Tony La Russa Takes Responsibility For Bullpen Mistake

St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa on Wednesday took full responsibility for a bullpen mistake that likely caused the St. Louis Cardinals to fall behind 3-2 in World Series Play.

According to La Russa he called to the teams bullpen for closer Jason Motte on two occasions and apparently wires were mixed somewhere along the lines.

Apparently La Russa believes that bullpen coach Derek Lilliquist may have hung up the phone after which time La Russa asked for Motte to be ready, he then says that after calling back to the bullpen and asking for Motte his bullpen coach instead heard the name “Lance Lynn.”

In response to the mixup the second time around La Russa said:

“Hey, it’s my fault … Maybe I slurred it, whatever it is. It comes down to who has the responsibility when there’s those kinds of miscommunications.”

According to La Russa they don’t double-check names when calling to the bullpen, something they will likely do moving forward. La Russa says he told Lilliquist “10 times” that the mixup wasn’t his fault.

After the game La Russa said:

“The phones are preventable. It’s my fault for not handling it better and making sure. All I had to do was look in the bullpen — repeat — to make sure.”

While in most ballparks La Russa would have simply looked at his bullpen to realize the right guy wasn’t warming up he couldn’t do that in Rangers ballpark because you can’t see the visiting bull-pen from the third-base dugout.

Speaking about his teams bullpen disadvantage Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland (A friend of La Russa’s) noted:

“They need to put TV monitors in all the ballparks you can’t see,” while adding, “I guarantee you they’ll be a proposal made at the general managers’ meetings. That’s all that’s going to come from this. You live and learn.”

In the meantime perhaps a text message or carrier pigeon could be used to ensure visual confirmation from the bullpen.