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post #1 of 1 (permalink) Old 06-14-2007, 05:45 PM Thread Starter
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Ozzie, La Russa still not seeing eye to eye

Ozzie, La Russa still not seeing eye to eye
By R.B. Fallstrom

Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith has not given up on the St. Louis Cardinals' chances, even though his feud with manager Tony La Russa is in its second decade.

Smith, who retired in 1996 at the end of La Russa's first season, believes there's plenty of time for the World Series winners to get back into the mix. The Cardinals have been battered by injuries, much like 2006 when they recovered in October, and have been without ace pitcher Chris Carpenter since opening day.

Most of the season, St. Louis has had a rotation featuring four relievers. Entering Thursday night's interleague game at Kansas City, the Cardinals were 28-34 but only 5 1/2 games out of first place in the weak NL Central.

"They're very fortunate, but they've still got a chance," Smith said. "You can put together a seven- or eight-game winning streak and find yourself on top of the division. I don't think anybody in the division can run away with it."

The Cardinals could get Carpenter back in August, and left-hander Mark Mulder, rehabbing from rotator cuff surgery last September, may be ready sometime after the All-Star break. That is a potentially huge boost for the team's makeshift rotation.

"It's so early in the season," Smith said. "If you settle down and get your pitching staff together, you have a chance. They're not out of it by any stretch of the imagination."

Smith, 52, does not foresee a reconciliation with La Russa, however, saying "I don't think that's going to happen." The two have not gotten along since Smith had to share the job with Royce Clayton, who turned out to be a journeyman and not his heir apparent, in his final season with St. Louis that hastened his retirement.

Smith is a member of the ownership group of radio station KTRS, which is owned by the Cardinals. But he's kept a low profile at Busch Stadium whenever he's attended games, noting that his presence "sometimes makes people uncomfortable."

"I don't want to cause any problems or tension, so I just stay away from it," Smith said. "When it's time, we'll know it. I wasn't part of the plan, and sometimes that's the way it goes. I'm not an isolated case."

STLtoday - Sports - Cardinals

Nothin new *Yawn* Get over it though Ozzie!
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