John Hadley of the Big 550 calls me today from Nashville to let me hear Tony Larussa's latest remarks about Scott Rolen. The comment that jumps out is this--Larussa saying he no longer cares what Rolen thinks about him. He says Rolen is paid to play and if he plays hard, he'll play. If he doesn't, he'll sit and if he doesn't like it he can quit.
I have no idea who's right and who's wrong. Or if there is a right or wrong in this case. But Larussa is right about this--the Cards don't HAVE to accommodate Rolen by trading him. If the trade doesn't improve the team, forget it.
Rolen isn't the first guy to have issues with Tony. But what boss or CEO, or in this case manager, is universally liked and respected by his underlings? Doesn't work like that. I've always admired the way Rolen plays the game and his respect for the game. And I admire his willingness to play through injuries. Yet, he got hammered by some fans for that last season. Would you rather have a guy like J.D. Drew that yanks himself from the line up with minor bumps and bruises or do you want a guy that wants to justify his paycheck by playing through actual injuries? I'll take the latter over the former 100 times out of 100. Having said that, Rolen doesn't have a choice here. If he wants to make 12 million next season, he'll have to find a way to co-exist with the skipper.