Buzz Bissinger, author and friend of Tony La Russa, makes a series of comments critical of the St. Louis Cardinals organization.
I follow author Buzz Bissinger on Twitter for the same reason people slow down on the highway when there is an accident – morbid curiosity. For reasons only clear to him, the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer regularly goes off on series of profane 140-character tirades against seemingly anyone and everyone – from his wife to LeBron James to Alyssa Milano.
Among his Saturday morning’s barbs were ones targeted at the heart of the St. Louis Cardinals. Given the team’s recent poor play, Bissinger was hardly alone in his criticism. What makes this different is the source and the specificity.
In the past, the closest to home that Bissinger, a friend, collaborator and business partner with Tony La Russa had come to the manager was a series of shots directed at Lou Piniella prior to the Cubs skipper’s retirement announcement and some relatively mild criticism of the hiring of Mark McGwire as Cardinals hitting coach over the winter.
That changed on Saturday. Bissinger started off pretty tame, almost normal.
“I think Tony La Russa is great etc. etc. (save the jokes) but except for 3 games against Reds, they have played with no intensity all year.”
It didn’t take long for him to go off on one of his patented rants, however. Here are some of Bissinger’s subsequent Cardinals-focused tweets, unedited (NSFW). A few of the latter ones are in response to comments from others.
“Something in the Card organization is terribly wrong. Getting rid of Jockety stupidest move ever. Kept idiotfuck Luhnow instead.”
“Hiring McGwire terrible move even though batting coaches don’t do shit. Tony never should have done it. Been there too long? Silence……..”
“The Cardinals could win the WS (except Franklin sucks). Have the pitching. So why are they playing like they don’t give a shit…”
“Two weeks ago, everybody including me thought Cards had finally hit stride after sweeping Reds. Now nothing but excuses.”
“Obvious answer to Cardinal woes: Alyssa Milano takes over as manager. Pujols strikes out with bases loaded. Alyssa: ‘Yay! You tried Hard!’”
“Of course top heavy. But DeWitt is cheap. And if team collapses, Albert will leave. He should.”
“For all the stats in the world, if players don’t care, come into park distracted, defeatest (sic), then streaks are not accidental.”
In response to the Post-Dispatch’s Joe Strauss drawing more attention to his tweets, Bissinger replied.
“You watch them play every day. I don’t. You explain what the fuck is happening….”
Is Bissinger speaking for himself, or also sharing the thinking of the manager, who is not under contract for 2011, when he typed the following?
“Let me be clear: I love Tony La Russa. Brilliant gutsy manager. Most interesting man I have met in sports. But mesh is no longer right.”
If you dare, you can join the over 16,000 people who follow Bissinger on Twitter here.
Update: In response to learning of Bissinger’s comments from the Post-Dispatch, La Russa predictably distanced himself from the comments, not the man. He “…described Bissinger as a friend with whom he had last spoken several weeks ago. However, La Russa said,
‘He isn’t connected enough to me that he’s stating my opinions. I think that’s the important point there.'”
Update #2: I found a June article in The New Republic in which Bissinger discusses why he tweets. Here are a couple of nuggets:
“I am an angry man, which is one of the reasons I have resumed therapy and take four different pharmaceuticals. I wake up angry, stay angry during the day except to my dog and children, and go to bed angry at night. Most of my anger amounted to a running dialogue of abuse and self-abuse while working alone at home. But with Twitter, I now had an outlet. I used profanity, because that’s the way I talk, the perfect sentence being one in which the f-bomb appears as adverb, verb, adjective, and noun, as in, ‘You kind sir, go fxxxly fxxx yourself, you fxxx of a fxxxhead.'”
“Some say I am two-faced because of my original anti-blog stance, or that I am a washed-up windbag, or that I am seriously demeaning myself…” (what follows is a general purpose 140 character profanity-laden tweet)
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