Cards' La Russa fined for criticizing umpire on TV

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said he deserved to be fined for criticizing an umpire in a televised interview during a playoff game.

Major League Baseball fined La Russa an undisclosed amount for his remarks Sunday night. Early in the game against Philadelphia, La Russa told TBS that plate umpire Jerry Meals had "two different strike zones," prefacing his remarks that he knew there might be disciplinary action.

La Russa also said a few choice words to Meals after the umpire came out to break up a mound conference with Chris Carpenter.

"As soon as MLB called, my response was 'whatever is imposed, you'll get no argument,'" La Russa said Tuesday before Game 3 of the NL division series against the Phillies. "I'm embarrassed that I crossed the line.

"I know what the line is, I got upset and crossed the line," he said.

La Russa said he planned to apologize to Meals. Since making the remark the manager has said repeatedly that he's never had any issues with Meals in the past.

"He's a pro. He has my utmost respect," La Russa said. "We were competing and I got upset and crossed the line. So whatever they throw at me, I have no ... I just take it. I deserve it."

The Cardinals won 5-4 and evened their best-of-five series at one game each. Game 3 is Tuesday in St. Louis.

MLB executive vice president of baseball operations Joe Torre has talked to La Russa about his comments.