This from Edmonds, reflecting on Spiezio in '07:
"We saw it last year. It was bad. And it turned real ugly. I'm not going to go into the details, but you saw the signs in person. ... Once he started, he just couldn't slow down. He was staying up all night, all day, all night, all day, and then (he'd) come in and couldn't play. He was missing a bunch of games for stupid reasons.
"You try to straighten him out. But if they don't want to be straightened out, you've got to let it ride itself out, knowing something good or bad was going to happen."
Living in Chicago, admittedly in the heart of an anti-Card bias, I catch a significant and persistent sports media buzz regarding Tony running a permissively "toxic" clubhouse ... citing his defense of McGwire (and Bonds!), the Canseco-led Oakland A's swelling biceps, Ankiel, the most names on the Mitchell Report, the Josh Hancock saga, his own DUI, etc.
And now we're digesting the gruesome details, as they leak out, of the personal disintegration of Scott S., which far from being an isolated incident, was a long, steady slide into darkness, witnessed by many. Was Tony one of them? Or is it a case of the manager just keeping his blinders on, and respecting the personal freedoms of "grown men", even though, in Spiezio's case, his inability to play the damn game on any given day affects the whole team - and the whole season. Yeah, I know, they got him into rehab in August. Too little too late?
I don't pretend to know what the answer is here. But I do sense that part of Tony's legacy will be this perception, fair or not, that all this happened on his watch. For someone who wears the mantle of micro-manager/control freak, it seems ironic.