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La Russa has words with paper scribe

La Russa has words with paper scribe

ST. LOUIS -- Manager Tony La Russa had a heated exchange with a St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist following the Cardinals' 5-3 loss to the Cubs at Busch Stadium on Friday night.

La Russa and columnist Bernie Miklasz argued during the manager's postgame news conference. Twice during the news conference, and once before Friday's game, La Russa refused to answer questions from Post-Dispatch reporters.

He was angered by an article that ran in the paper on Friday morning poking fun at "Why the Cubs will never break the curse." The manager announced that he would answer no questions from the paper for the duration of the weekend series with Chicago.

After the second rebuked question during the postgame session, which included La Russa sarcastically asking the reporter whether he had gone to work for a different paper, Miklasz took exception and came to the defense of his colleagues. The back-and-forth quickly became loud and pointed.

"That cheap shot against the Cubs, I don't want to be a part of it, and I want them, I want everybody to know that the St. Louis Cardinals and their manager have an absolute disregard for that," La Russa said.

Miklasz suggested that rather than boycotting questions, the manager take up the issue with the paper's editors.

"I know it's the editor [who] makes those decisions," La Russa said. "But I have a couple of ways [to protest], and the one way I'm going to do it is I'm not going to answer questions from the Post-Dispatch. If you disagree with that, write that you disagree with it. I don't care. I really don't. What I care is that I don't put my stamp, any way shape or form, on the cheap shot like that at a Major League organization."

Cardinals representatives attempted to ease the exchange by leading La Russa out of the news conference room and suggesting that the two men continue in the manager's office. At first La Russa said he did not want to leave the room, but he and Miklasz eventually retired to the office to continue the discussion as other reporters went into the clubhouse to interview players.

Customarily, La Russa conducts an early pregame briefing with writers and some radio reporters in his office. After that, he holds court with broadcast reporters on the field. On Friday, he canceled the in-office session and only answered questions on the field, with cameras rolling.

When a Post-Dispatch reporter asked a question in that session, La Russa dismissed the question and told the reporter that he would take no questions from the paper all weekend long as a result of the story.

Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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