A “feud” exists between former St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Ozzie Smith and Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa stemming from the latter’s platooning of the hall-of-famer and St. Louis icon with Royce Clayton in 1996. Starting last week, the “feud” has flared again as Smith let the world know he was happy with the decision, and LaRussa said he was.
Here’s baseball writer Dan O’Neill in a column entitled 10 years later, it’s time for Ozzie to get over it:
To be fair, Smith was responding to questions, not preaching from a pulpit. The interview had a lot of positive information about his work with the Hall of Fame. He said all the right things as he indicated the past was behind and he had moved on.
But then he didn’t move on. He had to pick at the scab one more time with comments about management. A guy who has been paid $2 million by the Cardinals for “personal services” over the past 10 years can’t find it in himself to embrace that same organization as long as La Russa is around. That is almost as petty as it is absurd.
A nice sentiment, to be sure, but the current “feud” is nothing more than a soap operaesque crashing chord provided by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Let’s look over what the Post-Dispatch has provided:
- Rare Bird Sighting: Ozzie Smith, the profile of Ozzie that started the story.
- Tony La Russa on Ozzie Smith: ‘He’s not welcome’, the rebuttal that fueled the fire.
- Ozzie-Tony rift: Sad, but understandable, a column by Jeff Gordon.
- Ozzie-Tony spat hurts Cards’ image, a column by Bryan Burwell.
- The aforementioned column by O’Neill.
- Letters to Gordo: The Ozzie-Tony Feud, a round-up of letters to columnist Jeff Gordon.
- Letter in Sound off, the “letters to the editor” portion of the sports page.
- Another appearance in Sound Off.
- A third appearance in Sound Off
- An online forum backing Ozzie Smith.
- An online forum backing Tony LaRussa.
- Rick Hummel’s Take, today, a week after the original Ozzie Smith profile that set it off.
The Post-Dispatch certainly can flex its floodus zonei muscles effectively for the most inconsequential topics. Although, honestly, I’d prefer the paper do it on a silly topic that will sell papers to the impassioned Cardinals fans than for something designed to make our lives better by enabling more governmental rule.