Tony La Russa's Sunday Pre-Game Comments

The Manager's remarks prior to Sunday's Mets game.

On whether Izzy is available Sunday.

My guess that he probably is. We have the day off tomorrow…

On whether it was a fight to get Albert out of the lineup

Uh. Normally, I would say yes, but this one here, I just think he needs one.

On whether they plan for days off and discuss it in advance

We talk about it all the time. We just try to stay ahead of it. It would be nice to know a week ahead so you can schedule guys' playing time. We talk about it often enough.

On whether he reached Scott Rolen since his shoulder surgery

No, I just left a message.

On Edmonds' knee

I think he's got some aches and pains there. He'll be careful running.

On Mabry's role with Rolen out

I am going to go day to day. I am not going to make anything long-term. I'd like to see Scott Seabol in there one of these days, probably in the Phillies series. I am trying to win the game we're playing. These guys have a great attitude wherever I try to slot them in or not and they're ready to go.

On Brad Thompson Saturday

One game isn't one game. I watched him in his first appearance and he's been out there three or four times. So, it's an accumulation. Yesterday that wasn't a very fair situation. If I would have put Reyes in there instead, I wouldn't have said "Reyes isn't worth a darn" (if there had been trouble). With Thompson, you watch the way he handled himself. That's kind of the way he's been every time he's gone out there.

On whether he will also look to spot Gabe White's first appearance

No, he's a veteran. He's a different kind of guy. The Mets aren't a real big left-handed club. Most of their hitters are better from the right-hand side. I'd love to win the game and find a way for Gabe to face a hitter or two.

On the status of the bullpen

Flores hasn't pitched in a couple of days now and Reyes… It would be nice to keep the relievers this fresh all year and have to worry about whether they get enough work.

On Mark Grudzielanek

His whole career, he's hit .300. Didn't he get 200 hits one year? That's serious. Everyplace he's been he's been a really good offensive player and a solid defensive guy. If he stays healthy, he's a good player. The thing that he wanted to establish was that he could play a lot and stay healthy. Knock on wood.

On whether he is changing the rotation order

No. It works out great. Everyone gets an extra day. It's a good time for it. We've got three solid chances in Philadelphia and three solid chances in Kansas City. So, let's go play.

Brian Walton can be reached via email at brwalton@earthlink.net


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