It must have been pretty noisy in Arlington to botch a simple phone call, but that was the difference in Game 5. Fortunately, we now know Tony La Russa was telling the truth when he said that the revolving door of relief pitchers was due to miscommunication with bullpen coach Derek Lilliquist. We’ve obtained a transcript of the bullpen call.
La Russa: Warm up Rzepczynski. And get Motte ready too, comprendo?
Lilliquist: FERNANDO? Are y’sure?
La Russa: ARTHUR?, Why would we bring in Rhodes? Just get Motte loose!
Lilliquist: LOHSE? Wait, Kyle can’t pitch, what’s the plan Tony, do tell?
La Russa: DOTEL? He’s in the game right now! What’s wrong with you? You don’t know jack, son!
Lilliquist: JACKSON? Edwin can’t pitch either. If you aren’t going to listen to my advice, why did you hire me?
La Russa: JAIME? He’s our Game 6 starter for goodness sake!
Lilliquist: JAKE? If you say so, boss!
La Russa: BOGGS? NO! ARGH! This noise is insane, right?
Lilliquist: WAINWRIGHT? Now I know you’re crazy. I’m just going to go with Motte.
La Russa: Finally! Yes! Warm up Motte! I want him ready to go in! *click*
Lilliquist: LYNN? Okay, whatever you say, Tony.
In all seriousness, I really would have liked to see Texas win this one, but I can’t imagine how La Russa would have dealt a series loss if the Cardinals hadn’t pulled off the improbable. Knowing that a misunderstood call to the bullpen cost you a game, a series, a season, a championship? After the historic run these guys had? That would be tough, even tragic for a hall of fame manager who has now managed his last game. Instead, this little mishap can be mostly forgotten, a footnote in the pantheon of bizarre World Series moments. La Russa gets to go out on top, managing the most shocking World Series winner, probably ever. And hey, for Texas, there’s always next year.