Cardinals Manager Tony La Russa is miffed that ESPN moved St. Louis's last game before the all-star break in San Francisco to a night game.

La Russa was so disgruntled yesterday that he implied he hopes the home run derby Monday night on ESPN is a dud.

"I'm saying this a little bit tongue in cheek: It wouldn't bother me to disrupt that home run event because ESPN just pulled a clueless move," La Russa said. "I don't know how they can do that. Any team playing on the West Coast, why would you do that? Do you know what time these guys are getting in?"

La Russa also said, perhaps half-jokingly, that he might find private transportation for his players and "send the bill to ESPN."

As manager of the NL champions, La Russa will manage the National League team in the July 12 game in Detroit. He said he was more concerned about the effects of travel fatigue on his players than himself.

"Since December, the teams involved knew which potential games could be selected for the 5 p.m. Pacific time game-of-the-week window. Ultimately, it comes down to picking the game among the ones available that best serves fans," ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz said.

The Cardinals almost certainly will be represented by several players. Through yesterday, 1B Albert Pujols was the top overall vote-getter, 3B Scott Rolen also led at his position and CF Jim Edmonds was second in voting for outfielders. Plus, Chris Carpenter is second in the NL with 11 wins and closer Jason Isringhausen has 22 saves in 24 chances.

* PEREZ BREAKS TOE: The Pirates put LHP Oliver Perez on the 15-day disabled list, two days after he broke his toe while kicking a laundry cart in the clubhouse in St. Louis.

OF Nate McLouth was called up from Class AAA Indianapolis to fill Perez's roster spot. McLouth was hitting .306 with five home runs and 32 RBI for the Indians. He also led the team with 23 stolen bases.

* TOMKO DEMOTED: Two days after lasting just 22/3 innings in the biggest shutout loss in Giants' history, Brett Tomko was demoted to the bullpen. Tomko started Sunday's 16-0 defeat at Oakland, allowing six runs and 10 hits in his shortest outing of the season.

* BIGGIO'S A HIT: Astros 2B Craig Biggio was hit by a pitch in the fifth inning in last night's game against the Rockies, tying a modern major league record.

Biggio matched Don Baylor (267) for the most times being hit by a pitch since 1900. It was the 11th time he was hit this season.

NL all-star team voting on E10

-- From News Services