Q & A with Tony La Russa

St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa was arrested around 2 a.m. March 22, 2007 for DUI during Spring Training in Florida. He was found asleep at the wheel of SUV. After conducting the routine sobrietytests, police arrested La Russa. On Nov. 28 La Russa plead guilty to the DUI charges.

This is a part of The Looper’s exclusive interview conducted later on the very same day as his arrest:

The Looper: Mr. LaRussa, what’s your profession?
La Russa: I’m in professional baseball.

The Looper: Of course you are. And how old are you?
La Russa: I’m a man! I’m 40!

The Looper: It says here that you were born in October of 1944. Wouldn’t that make you 62?
(No response. La Russa has briefly passed out in the interview chair, but soon returns to form.)

The Looper: You do realize that passing out during an interview about your DUI arrest isn’t really going to help your case, right?
La Russa: There’s a difference between passing out and falling asleep. I just fell asleep. That’s it. I’m tired; I’ve been up since 6:30 a.m.

The Looper: OK, I can understand. How does this whole DUI situation make you feel? What’s this going to mean for you down the road?
La Russa: How do I feel? I just told you I’m tired. I’m in professional baseball, it’s difficult being a manager. I fell asleep and it should stop there. Really though, I don’t see this going very far. What’d I blow? 1.9zfdk4k4bz, right? (Told the number is 0.093) Well, that’s barely over the legal limit anyway. Their case can’t be too strong. Go ‘Cards.

The Looper: That brings us to another point. Judging by the video presented to us by the Jupiter, Fla. Police your performance in the tests was rather, um, comical. Could you elaborate?
La Russa: People really like me. I am a funny guy. I’ve been known to tell a joke or two, but I’m also down to earth. I enjoy chit-chatting, watching reruns of Friends and Everybody Loves Raymond, helping my players through tough times, mini golf, pilates, walking my dogs, and the occasional glass of wine.

The Looper: Hmm, sounds like a profile on Match.com. Moving on. Let’s talk baseball. You mentioned that helping your players through tough times is something that you do. What sort of obstacles have you had to help your players overcome?
La Russa: Well, first you got Pujols being Pujols. The guy is never healthy. He’s always pulling this or twisting that, and it’s just unfortunate. Then, there’s David Eckstein’s ongoing crisis. No one can say the poor little guy’s name right! Oh the Kleenex boxes we’ve gone through … the boy is so mixed up about it, he cries –– hell, I cry –– we cry a lot.

The Looper: How touching. [La Russa breaks down.] How you doin? You alright?
La Russa: Good. Yeah. [Still sobbing. He gets up and stagger across the room, uncovering a near-empty bottle of cooking sherry. Falls face down into a sofa, begins to snore.]

The Looper: [Shakes La Russa, who wakes.] We found you asleep on the floor, in the middle of the room.
La Russa: I had two glasses of wine. I got up at 6 a.m. I’m tired.

The Looper: You know, sir, we have a test for that. If you could just … it’s going to be nine up, turn, and nine back … we’re merely concerned for your health …
La Russa: What are you getting at? What would be really high, for a number? What would get you really concerned?

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