals were seemingly in command of from the opening pitch of game 1 never happened.

As always these are just my thoughts…keep on reading and you’ll get up to speed.

Derek is on Twitter @SportsbyWeeze and also writes for the Rams at

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