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'I need help and I'm going to get it'

10/31/2004 - St. Louis Cardinals

ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals fired hitting coach Mitchell Page, but not because of St. Louis' poor hitting in its World
Series loss to the Boston Red Sox.

Page told the St. Louis Post Dispatch that he will enter an alcohol treatment facility near his Oakland, Calif., home this week after he was let go on Thursday by Cardinals general manager Walt Jocketty and manager Tony La Russa.

St. Louis scored only 12 runs and hit .190 in a four-game sweep at the hands of the Red Sox.

Page served as the Cardinals hitting coach for 3½ seasons and
told the newspaper that he declined a minor league position with
the club. He said his departure from the Cardinals was a mutual
decision between him and the team.

"I need help and I'm going to get it," Page told the
newspaper. "I don't want a lot of speculation going around about
why I left and what was going on. I have an alcohol problem and I'm
going to get treatment for it.

"I'm going to take the heat and the blame and admit I'm an
alcoholic. I screwed up."

The newspaper said Jocketty declined comment, but said he might
address the issue in upcoming days.

Team sources and Page indicated to the Post Disptach that his
personal problems strained relationships with players, fellow
coaches and La Russa, and that was the reason for the dismissal,
not the Cardinals' struggling offense.

The Cardinals led the National League with a .278 average and
855 runs this season after finishing second in both categories last
year.

Page said that the club approached him about his drinking before
this season and that he felt his job was in jeopardy before the
postseason.

"I knew I couldn't screw up and I screwed up," he said. "I
gave the Cardinals the best they ever had as a hitting coach. But I
knew it was coming."