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La Russa pal Bissinger rips Sweet Lou

One of the oddest and most famous of Twitter personalities aims a series of shots directly at the manager of the Chicago Cubs.

Buzz Bissinger (Getty Images)Perhaps no one has found the social phenomena of Twitter to be more exhilarating than best-selling author H.G. Bissinger III, known to the world as “Buzz.” Through his penning of wildly popular books including “Friday Night Lights” and the Tony La Russa and Cardinals-focused “Three Nights in August,” Bissinger’s reputation as a literary leader of his generation has long been cemented in place.

The friend and business partner of La Russa in Red Bird Cinema is a regular visitor in the manager’s office when the Cardinals visit Philadelphia. The group’s announced projects include a film adaptation of “Three Nights” with “Lights” star and long-time Cardinals fan Billy Bob Thornton producing.

Yet there is another, unflattering side of Buzz. In an infamous “Internet Media” episode of Bob Costas’ series “Costas Now” aired on HBO in April 2008, Bissinger went off on an embarrassing tirade perhaps directed as much as what Deadspin founder Will Leitch represents as at Leitch himself. The basis was the author’s extreme dislike of bloggers. Bissinger’s over-the-top actions drew widespread criticism and ridicule at the time.

Since first tasting the immediacy of instant messaging months ago, Bissinger has increased his outspokenness exponentially via that medium. As he tweeted Monday,

“Even if some of you think I am a vicious little profane prick, which I am and am not…”

The author has taken a particular and most odd liking to the catch phrase “douche juice,” which he fires at the drop of a hat. It doesn’t end there as “F” bombs and worse are a regular part of Buzz’ Twitter shock-shtick.

On Monday, one of the targets of his Buzz bombs was Chicago Cubs manager Lou Piniella, a friend of La Russa back to their youth in Tampa, Florida. Apparently, Bissinger is not in the process of negotiating the rights to ink “Three Nights in Chicago.”

In the first related tweet, Bissinger suggested Piniella has not been worth his pay with the Cubs.

“I am surprised nobody came up with Pinella in who is stealing money. Spent week with Cubs 1st season. Kept getting lost on way to clubhouse,” Buzz tweeted.

Just in case there was any doubt about what he was saying, Bissinger followed with this 140-character analysis.

“Piniella could have cared less. Spoke tough. All bark. La Russa gets to ballpark seven hours before game. Lou five minutes before BP.”

The Monday night trilogy was completed with this observation.

“Piniella was a big name. They thought it was a coup talking him out of retirement. But he was coasting on reputation. Obvious.”

Update: Tweets number four and five appeared shortly afterward.

Piniella might as well sit on top of the dugout in a rocking chair. Swig a beer. Get some bennies. Ignore that Wrigley is a dump.”

And then this:

Lenny Dykstra would do better job managing cubs than Piniella. At least he would not pretend to manage. Lou should be playing LF for Pirates.”

Bissinger’s criticism apparently has no bounds, as he even questions his buddy La Russa.

McGwire was a terrible mistake La Russa made. He is not a good hitting coach…”

It appears that Bissinger is not taking himself too seriously and doesn’t seem to care what he says about anyone to everyone. His online tough-guy persona reminds me a bit of another author who was “Juiced” in his own way, Jose Canseco.

As the story of Mark McGwire’s return put him back in the spotlight briefly this past off-season, La Russa’s former pupil and McGwire’s “Bash Brother” posted a series of wildly profane tweets challenging and threatening those critical of him and his checkered past.

Odd internet bedfellows indeed.

If you dare, follow Bissinger’s tweets here (NSFW). He has over 6,500 followers.

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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