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Message To Rolen: Roll Ya’ Ass Down The River

Posted by Ryne E. Hancock on December 6, 2007

Just when the Cardinal Nation thought that the rift between Scott Rolen and Tony LaRussa was nothing more than a fading memory, because it was brushed aside for the Cardinals’ improbable World Series win in 2006, think again.

The rift has taken on a new form of bickering, this time on the personal side of things.

Originally, the Rolen/LaRussa feud was regarding playing time during the 2006 playoffs. As most Cardinal fans know, Rolen missed much of 2005 with a shoulder injury due to a hard slide from Tony Womack, all after having the best season of his career.

So in order to keep Rolen healthy, LaRussa chose Scott Spiezio to fill in the void at third as a way to keep Rolen out of harm’s way.

From the standpoint of Rolen, who has thrilled fans in St. Louis with his hustle and defensive play since arriving from Philadelphia in 2002, it was more than just the injury issue.

It was something personal.

Since the 2006 postseason, Rolen and LaRussa have not spoken or, even better, brought up the situation from October of 2006– which brings us to what has recently gone on in this feud between Rolen and LaRussa.

According to reports from both the Belleville (Ill.) News-Democrat and St. Louis Post-Dispatch, LaRussa wants to keep Rolen around for the 2008 season and beyond.

But as LaRussa debated whether or not he wanted to return for the ’08 season, Rolen was doing everything in his power to run LaRussa out of town on a Metrolink rail — all as the lone voice against him returning.

And if you’ve followed Rolen’s career closely, you know for a fact that his desire to not play for Larry Bowa during his time in Philadelphia led him to returning home to Cardinal Nation five years ago.

As we come close to the end of the winter meetings in Nashville, only one team from published reports has an interest in Rolen, the Los Angeles Dodgers, a team that hasn’t had a solid everyday third baseman since Adrian Beltre bolted for Seattle. Should he decide to sign with the Dodgers, Rolen could find himself batting either fifth or sixth in a lineup with Russell Martin, Nomar Garciaparra, and Matt Kemp, and an early pick to win the National League West.

But if he stays in St. Louis, Cardinal management is going to have to deal with a million-dollar mope that is wanting to do nothing more than fly the coop and, judging from what has gone on with the organization for the last few years, Rolen’s not going away without a fight.

My advice?

If Rolen wants to bolt St. Louis, let him. Don’t get me wrong, he’s done a fine job of patrolling third base for the Cards, but he’s overstayed his welcome.

You wanted to leave Philly for a chance to return home and you got it.

In five years, you’ve been in two World Series and have a ring to show to your friends.

So what’s the problem, Scott?

Need a babysitter?

I’ll get a hold of my friend Nathalie.

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