ST. LOUIS - Cardinals manager Tony La Russa didn’t want to talk Thursday about the actions of reliever Steve Kline, who made an obscene gesture and yelled toward his own dugout the previous night.
La Russa and Kline insisted the pitcher’s actions, which came after he wasn’t called into Wednesday night’s game in the sixth inning, were old news.
“What else do you want to talk about?” La Russa said before Thursday’s game.
He had not seen video of Kline taken by a Chicago television station.
“I’ve heard enough about it, though,” La Russa said. “So if we’re going to talk some baseball, we’ll talk baseball. I’m not getting into that.”
Kline said his actions, which included throwing his jacket, probably be forgotten “a week from now.”
“We’re grown people,” he said. “I don’t think he’ll hold grudges. We’ll go out and we’ll play and enjoy winning, that’s probably the bottom line on that. I don’t think he’ll be mad, he loves me too much.”
Kline said he and La Russa always have had a loose, easy, joking relationship.
“I’ve always gotten along with him,” Kline said. “I might have just crossed the line a little too far with him. I don’t know.”
Kline said he apologized to owner Bill DeWitt and general manager Walt Jocketty immediately after the game. La Russa, after learning of the outburst, confronted Kline briefly in the shower after the game.
Speaking generally about Kline’s inability at times to rein in his competitive nature, La Russa said: “There’s a professional way to do it, to express yourself, and there’s one that’s not acceptable.”
Closer Jason Isringhausen also popped off after the game, complaining that he had not been used. After being passed over in the sixth, Kline (2-1) ended up getting the last five outs in the Cardinals’ 10-9 win.
“Everything is fine, everything is great,” Isringhausen said. “That’s all that needs to be said.”
Jokingly, La Russa said he was finished with both Kline and his closer.
“No, I’m not going to pitch him ever again, him or Izzy,” La Russa said. “We’ll just do without them.”
Kline emphasized the tantrum was not directed at La Russa.
“People think I’m mad at him,” Kline said. “I’m not mad at Tony, I’m mad at the situation.”
Kline led the NL in appearances three straight seasons from 1999-2001.
“I want to pitch, that’s the bottom line,” he said. “You have to have some kind of greed in this game where you want to succeed and be the best at it. Michael Jordan wanted to take the game-winning shot all the time and you want to be out there throwing the game-winning pitch.”
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