Tony La Russa slams Reds broadcaster

CINCINNATI -- Cardinals manager Tony La Russa doesn't like what Reds broadcaster Marty Brennaman has to say about his team.

Brennaman criticized St. Louis starter Chris Carpenter and pitching coach Dave Duncan on the air Monday, a day after the Reds beat the Cardinals 9-7 to sweep their three-game series at Great American Ball Park. The game ended with Cardinals screaming at Reds closer Francisco Cordero, who then gestured to them in the dugout.

After the game, Carpenter was unhappy with the condition of the mound -- the game was played in a steady rain -- and smoke that lingered in the ballpark from the customary fireworks to celebrate a Reds home run.

On Monday, Brennaman called Carpenter a "whiner and excuse-maker" on the air. He also referred to Duncan as "infantile." Duncan was among those on the Cardinals bench yelling at Cordero during the game.

Brennaman said that the Cardinals "might be the most disliked team in baseball."

Before the Cardinals' game Tuesday in St. Louis, La Russa noted that Brennaman is in the broadcasters' wing of baseball's Hall of Fame.

"He earned the right to get into the Hall of Fame," La Russa said. "And now he ought to keep earning that respect instead of abusing it."

Animosity between the teams has built quickly in the past year.

Carpenter objected to the baseballs used for a game in Cincinnati last year, saying they weren't properly rubbed up. The series took a nasty turn in August after Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips called the Cardinals whiners.

The next day, Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina and Phillips got into it at the plate, touching off a brawl. Reds starter Johnny Cueto kicked Carpenter and catcher Jason LaRue during the scrum, drawing a seven-game suspension.

The angry words Sunday added to the rivalry. Cardinals players and coaches were angry that Cordero threw an 0-2 pitch inside to Albert Pujols, hitting him on the back of the wrist. Pujols wasn't seriously hurt, but Cardinals players and coaches repeatedly yelled at Cordero as he escaped the threat.

The Reds overtook the Cardinals as NL Central champions last season. They have three more series left this season, the next one July 4-6 in St. Louis.