ST. LOUIS — Former Cardinals manager Tony La Russa is using his role in the 83rd All-Star Game to hold a reunion of sorts with the same coaching staff that helped him and the Cardinals to the 2011 World Series title.
La Russa, who was asked by commissioner Bud Selig to skipper the National League All-Stars in this year’s midsummer classic at Kansas City, will bring back all of the coaches who scattered after he retired three days after winning the World Series, right down to talking pitching coach Dave Duncan into joining him at Kauffman Stadium.
The coaching staff for the two All-Star teams were announced Wednesday.
La Russa’s coaches with the 2011 World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals — Duncan (pitching), Derek Lilliquist (bullpen), Mark McGwire (hitting), Dave McKay (first base coach; currently with the Chicago Cubs), Jose Oquendo (third base coach) and Joe Pettini (bench; currently with the Houston Astros) — will comprise his staff in the roles they occupied last season.
Per tradition, La Russa also selected two National League managers to serve on his coaching staff. He did not go with his replacement, Mike Matheny, choosing instead to go with his National League championship series rival, Milwaukee’s Ron Roenicke, and also New York Mets manager Terry Collins.
This will be the sixth time that La Russa has managed an All-Star team. The last time he managed the club was in 2007. He served as a coach during the 2009 All-Star Game, which was held at Busch Stadium.
The honor of managing the All-Stars traditionally goes to the two managers from the previous fall’s World Series. After La Russa's retirement, Selig invited La Russa to return to the dugout to keep the honor if he was interested. The commissioner’s office did not say if that honor would have gone to Matheny, the current manager of the World Series champs, if La Russa had declined.
Chris Carpenter pitches bullpen session
Chris Carpenter threw 26 pitches in the bullpen Wednesday afternoon at Busch Stadium. They were all fastballs, and all thrown at less than full strength, but it was a step in the right direction for the former Cy Young Award winner recovering from a right shoulder affected by a nerve disorder.
Carpenter compared his recovery to the weeks leading up to spring training.
“We’re going to do this a few times, and then update it after that,” he said. “Anything moving forward, that’s an exciting thing.”
It was the first time Carpenter pitched since mid-March.
“I feel strong, I feel good, and the ball is coming out fine,” he said. “Now it’s (about) continuing to progress, slowly but surely, and hope there’s nothing that gets affected afterwards. ... We’ll see what happens the next five days and go from there.”
Manager Mike Matheny said the Cardinals aren’t trying to give too much meaning to each step Carpenter has made or define a timeline for his recovery.
“We’re trying not to put too much pressure on him,” Matheny said. “We just want him to continue to get better and get him back as quick as we can.”
Andrew Wagaman contributed to this story. Contact Goold at firstname.lastname@example.org or (314) 340-8285.