Tony La Russa dines with Mavs coach

ARLINGTON, Texas -- St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa is famous for being buddies with other famous coaches in every sport. He's pals with people from Bill Parcells to Bob Knight to even Rick Carlisle.

La Russa and Carlisle dined on the eve of Game 3 and La Russa was apparently looking for any edge he could get against the Texas Rangers with the World Series tied up and tonight being the first of three games at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

"I asked him about what we do to get an edge in this series and he said, 'Hand the ball to Dirk,'" La Russa said. "And I said, 'I can't do that.' He said, 'This is Dallas, I can't be telling the Cardinals how to beat the Rangers."

About as close as La Russa can come to getting the ball to NBA Finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki is to give it to him before the 7-footer throws out the ceremonial first pitch tonight. Then, again, the Rangers probably won't let La Russa get that close to him.