Members of the St. Louis Tea Party came out in force for Tuesday's Cardinals game against the D-Backs, but the real can of worms was opened when La Russa came out in favor of Arizona's crackdown.
It's a counter-protest to the proposed boycotts of Diamondback games and Arizona products in general. Even members of Congress supported taking the 2011 All-Star Game away from Arizona, as long as their draconian immigration bill is on the books.
(Let's get this out of the way before I'm bombarded with the inevitable hate mail: I'm on record as saying any D-Backs boycott is misguided.)
Forty-six members of the generally aimless Tea Party handed out copies of the Constitution, which, much like the Bible, only supports a zealot's cause if you read certain parts and not others. They also wanted to help with their wallets:
Part of the gate goes to the Arizona Diamondbacks and there are a lot of groups that are boycotting Arizona. We're "buy-cotting" Arizona," said St. Louis Tea Party Organizer Bill Hennessy.
Well, no. Since baseball instituted revenue sharing, visiting teams no longer receive a percentage of the gate receipts. Nice try, though!
The Tea Partiers found an unexpected ally in Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, who when asked a political question, didn't do the prudent thing for any sports figure and keep his mouth shut.
This is America right? You're supposed to be able to have opinions and disagree, and a lot of things they do I think are correct. I'm actually a supporter of what Arizona's doing, you know, people don't fix your problem, and the government, national government doesn't fix your problem, and you've got a problem, they've got to take care of it themselves," said La Russa.
"Anybody, I mean if you had the opposite view and you wanted to come out and have your signs, I mean this is great, you're going to have 40 thousand people here to see it perfect. I don't care," said La Russa when asked about the ballpark as an arena for politics.
Because he took a controversial stand on a controversial issue, he is going to get blasted from all sides for the next few days. The only question is, will he back down from his position, or add more fuel to the fire?
Hey, La Russa is entitled to his opinion. But just because he can say what he wants, doesn't mean he should. He ought to have done what all sports figures should do when asked their thoughts on a hot-button issue: backed away quickly.
Couldn't have happened to a more politically ignorant guy. As Craggs held forth this morning in a cloud of spittle, "La Russa has always had an undeserved reputation for being a thoughtful liberal, though I'm pretty sure his outward expressions of a political philosophy never extended far beyond being pro-kitten."
Now let's see how he handles it as a spokesman for something far more incendiary.