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La Russa sues over alleged fake Twitter page

ST. LOUIS - St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa issuing the social-networking site Twitter, claiming an unauthorizedpage that used his name to make light of drunken driving and twoCardinals pitchers who died damaged his reputation and causedemotional distress.

The suit filed last month in the Superior Court of California inSan Francisco seeks unspecified damages.

Messages left Thursday with La Russa's attorney and SanFrancisco-based Twitter were not returned.

The lawsuit claims that someone created a false account under LaRussa's name and posted updates, known as "tweets," that gave thefalse impression that the comments came from La Russa. The suitsaid the comments were "derogatory and demeaning" and damaged LaRussa's trademark rights.

The account bearing La Russa's name is no longer active. Thelawsuit includes a screen shot of three tweets. One posted on April19 said: "Lost 2 out of 3, but we made it out of Chicago withoutone drunk driving incident or dead pitcher."

Cardinals pitcher Darryl Kile died of a heart condition in hisChicago hotel room in 2002. Cardinals reliever Josh Hancock died ina 2007 auto accident, and the medical examiner measured hisblood-alcohol level at of 0.157 -- nearly twice the legal limit.

One month earlier, La Russa was found sleeping behind the wheelof a running sport utility vehicle in spring training with ablood-alcohol level of 0.093 percent. He pleaded guilty to amisdemeanor charge of driving under the influence.

La Russa's lawsuit said the page bearing his name was hurtful tothe 64-year-old manager, who has led the Cardinals since 1996 andalso managed the Chicago White Sox and Oakland A's during a 30-yearmanagerial career.

The lawsuit includes a screenshot of tweets with the heading"Hey there! Tony La Russa is using Twitter," with a picture ofthe manager. The same page includes an aside that reads, "BioParodies are fun for everyone."

Some professional athletes and others connected to pro sportshave embraced Twitter. Shaquille O'Neal posted a message on site saying he was pulling for former teammate KobeBryant to win a fourth championship as the Lakers entered the NBAfinals against Orlando.

"I am saying it today and today only," O'Neal tweeted. "Iwant kobe bryant to get number four, spread da word."

Buffalo Bills receiver Terrell Owens posted a message on hisTwitter site Tuesday that his search for a home to rent hit a snagbecause residents "(don't) want any drama n their neighborhood!!LOL!!! Wow!!."


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