A's La Russa calls Sierra an 'idiot'


OAKLAND, Calif. -- Oakland Athletics manager Tony La Russa blew up at Ruben Sierra yesterday, blasting him as an "idiot" for comments he made in yesterday's Chronicle.

"Every time he opens his mouth he makes a fool of himself," La Russa said. "You try to protect guys, shade the truth a bit, but there's a term players use, V.I., when a player starts believing fantasy. He's a village idiot."

Sierra told columnist Joan Ryan it's "crazy" for the A's to tell him to look for more walks. He said he would like to pitch to A's general manager Sandy Alderson, so he could throw the first pitch "over his head."

"I didn't say those things," Sierra said yesterday. "What I said was he doesn't know what it is to stand at the plate and have balls thrown at his head or down in the dirt. I never said I'd throw at his head."

La Russa said he believed Sierra's somewhat broken English could leave room for some minor misunderstanding. But he added: "I have a lot of respect for Joan Ryan."

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