Video: Tony LaRussa endorses Arizona immigration effort

posted at 3:35 pm on June 30, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

It pains me as a Dodger fan to say this, but I may have to start rooting for the St, Louis Cardinals after this interview with manager Tony LaRussa. When local TV station KSDK asks LaRussa about a planned Tea Party demonstration at the ballpark last night, LaRussa offers the standard response that “this is America” and celebrates free speech. But then LaRussa goes a little further and actually talks about his support for Arizona’s new law, saying that the people in the state have the right to act if the federal government fails to do its job:

During an interview before tonight’s game against the Diamondbacks, he had little to say when asked about a contingency from the local Tea Party that planned to show its support for Arizona and its controversial new immigration law in the stands. In fact, he said he didn’t even know they were coming.

LaRussa did say he felt any kind of political demonstrations being made in the stands would be easy for his team to ignore.

He also voiced his support for Arizona’s new approach to immigration. “This is America. You are supposed to have opinions and disagree,” he said. “I’m actually a supporter of what Arizona is doing… you know if people don’t fix their problems they have to take care of it themselves.”

The team took a delightfully pro-business stance on the demonstration:

The Cardinals say they are “delighted” to welcome any group helping to surpass three million tickets sold at Busch Stadium.

I’m telling you, this attitude could make the Cardinals my second-favorite major league baseball team, at least. I wonder whether some Arizona fans might consider the Cardinals their most favorite team, since the Diamondbacks’ owner announced his “personal opposition” to SB1070.


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LaRussa, Joyce, and Galarraga — this trio might yet actually turn me into a baseball fan. I gave up on football and (ugh) basketball a long time ago.

gryphon202 on June 30, 2010 at 3:40 PM

While LaRussa isn’t perfect…this Cards fan has loved him for years. He ain’t afraid of voicing his opinion.

search4truth on June 30, 2010 at 3:41 PM

LaRussa has a law degree. So he knows Arizona is well within its right.

cubachi on June 30, 2010 at 3:41 PM

since the Diamondbacks’ owner announced his “personal opposition” to SB1070.

The owner may want to look for another city to sucker and state that cares. oops did I say that out loud.

upinak on June 30, 2010 at 3:41 PM

Home run!

Western_Civ on June 30, 2010 at 3:42 PM

I wonder whether some Arizona fans might consider the Cardinals their most favorite team, since the Diamondbacks’ owner announced his “personal opposition” to SB1070.

This one certainly will.

AZCoyote on June 30, 2010 at 3:42 PM

If you think it pains you as a Dodger fan to root for the Cards, it really pains me as a Brewers fan. That said, as long as the Brewers aren’t playing the Cards, GO BIRDS!

steveegg on June 30, 2010 at 3:42 PM

As a St. Louisan and a major Cards fan sometimes LaRussa drives me nuts, but I respect him as our manager after we won the ’06 World Series. Now I respect him even more. To be honest, however, I never would have expected something like that to come from his mouth. I always took him for a big lib, and maybe he is, but God bless our open-minded, bat-the-pitcher-eighth manager.

GrammarPolice on June 30, 2010 at 3:43 PM

Always been a Cards fan and I’m delighted to see this. In fact, I’m watching them right now attempt a sweep against…Arizona. Muahahahaha.

laurakbarr on June 30, 2010 at 3:44 PM

While LaRussa isn’t perfect…this Cards fan has loved him for years. He ain’t afraid of voicing his opinion.

search4truth on June 30, 2010 at 3:41 PM

And when he’s screwed up, he hasn’t been afraid to man up and admit it. More class in LaRussa’s pinky than Obama has in his entire cabinet.

gryphon202 on June 30, 2010 at 3:44 PM

Damn! And I hate the Cardinals! I blame Busch(ok, bad pun).

I’m glad to see some sanity in professional sports though. “Los Suns” were really p-ssing me off with their shenanigans. As much as I hate the Fakers, I think it’s karma that Phoenix didn’t win that series.

Doughboy on June 30, 2010 at 3:46 PM

I always took him for a big lib, and maybe he is, but God bless our open-minded, bat-the-pitcher-eighth manager.

GrammarPolice on June 30, 2010 at 3:43 PM

Sorry, GP…

Who cares? They’re paying for their tickets =/= liberal
When government can’t do it, the people have to fix it themselves =/= liberal
The tea partiers have a right to voice their opinions as long as they don’t disrupt the game, which is against the rules anyway =/= liberal

LaRussa might consider himself liberal. I dunno. But he just doesn’t sound very liberal to me. Your mileage may vary…

gryphon202 on June 30, 2010 at 3:47 PM

Good for you LaRussa! Thank you, many other American’s feel the same way.
L

letget on June 30, 2010 at 3:47 PM

Well, I did need a NL team to cheer for…

Vera on June 30, 2010 at 3:48 PM

Finally. Public figures with common sense.

tru2tx on June 30, 2010 at 3:49 PM

Love the St. Louis Cardinals!!!!!!

Vince on June 30, 2010 at 3:49 PM

LaRussa had to come back with support for the AZ law after he decided not to take sides on the Tea Party question… he’s never made a move without the double-switch.

/Phillies fan

mankai on June 30, 2010 at 3:51 PM

I’ve never been partial to any major league team…except, I must admit, when Boston won over the Yankees in the World Series, I did a lil cheer. lol

I do have to give HUGE kudos to LaRussa. I don’t know how the entire team feels about Arizona’s law, but I do stand behind Arizona, as does La Russa, and many others. It’s great to see him go public with it, and make that stand. As I’m sure there are others in the public eye, discouraged, or fearful to voice their true opinions, publicly…for fear of retribtution!

capejasmine on June 30, 2010 at 3:51 PM

what’s Curt Schilling think? He’s a Yankees fan….
/martina coakley or something…

ted c on June 30, 2010 at 3:51 PM

Phil Jackson of the Lakers echoed similar sentiments not too long ago. What does this show? Just some common sense. G-Bless both of you guys…

joejm65 on June 30, 2010 at 3:52 PM

I love my STL Cards…..and I’ve always liked Tony, now even more so!!!! Go Tony and, more importantly, GO PUJOLS AND THE CARDS!!!!

atlgal on June 30, 2010 at 3:53 PM

I think LaRussa actually read the bill…

Seven Percent Solution on June 30, 2010 at 3:53 PM

Manager of the Year.

Bruno Strozek on June 30, 2010 at 3:53 PM

Tony is certainly an open minded and interesting person. He’s a staunch vegan and animal rights activist, has his JD, is a borderline maniacal competitor and strategist, and now is apparently also a strong federalist. Some of his managerial tactics drive me crazy but I’ve always ultimately loved him as our manager and now I love him even more for his comments today.

sluhser589 on June 30, 2010 at 3:54 PM

I blame Busch(ok, bad pun).

Doughboy on June 30, 2010 at 3:46 PM

Oh, that was bad, bad, bad! :)

jwolf on June 30, 2010 at 3:56 PM

I do have to give HUGE kudos to LaRussa. I don’t know how the entire team feels about Arizona’s law, but I do stand behind Arizona, as does La Russa, and many others.

capejasmine on June 30, 2010 at 3:51 PM

The team didn’t do an on-screen TV interview, but they did put out a statement to the effect that anyone who buys a ticket is welcome to be in the stands. To me, that sounds pretty conciliatory towards Arizona.

gryphon202 on June 30, 2010 at 3:56 PM

The Cards have always had a national following since before the expansion of ball clubs to the west, Brooklyn Dodgers, NY Giants. They were the farthest team west and their flagship station, KMOX had 50,000 red hot watts of broadcast power and were also broadcast nationally quite a bit.

Vince on June 30, 2010 at 3:57 PM

Who cares? They’re paying for their tickets =/= liberal
When government can’t do it, the people have to fix it themselves =/= liberal
The tea partiers have a right to voice their opinions as long as they don’t disrupt the game, which is against the rules anyway =/= liberal

LaRussa might consider himself liberal. I dunno. But he just doesn’t sound very liberal to me. Your mileage may vary…

gryphon202 on June 30, 2010 at 3:47 PM

There are a lot of other things that suggest he is a lib (I.e. proud Californian, huge animal rights activist. Not that you have to be a lib to be these things, but it usually is a pretty good indicator.) That’s why I was so shocked to hear those words out of his mouth. It’s changed my impression of him for the better. Maybe LaRussa is evolving. ;)

GrammarPolice on June 30, 2010 at 3:58 PM

Maybe LaRussa is evolving. ;)

GrammarPolice on June 30, 2010 at 3:58 PM

Douglas V. Gibbs, Stephen Kruiser, and Andrew Brietbart are all proud conservative Californians. TWEAK TWEAK! ;)

gryphon202 on June 30, 2010 at 4:01 PM

I’ve always like Tony, he’s a class act going all the way back to his time with the A’s!

Liberty or Death on June 30, 2010 at 4:03 PM

FLASH:

LA DODGERS TO BOYCOTT ALL CARDINAL GAMES

angryed on June 30, 2010 at 4:08 PM

While I am a Reds fan living in St. Louis, I can respect LaRussa and applaud him for his common sense.

I don’t want his team to win the division, but still…

MobileVideoEngineer on June 30, 2010 at 4:09 PM

Way too logical for libtards to understand.

Mojave Mark on June 30, 2010 at 4:18 PM

While I am a Reds fan living in St. Louis, I can respect LaRussa and applaud him for his common sense.

I don’t want his team to win the division, but still…

MobileVideoEngineer on June 30, 2010 at 4:09 PM

You guys did get our former General Mgr. and our former 3rd baseman and without those, you would be nothin! Nothing I tell you!
What’s the over/under for the day the Reds collapse?

Vince on June 30, 2010 at 4:21 PM

FLASH:

LA DODGERS *FANS TO BOYCOTT ALL CARDINAL GAMES

angryed on June 30, 2010 at 4:08 PM

^ fixed…plus, no talk about TLR would be complete without this classic Dugout!

das411 on June 30, 2010 at 4:23 PM

Oh is he gunna wish he never opened his mouth…

Smiles on June 30, 2010 at 4:26 PM

As a White Sox fan I am a de facto Cardinals fan. Not because LaRussa used to coach the Sox but because I support any team that humiliates the Cubs.

Bill C on June 30, 2010 at 4:26 PM

Interesting, given that he lives in San Fran, is an animal rights activist, and a vegitarian.

scatbug on June 30, 2010 at 4:31 PM

Good for him. I still am not a Cardinals fan. Go Cubs

Nelsen on June 30, 2010 at 4:42 PM

Since when is someone who likes animals automatically a liberal?

angryed on June 30, 2010 at 4:51 PM

FWIW:

LaRussa is personally a vegetarian. I’ve also heard him say its a free country. If you want to eat meat, eat meat. His Animal Rescue Foundation seems to be geared to pets, not livestock.

As for his politics: I have never heard him talk about politics, but I’ve read he’s more conservative than some might think. I myself have no problem believing he’s quite conservative.

tgharris on June 30, 2010 at 4:52 PM

i rooted for the Lakers over my hometown Los Suns in the NBA playoffs…it was much easier than i thought it would be. every time they showed Robert Sarver, i got ticked off all over again.

as for the loser who runs the Dbacks, F him. he should stfu and run his business, not open his big fat trap and alienate a large portion of his customers.

i’m all for free speech, but if you are a high profile business owner, don’t let you boca write checks that your culo can’t cash.

DrW on June 30, 2010 at 4:59 PM

I wonder whether some Arizona fans might consider the Cardinals their most favorite team, since the Diamondbacks’ owner announced his “personal opposition” to SB1070.

I’m ashamed of our sports teams, but I’m excited about (most of) our politicians!
With most Americans I think it’s vice versa.

itsnotaboutme on June 30, 2010 at 5:00 PM

This Rockies fan thanks Tony LaRussa for standing up for Arizona. BTW, big thanks to Jan Brewer for making SB 1070 an argument of Arizona vs. Washington DC. The bill wouldn’t get nearly the support it would otherwise.

BradSchwartze on June 30, 2010 at 5:00 PM

Tommorrow is the big speech by the big liar everything will be fine after Pinnochio speechifies,
well, err, except
the stock market,
the war,
healthcare,
unemployment,
the debt,
the fact that theres’ no budget,
the oil spill,
the non cleanup of the oil spill,
illegals overtaking our lands and jobs and raping murdering and pillaging Americans,
but hey the government is growing the unions are being bailed out and the illegal immigrants have a place to go and a party to vote for, whats’ not to like!

dhunter on June 30, 2010 at 5:02 PM

As a ‘Stros fan.. I still hate the Cards.. but I’ll give Tony major kudos and some serious respect from me for going on TV and saying what he did.

DaSaintFan on June 30, 2010 at 5:06 PM

Way to man up, La Russa!

Being from the St. Louis area, my entire family are Cardinal fans. A couple weeks ago I went back to be with my mother who was in the last stages of COPD. Her last request, before the morphine got the best of her, was for me to turn the Cardinal game on. She died the next day.

Mom would have been proud of Tony today.

pugwriter on June 30, 2010 at 5:42 PM

I don’t want his team to win the division, but still…

MobileVideoEngineer on June 30, 2010 at 4:09 PM

Did you read that 3 Cards went out of their way to point out that Arthur Rhodes is deserving of an All Star game spot? I thought that was cool. I too am a Reds fan.

CWforFreedom on June 30, 2010 at 5:45 PM

capejasmine on June 30, 2010 at 3:51 PM

capejasmine – The Red Sox won the ALDS over the yankmes (the worst collapse in baseball history), then beat the cars in the WS in 2004.

From a Red Sox fan; ” Go Tony! “

EliTheBean on June 30, 2010 at 6:04 PM

We love our Cardinals.

Mom would have been proud of Tony today.
pugwriter on June 30, 2010 at 5:42 PM

God bless you & your mom.

labwriter on June 30, 2010 at 6:08 PM

Due to being born and raised in Ohio, I have always been a Cincinnati Reds fan. But I do respect and have always respected Tony La Russa.

Phil Byler on June 30, 2010 at 6:53 PM

I’m a die-hard Cubs fan but they majorly sux so…GO CARDS!

annoyinglittletwerp on June 30, 2010 at 7:28 PM

Good for him. I still am not a Cardinals fan. Go Cubs

Nelsen on June 30, 2010 at 4:42 PM

I was wearing a Cubs tee today and they STILL lost to bleepin’ Pittsburgh!
Grrrrr.

annoyinglittletwerp on June 30, 2010 at 7:31 PM

That’s my Cardinals Team Manager!

I always liked having LaRussa around. I only like him more now.

The Cardinals always have been and always will be my favorite MLB league team.

Chaz706 on June 30, 2010 at 7:33 PM

Wow, I’m a big Cards fan and I didn’t expect TLR to say something like that. Takes some of the sting of him bringing in Aaron Miles to hit with 2 out in the 9th today.

stldave on June 30, 2010 at 9:26 PM

Cardinals! Heck yeah!

Inanemergencydial on June 30, 2010 at 10:54 PM

This lifelong Cards fan is not the least bit surprised Tony said this. He’s not the lib people think he is. I recall a pic of him a few years ago meeting Pres. Bush at the St. Louis airport. He went out of his way to shake the president’s hand.

And for what it’s worth, the ownership of the Cards is conservative. Dewitt’s team lost the ’04 World Series but won the election, if you will, that year, a dual contest with Massachusetts (Red Sox, Kerry).

And heck, even if Tony is liberal, he’s right on this. Arizona has to do something to protect its citizens. This shouldn’t even be a conservative vs. liberal issue!

NebCon on June 30, 2010 at 11:19 PM

LaRussa/Christie ’12?

Vincenzo on July 1, 2010 at 12:16 AM

Back in the late ’30′s when I was too young to understand about leagues etc. I thought Babe Ruth was Cardinal and since then my heart pumps Cardinal red. Go El Birdos and Pujols is the new Babe Ruth!

Herb on July 1, 2010 at 10:17 AM

Just goes to show, never judge a book by the cover. I’ve been guilty of it, too, but I won’t be in the future. Nice job Tony!

pxystick on July 1, 2010 at 11:05 AM