Commentary: Duncan being optioned to Memphis does not mask LaRussa's off-base comments - KMOV.com

Commentary: Duncan being optioned to Memphis does not mask LaRussa's off-base comments

(KMOV) -- Chris Duncan has been mercifully optioned to Triple-A Memphis today, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. However, this move cannot mask comments Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa made to the newspaper yesterday.

"It makes me want to vomit."

That's how LaRussa said fans' recent booing of Chris Duncan makes him feel.

"I get so tired of the unfair treatment of Chris Duncan," LaRussa continued.

"These fans have a reputationthey deserve, but they have a couple of quirks. And he is one of them."

LaRussa must be joking.

Fans pay for the tickets, they pay the ridiculous service fees on these tickets, they suck down the $8 beers and $5 bottles of water, so is it such a surprise they get tired of watching a guaranteed out batting 5 th every night?

Duncan is in the middle of a 1-for-31 slump and is batting just .227.

I won't speculate if Duncan would get so much playing time if his father were not Cardinals pitching coach. The Cardinals certainly would not have made the playoffs and won the 2006 World Series without him - remember he hit 22 home runs that year in just 90 games.

And while most of Cardinal Nation grimaced as he ran around the outfield with the grace of a three-legged horse, he made most of the plays he was supposed to. His defense was not nearly as bad as it looked.

It's his bat that has been the problem.

After following up 2006 with 21 home runs in 127 games in 2007, Duncan's power has disappeared. He has 11 home runs in 163 games the past two seasons.

And it's not like he's been slapping hits all over like, say, Skip Schumaker. Duncan is batting just .237 over the last two years.

Clearly, this move has been a long time coming.

If LaRussa can't see how fans could possibly be tired of Duncan, then maybe the image he tries to convey - an ultra-intense baseball mastermind - needs an adjustment.

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