Baseball: Rolemn tries to end feud with LaRussa
ST. LOUIS ó Scott Rolen tried to put an end to his feud with Tony La Russa, stopping by the Cardinals manager’s office Monday in his first trip back to Busch Stadium since his trade almost two seasons ago.
The Cincinnati Reds’ third baseman is out indefinitely with concussion-related symptoms after being beaned by the Cubs’ Jason Marquis, and is unlikely to play during a three-game series against the NL Central leaders.
He said he hadn’t spoken with La Russa since being sent to the Blue Jays for Troy Glaus in January 2008, a deal made when relations between the two soured after Rolen was benched during the 2006 postseason.
“Obviously, we didn’t get out on the best of terms,” Rolen said. “I popped into his office, went in to say hello. I figured that was probably the best way to get it done, to look somebody in the face, say hello.”
La Russa declined to address any lingering regrets he might have over the Rolen saga, brought on by a series of left shoulder injuries that robbed the slugger of his power and the clashing of a pair of stubborn personalities.
“What I really regret is he’s hurt right now,” La Russa said. “I don’t like that at all and I wish him health, and quickly.”
Reds manager Dusty Baker thought Rolen might have to go on the 15-day disabled list, but general manager Walt Jocketty said the team would be patient for now.
“He could be fine tomorrow or it could be a week or two, we don’t know,” Jocketty said. “Right now we’re not going to put him on the disabled list until we get a little more into it and see if there’s some improvement.”
Rolen said he doesn’t experience dizziness when he exercises, but instead feels like “I’m just in La-La Land out there.”
“I have headaches I can’t shake,” he said. “It would be easier to wear a cast or have something you could put your finger on.
“I just don’t feel right,” he added. “I try to make excuses, but the fact is I got hit in the head and I don’t feel right.”
Rolen was happy to be back in St. Louis, where he signed an eight-year, $90 million contract in 2003 and helped the Cardinals to consecutive 100-win seasons in ’04 and ’05 and a World Series title in 2006.
His family came in several days before the series to see old neighbors and friends.
“We won a World Championship here, there’s nothing but great memories,” Rolen said. “I wish I was able to compete and be out on the field.”
Rolen expected to finish his career in St. Louis when he signed the big deal.
“They say time heals all wounds, but at the same time things happen and you don’t rewrite those things,” Rolen said. “You either accept the way it went down and you accept the changes that were made for the better. Or you harbor negative feelings and have a tough time putting your head down at night.”
The 34-year-old Rolen is interested in winding things up in Cincinnati, which is about a 21/2-hour drive from his hometown of Jasper, Ind. Jocketty, who signed Rolen to the big deal when he was Cardinals GM, acquired him before the trade deadline to add a veteran presence.
“Well, I’ve played three games … so I don’t know what their hope is,” Rolen said. “I have a year and two months left on my contract, and I don’t know what’s going to happen after that.”