PHOENIX — Tony La Russa said effort was the main theme of his first talk to Diamondbacks players in his new role as the team's chief baseball officer.
"It was just a real brief effort to tell them what I hope to contribute," he said of his meeting with players Sunday.
Headed to the Hall of Fame this year as a manager, the Tampa native said he told players that competition doesn't start with talent but effort. He said he has seen the team show its character by playing hard through the tough times, but he wanted to drive the point home.
"The one message is that there's never an excuse to back off the effort," La Russa said. "If times are tough, you can't back off it. If times are good, you don't back off and take it for granted. You just remind them who's watching. Your fans are watching."
Speaking with reporters, La Russa said he doesn't mind if Arizona players are "looking over their shoulder" wondering about their future, because that kind of pressure is a good thing.
"Anything that disturbs your comfort factor is good for you," he said
ABREU OUT: The White Sox placed major-league home run leader Jose Abreu on the 15-day disabled list with tendinitis in his left ankle. The rookie first baseman from Cuba left Saturday night's game against the Astros with a limp. OF Adam Eaton will be called up from his rehab assignment in Triple-A Charlotte.
TRIPLE PLAY: The Rockies turned a triple play against the Padres, the third in team history. In the third inning, 3B Nolan Arenado fielded Carlos Quentin's grounder and stepped on the bag. He threw to 2B D.J. LeMahieu, who relayed the ball on to first. Quentin was originally ruled safe at first, but the second-base umpire called Seth Smith out for baserunner interference as he slid into second.
BLUE JAYS: RHP Marcus Stroman, one of the team's top prospects, was optioned back to Triple-A Buffalo after allowing 10 runs, nine earned, in his first 61/3 major-league innings.
MARINERS: DH Corey Hart left in the fourth inning after straining his left hamstring and is scheduled to be reevaluated today.
NATIONALS: LHP Gio Gonzalez went on the 15-day disabled list for the first time in his career because of inflammation in his pitching shoulder. GM Mike Rizzo said Gonzalez had an MRI exam and will not be able to throw for five days.
REDS: 1B Joey Votto missed his third straight game because of a left knee injury, but manager Bryan Price said the team is still hoping to avoid putting him in the disabled list.