La Russa takes full blame for bullpen phone mix-up
St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa watches practice for Game 1 of baseball's World Series against the Texas Rangers Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2011, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) By Eric Gay
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Manager Tony La Russa is taking full responsibility for the bullpen phone mix-up that dearly cost the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series.
La Russa says it was entirely his fault that closer Jason Motte wasn't warming up in the eighth inning Monday night in Texas. The Rangers scored twice for a 4-2 win and took a 3-2 edge in the Series.
The teams were off on Tuesday. During an interview session at Busch Stadium, La Russa said he twice called to get Motte ready. La Russa says the first time, he might have mentioned Motte after bullpen coach Derek Lilliquist had hung up the phone. The second time, La Russa says he wanted Motte, but Lilliquist instead heard the name of reliever Lance Lynn.
La Russa says the Cardinals don't double-check on names during those calls. La Russa says he's assured Lilliquist "10 times" the miscommunication was the manager's fault.