Thursday, December 06, 2007

Tony LaRussa's statements concerning Scott Rolen completely went outside the line. LaRussa tries to make nice and state that he wants Rolen to be a star player again and the Cardinals need him. If you take those as sound bites, it sounds all nice and encouraging. Until you read the rest of his statements.

How would you as an employee feel if your boss said (not to you, but to the media reporting about your workplace), "If he works hard, and as well as he can, he can keep working. If he doesn't, he's not working for me." Obviously, you wouldn't take it very well.

To his credit, Rolen's response was, "These are matters I never discuss publicly and are matters that should have remained private." You think? LaRussa is using bully tactics here and it doesn't come across as very pretty.

Rolen is a true warrior of the sport. Of course he was angry when LaRussa pulled him from the lineup in the 2006 playoffs. As many managers and coaches have said before, Rolen wouldn't be worth very much if he wasn't upset at not playing. What LaRussa did in that series was his call as manager and no one can dispute that fact, not even Rolen. But why would other managers and coaches do that all the time and not create two year rifts like LaRussa has. The only answer is the kind of man LaRussa is.

The kind of statement LaRussa made today was uncalled for and totally unprofessional. He had to know that his words would not help the situation and one can only assume that they were meant to add salt into the already festering situation.

Being in management, I know that personality clashes happen from time to time. I also know that if I have a strained relationship with someone on my team, I do not add to the woes by calling that employee out in public. I work behind the scenes and in private to mend the relationship. Most of the time that's possible. Rarely it isn't. But even when it isn't, I still don't call that person out in public. It's just not the right thing to do.

LaRussa should have kept his mouth shut. His statements point to him as the lower person in this particular situation. Let's hope that Rolen does get traded and away from what is a bad situation. He deserves better.

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