Tony La Russa and Dusty Baker have history — here’s a look at a growing feud that has lasted multiple decades

The Astros and White Sox are set to sq. off, hopefully for 5 video games, within the American League Division Series starting Thursday in Houston. Managers Dusty Baker and Tony La Russa have mixed for 58 years of expertise on the job. It is not too stunning, provided that, to say that their paths have crossed just a few occasions. However there’s a ton of historical past right here, truly, between two males who for years and years insisted they have been nonetheless mates off the sphere. 


They have been truly teammates for a fast second with the 1971 Braves. That is seemingly once they first bought to know each other. Then, in 1986, La Russa was fired from his publish as White Sox supervisor and employed midseason by the Athletics. Baker was on that crew in his last season as a participant. La Russa prior to now usually spoke glowingly about what a very good veteran management presence Baker was within the clubhouse. As soon as Baker retired, although, he did not be a part of the A’s teaching workers. He went throughout the bay to the Giants. He was their hitting coach in 1989, when La Russa’s A’s beat the Giants within the World Sequence. 

Nonetheless, there wasn’t actually something simmering between the 2. They have been simply mates who as soon as performed collectively after which later noticed one handle the opposite for a bit. 

2002 NLCS

It was Baker’s Giants in opposition to La Russa’s Cardinals. Within the third inning of Sport 1, Kenny Lofton homered and apparently did not run across the bases quick sufficient for the Cardinals’ liking. Subsequent time Lofton got here up, his tower was buzzed with a fastball and he did not prefer it. Benches cleared. Alongside the aspect of the scrum, La Russa and Baker have been concerned in a shouting match. It was a sufficiently big deal that each managers have been fined for “conduct unbecoming” of a supervisor. La Russa was nonetheless indignant with Lofton for what he believes was an overreaction to a pitch that wasn’t deliberately with a goal. 

“I feel Lofton ought to pay the fines for each Dusty and myself,” La Russa mentioned (via

He truly made that request, too, pushing for the participant to pay the worth for his and Baker’s actions. 

Lofton would find yourself hitting a walk-off single in Sport 5 to ship the Giants to the World Sequence.

Shouting match in 2003

Through the course of 2003, Baker’s Cubs and La Russa’s Cardinals have been preventing for first place within the NL Central. Issues lastly simmered to a boil on Sept. 3. There had been back-and-forth discuss within the media about some hit batsmen probably being one of many Cubs’ “methods” to get into the heads of the Cardinals. To which Baker mentioned, “I’ve heard Tony say issues earlier than. So far as I am involved, methods are for teenagers, and I do not take kindly to threats.” (via

Within the second inning on Sept. 3, Cubs starter Matt Clement hit Cardinals starter Dan Haren with a pitch. Subsequent time Clement got here up, Haren returned the favor. After which, fireworks (2:44 is particularly the juiciest half. Baker’s lips are NSFW)

The 2 managers have been screaming at one another from the opposing dugouts! Wonderful theater proper there. 

After the sport, Baker mentioned this was “just the start” and that the Cardinals have been overreacting to the Cubs bringing the battle to them on the sphere. 

2010 battle in Cincinnati

Baker was now with the Reds whereas La Russa was nonetheless with the Cardinals. Brandon Phillips paved the way in which for this one. Earlier than this sport in opposition to the Cardinals, the Reds second baseman mentioned the next (via “I hate the Cardinals. All they do is bitch and moan about all the things, all of them, they’re little bitches, all of ’em. I actually hate the Cardinals.”

Many will bear in mind earlier than the underside of the primary even began that Phillips and Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina bought this factor going and it was an unsightly melee with La Russa and Baker once more squaring off. 

We’re now as much as two occasions when each managers have been suspended on account of their actions in opposition to each other along with being fined in the course of the NLCS. 

This one lingered into 2012, too. 

The All-Star snub controversy

Bear in mind, La Russa retired from his publish with the Cardinals after profitable the 2011 World Sequence. He additionally had the suitable to handle the 2012 All-Star crew. Reds gamers concerned within the battle, Johnny Cueto and Phillips, had instances to make the crew, however didn’t. Baker urged the snubs stemmed from the 2010 battle and that La Russa was holding a grudge. Cueto had phrases as effectively. La Russa replied as such. 

“The feedback Dusty made clearly disappoint me and are attacking my integrity. The All-Star expertise is simply too essential to let something stand in the way in which of a choice like that.” (via Yahoo)

Extra: “I really feel betrayed by him,” La Russa mentioned (via CBS local). “Professionally is one factor, however that was private. I am actually upset about it.  That was a knife within the again there that I do not suppose I will overlook.”

La Russa even talked about this incident in his e-book and referenced Baker, however he solely known as him “the Reds supervisor” and did not use his title, saying this harmed the “friendship” the 2 claimed they shared for therefore lengthy. 

Will we add one other chapter in the course of the 2021 ALDS? 

One of the best guess is that is not very doubtless. Positive, they’re again in the identical division and are assembly within the postseason but once more, however La Russa is 77 and Baker is 72 and so they have not sparred in years. Their groups performed six occasions this season and nothing of word occurred between the 2. They shake palms earlier than the sport after which get all the way down to enterprise. 

If there is a matter between the 2 groups, nonetheless, bear in mind the in depth historical past right here between these two. It will be fairly humorous if there was one other situation. | Tony La Russa and Dusty Baker have historical past — here is a have a look at a rising feud that has lasted a number of many years


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