La Russa explains bullpen mix-up on The Late Show

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KMOV.com

Posted on November 1, 2011 at 8:36 AM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 1 at 9:27 PM

Transcript from the interview:
 
Letterman:  What was the deal with that? (referring to the bullpen mix-up) So, the deal was, you and the bullpen coach couldn't connect.  Was this Dave Duncan you were talking to?
 
La Russa: No, Dave Duncan is the pitching coach.  We have a bullpen coach.
 
Letterman: Ya, so, you couldn't hear what was going on.  Is that what it was?
 
La Russa: Well, you know, I made so many excuses to cover my butt at that time that I forget exactly which way-----
 
Letterman: (interrupting) Yeah, that's right.  (Pause) But, you don't have to worry about that now.
 
La Russa: No.
 
Letterman:  Boy, that would've followed you around for a long time if you had not won the series and then retire and then that's all people would've wanted to talk about.  But, really what happened?  Seriously...
 
La Russa: Well, it'll...believe me, it's such a juicy topic it'll forever be attached to me.
 
Letterman: But, was it just human error?
 
La Russa: No.  Here is the actual story, believe it or not.  Uh, Texas, as I found out later from a couple of writers...other teams have complained.  I've had other American League managers then call me.  The pitcher throws from this end and that's where the bullpen coach watches.  The phone is at the far end where the catcher is and there are fans all over the place.  So, lots of times you can't hear the phone ringing for a while, and when he hears it, "What is it?" and you try to...So, I actually said, "Get Rzepczynski up" and then and Motte E-Z.  Well, he never heard the Motte E-Z.  So, then when I'm...the guy...  We didn't get the double play ball and I looked down there to stall to get Motte and he wasn't throwing.  So, oh I gotta leave him in there.  So I called and said "Get Motte ready."  Put it down.  The guy hits a double.  The guy that would've pinched...you know, I should have brought Motte in before if I had done my job correctly.  Now I'm going to go out and say "ok, now I'm going to go get...."  And I walk out to the mound and I see Lance Lynn walking in.  I literally said, "What are you doing here, man?"
 
Letterman:  Are you surprised frequently by players checking into the game?  "Hey, I haven't seen you since spring training."
 
La Russa:  So, uh, I mean that's probably the most embarrassing moment.  It is the World Series, you know?
 
Letterman:  That's right.
 
La Russa:  Not only that, the guy that I had left Rzepczynski in to pitch, hit a double to win the game.  So, it was all bad, bad, bad and I thought 'wait a minute'...  This kid, Lynn, was only to be used in emergency because he had thrown 40 pitches on one day rest.  So, i walked back and said look, "if he hurts himself, I'll never forgive myself."  And, by that time, Motte was throwing.  So I said, uh, "M-O-T-T-E, MOTTE!"  I had Lynn walk, intentionally, the hitter he was facing and I made this very embarrassing walk back in and the Texas Ranger fans were really nice to me.
 
Letterman:  Yeah?
 
La Russa:  Yeah!
 

 

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