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Monday, October 31, 2011

Cardinals manager La Russa retires

As carsdfanboy just said…“Best manager in my lifetime and probably the past fifty years.”

The Cardinals announced this morning that manager Tony La Russa has retired after 16 seasons with the Cardinals.

“Tony leaves behind a legacy of success that will always be rememered as one of the most successful eras in Cardinals history,” chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. said at the announcement. “I knew this day would come. I just hoped that it wouldn’t.”

Repoz Posted: October 31, 2011 at 02:14 PM | 168 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cardinals

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   101. rlc Posted: October 31, 2011 at 04:56 PM (#3983446)
Realizing that replacing LaRussa is too much to ask of any one man, the Cardinals have identified a dozen candidates to take his place; one to manage the first 151 games of the season, and one for each of the final 11 games of the season.
   102. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: October 31, 2011 at 04:59 PM (#3983450)
I heartily advocate the hiring of Ned Yost!
   103. phredbird Posted: October 31, 2011 at 05:07 PM (#3983458)
101, good one.
   104. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 31, 2011 at 05:09 PM (#3983463)
Did LaRussa's aborted plan with the A's to basically run his pitching staff with all relievers have any merit?

Am I correct about what his plan was? I thought it was to have his "starters" go 3 innings and then get them out of there.

I ask because of how pitchers (today's relievers) seem to do much better when they know they're only working a few outs, or only need to go through the lineup once.
   105. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: October 31, 2011 at 05:10 PM (#3983465)
I don't know if it matters at the point the Cardinals are at but let's say they hire Pujols as a player/manager - what's the impact on luxury tax calculations? Is his salary a player salary? a manager salary? Some split?
   106. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: October 31, 2011 at 05:11 PM (#3983468)
Did LaRussa's aborted plan with the A's to basically run his pitching staff with all relievers have any merit?

I thought it did. It's too bad he abandoned the experiment so quickly. My god was that an awful pitching staff. Where was the Dunc, TLR magic for that team. Yikes!
   107. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 31, 2011 at 05:17 PM (#3983474)
Sure, Whitey Herzog would listen if the Cardinals called.
   108. bunyon Posted: October 31, 2011 at 05:19 PM (#3983478)
I don't know if it matters at the point the Cardinals are at but let's say they hire Pujols as a player/manager - what's the impact on luxury tax calculations? Is his salary a player salary? a manager salary? Some split?


Ooo. That could be cool. 6/60 as a player. 6/200 as manager. Or whatever. But more for "managing" so that they don't pay luxury tax on it.
   109. jayjay Posted: October 31, 2011 at 05:19 PM (#3983479)
Pujols as manager? We haven't had a player-manager since Pete Rose 25 years ago. I like it.
How quickly we forget about the Paul Konerko era on the south side.
   110. AROM Posted: October 31, 2011 at 05:20 PM (#3983480)
Did LaRussa's aborted plan with the A's to basically run his pitching staff with all relievers have any merit?

Am I correct about what his plan was? I thought it was to have his "starters" go 3 innings and then get them out of there.


I thought it was interesting and worth testing out. But I think he ran into trouble with the pitchers themselves hating it. Part of that is probably the win rule itself, if you go three innings you can't get a win no matter what, but you can be tagged with a loss. That's more a problem with the win rule than the strategy, but not much one manager can do about that.
   111. Don Malcolm Posted: October 31, 2011 at 05:24 PM (#3983485)
Jack McKeon! But the Marlins will want a player in return for not having him ready in the wings when they decide to drown Ozzie in Biscayne Bay. (They will WANT to do this by 4/30/12, but it might take awhile to actually ACT upon the impulse.)

I ask because of how pitchers (today's relievers) seem to do much better when they know they're only working a few outs, or only need to go through the lineup once.

Don't ask us, Ray, ask MGL. :-)
   112. Don Malcolm Posted: October 31, 2011 at 05:26 PM (#3983489)
But I think he ran into trouble with the pitchers themselves hating it. Part of that is probably the win rule itself, if you go three innings you can't get a win no matter what, but you can be tagged with a loss. That's more a problem with the win rule than the strategy, but not much one manager can do about that.

You could kinda sorta get around that if you "started" a middle reliever, then brought your "starter" in for the second or third inning, a la Earnshaw Cook's scheme, which was dreamed up in the pre-DH era.
   113. Jay Z Posted: October 31, 2011 at 05:26 PM (#3983490)
As a Brewers fan, allow me to paraphrase Al Franken as Lex Luthor in an SNL skit about the death of Superman:

He was a worthy adversary, but honestly, this can only be good for the Brewers.
   114. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 31, 2011 at 05:28 PM (#3983493)
Didn't even occur to me until Ken Rosenthal mentioned it but...who will manage the NL in the 2012 All Star Game?

Rosenthal:
NL manager for 2012 ASG will be decided by commissioner's office. Could be La Russa's replacement with #STLCards, but not necessarily. #MLB
   115. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: October 31, 2011 at 05:31 PM (#3983497)
If that is what it takes for St. Louis to keep him, they should do it.
And an opt-out clause.

Re: the 2012 NL AS Game manager, it *should* be Roenicke, so I'm sure it will be someone else.

Edit: I like Ray's suggestion in #117 better.
   116. DL from MN Posted: October 31, 2011 at 05:32 PM (#3983498)
I didn't expect this. Someone mentioned LaRussa, Cox and Torre all leaving in quick succession. Francona is looking for a job. Does that make Scioscia or Leyland the current manager with the best pedigree?
   117. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 31, 2011 at 05:33 PM (#3983499)
Didn't even occur to me until Ken Rosenthal mentioned it but...who will manage the NL in the 2012 All Star Game?


"Tony LaRussa" is such an obvious and sensible answer that there's no way it will happen.
   118. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: October 31, 2011 at 05:38 PM (#3983507)
Tony LaRussa should manage the NL and Joe Torre the AL.
   119. SoSH U at work Posted: October 31, 2011 at 05:44 PM (#3983514)
"Tony LaRussa" is such an obvious and sensible answer that there's no way it will happen.


It's also apparently the precedent. Danny Murtaugh skippered the NL in 1972 despite not working in that capacity for the Bucs that yaer. Dusty also kept the gig when he moved from SF to Chicago in 2003, while Dick Williams was only on the Angels bench for three weeks but was still the manager for the AL in 1974.
   120. esseff Posted: October 31, 2011 at 05:47 PM (#3983520)
I thought it did. It's too bad he abandoned the experiment so quickly. My god was that an awful pitching staff. Where was the Dunc, TLR magic for that team. Yikes!


It really was a desperation move with a team going nowhere. It also required using 13 roster spots for pitchers. I can't see it as a viable strategy for a "good" team.

To review, here's a squib I wrote a few years back after researching the details:

With his team in sixth place in a seven-team division on July 19, 1993, La Russa announced his radical new pitching plan. There would be three clusters of three pitchers each who would pitch every third game. Plus there would be four relievers who would be available as needed late in games. Todd Van Poppel, Ron Darling and Kelly Downs would be Group A; Mike Mohler, Bobby Witt and John Briscoe Group B; and Bob Welch, Shawn Hillegas and Goose Gossage Group C. Edwin Nunez, Joe Boever, Vince Horsman and Eck would be the short men.

From the start, things never went according to plan. Kevin Campbell replaced Downs in Group A, but still didn't pitch in the first game as Van Poppel and Darling worked 4 innings each in a 4-2 loss. The second game, a 9-5 loss, Mohler went 1 2/3, Boever 1/3, Campbell 1, Witt 4 and Briscoe 1.

In Game 3, Downs (replacing Hillegas) went 4, Welch 3, Horsman 0+, Gossage 1 and Eck 1 in a 7-2 win.

In Game 4, a 9-7 loss, Van Poppel (on two days' rest) went 2 2/3, Campbell 1 1/3, Darling 3 (also on two days' rest) and Nunez 1.

In Game 5, Mohler went 3, Witt 4, Eck 2 and Gossage 2/3 in a 6-5 loss. Mohler and Witt were working on two days' rest, with Witt throwing four innings each time -- the most radical departure from the conventional use of having pitchers throw long every five days, or short every day or two.

By Game 6, La Russa was stretching out his old starters: Downs went 4 2/3 -- giving him 8 2/3 over two games in the span of about 72 hours -- Horsman 1/3 and Boever 3. The A's lost 5-3

The next night, Welch went 4 1/3, Rick Honeycutt rejoined the team and went 2/3, Campbell 2 and Horsman 1. The A's lost 8-1.

After going 1-6, La Russa ended the experiment, and Darling became the first A's pitcher in a week to qualify for a win, going 6 innings in a 11-4 victory.
   121. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: October 31, 2011 at 05:47 PM (#3983521)
It's also apparently the precedent. Danny Murtaugh skippered the NL in 1972 despite not working in that capacity for the Bucs that yaer.

John McGraw piloted the first All-Star Game even though he retired 13-14 months before.
   122. sonoran_fox Posted: October 31, 2011 at 05:48 PM (#3983524)
Great news for Lisa. Now she can root for a nice quality NL Central team without having to like TLR.

- correctamundo
i've got a few more weeks to find out if houston is gonna have a baseball team after the end of the 2012 season - and if not, then i guess it's gonna be saint looey. even though i kind of want to root for braves and pirates too...


Lisa you are always welcome to root for the Braves. A front office that knows what it is doing, good farm system that regularly produces good players and we are competitive today. The only down side really is we have a faceless, tax-dodging owner that will be peddling the club sometime soon to who knows what corporation.
   123. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 31, 2011 at 05:49 PM (#3983525)
To review, here's a squib I wrote a few years back after researching the details:


Thanks.
   124. The District Attorney Posted: October 31, 2011 at 05:50 PM (#3983528)
The Cardinals announced this morning that manager Tony La Russa has retired after 16 seasons with the Cardinals in order to settle down with Kim Kardashian.
   125. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: October 31, 2011 at 06:05 PM (#3983545)
I didn't expect this. Someone mentioned LaRussa, Cox and Torre all leaving in quick succession. Francona is looking for a job. Does that make Scioscia or Leyland the current manager with the best pedigree?


I'd go with Davey Johnson. By my count, there are seven current managers who have won a World Series, but none of them have won two.
   126. Esmailyn Gonzalez Sr. Posted: October 31, 2011 at 06:19 PM (#3983564)
It's like having a punter as the face of your football video game franchise.

Or a Cleveland Browns running back?
   127. AROM Posted: October 31, 2011 at 06:31 PM (#3983573)
Active managers, by career wins:

1588 Leyland
1484 Baker
1360 Bochy
1188 Johnson
1066 Scioscia

1. I didn't realize Bochy has been managing so long. He somehow keeps a lower profile than the other guys on the list. I don't know if it's his personality, or starting in San Diego, or him just not doing crazy things to make headlines. Such as some of Dusty Baker's quotes, Scioscia's intangible/imaginary ideas of what makes a catcher valuable, or pretty much everything LaRussa did.

2. Sciosca has managed only 3 fewer seasons than Davey Johnson, thanks to Johnson's long breaks in between jobs. This despite Scioscia not yet being arb-eligible, or at least pre free agency, when Johnson started managing.
   128. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: October 31, 2011 at 06:34 PM (#3983575)
Bruce Bochy is boring as ####-all which is why he flies under the radar.
   129. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: October 31, 2011 at 07:40 PM (#3983630)
Neither did I...but talk about going out on top.

The wrestling fan in me will choose to remember this as the Rangers winning the blowoff Loser Leave Town match between Ron Washington and Tony LaRussa.
   130. smileyy Posted: October 31, 2011 at 08:02 PM (#3983653)
[129] So that means TLR is back managing somewhere around week 4 of next season?
   131. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: October 31, 2011 at 08:13 PM (#3983663)
It's like having a punter as the face of your football video game franchise.

Sammy Baugh?
Is there a good football video game that allows for old-timey two-way players, super-limited rosters, that kind of stuff?
   132. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: October 31, 2011 at 08:16 PM (#3983664)
[129] So that means TLR is back managing somewhere around week 4 of next season?

Yes, but under a mask and a new identity.
   133. Rowland Office Supplies Posted: October 31, 2011 at 08:52 PM (#3983703)
Yes, but under a mask and a new identity.


"Doubleswitch."
   134. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 31, 2011 at 09:00 PM (#3983709)
Is Duncan for sure coming back?
   135. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: October 31, 2011 at 09:29 PM (#3983730)
So who's going to fill his slot in the BTF Whipping Boy hierarchy?
   136. Ebessan Posted: October 31, 2011 at 10:12 PM (#3983759)
Plateblockin' Mike?
   137. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: October 31, 2011 at 10:25 PM (#3983769)
Does Scioscia do anything bad other than lauding awful-hitting catchers?
   138. Sleepy supports unauthorized rambling Posted: October 31, 2011 at 10:47 PM (#3983785)
LaRussa was making $2.8 million/year. Add that to a reasonable if less-than-max Pujols contract, and Albert might sign it.


I think it's closer to $5M- COTS has him making 2Y/8.5M from 08-09, and I doubt if he took a pay cut in '10 or '11.

Anyway, I think Lance Berkman would be a better manager than Albert Pujols. He's always seemed like a very intelligent player, and his press conferences would be hilarious. Albert is also an intelligent player, but Berkman is so much funnier, I don't think it's a contest.
   139. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: October 31, 2011 at 10:48 PM (#3983786)
I suggest a Whipping Boy tourney. You'd have Frenchy, La Russa, Lackey, Minaya, Yost, Beckett, Girardi, Sabean, Milton Bradley, the Wilpons....
   140. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: October 31, 2011 at 10:52 PM (#3983787)
For about three dollars, Lenny Dykstra will personally show up to be whipped by Jose Canseco, who will do it for a quarter.
   141. bjhanke Posted: October 31, 2011 at 11:02 PM (#3983801)
I don't have a take on TLR yet, because this took me by surprise, too. But a couple of items have come up that I do jut happen to know.

1. Johnny Keane did not retire." He was fired, due to some really bad decision-making by Gussie Busch.

2. Oquendo is the heir apparent of sorts, but the Cards had troubles getting him to put in even one year as a minor league manager. He didn't want to go back to the minors. The records of MLB managers who never managed in the minors is poor. Oquendo did manage in some winter leagues.

3. Dave Duncan has one year left on his contract. Of course, that can always be bought out. His wife is gravely ill with cancer.

4. Way back when I had a press pass, I did one interview with TLR. I asked him about the three-pitcher/three-inning plan. What he said amounted to he couldn't find anyone who wanted to start, because it takes five IP to get a win. No one wanted to go negotiate a contract based on 54 starts, a 2.30 ERA, but a 0-11 W/L record.

- Brock Hanke
   142.     Hey Gurl Posted: October 31, 2011 at 11:08 PM (#3983804)
So who's going to fill his slot in the BTF Whipping Boy hierarchy?


Wasn't the torch passed to Mr. Washington this WS?
   143. True Blue Posted: October 31, 2011 at 11:17 PM (#3983807)
Johnny Keane did quit. Told Gussie Busch off for his Branch Rickey machinations and took what he thought was the ultimate job with the Yankees. It didn't work out.

In the 1960s the policy for the American League ASG managers when the Yankees dumped Houk and Yogi was to get the second place manager, Al Lopez. But it could have looked funny getting Houk to step down from his GM job in 1964 and even funnier when Yogi was a Mets coach in 1965. They also got Paul Richards in 1961 after Stengel made the mistake of becoming 70.

More of a trade but player manager Rogers Hornsby in 1926 for the Cardinals. But Rajah did manager again, usually with disastrous results.
   144. Balkroth Posted: November 01, 2011 at 01:26 AM (#3983905)
Is Duncan for sure coming back?


from Jon Morosi

Spoke with #STLCards pitching coach Dave Duncan. He intends to come back in '12, effectively ruled himself out of managerial consideration.
   145. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: November 01, 2011 at 01:57 AM (#3983920)
Is Dusty not a whipping boy anymore? How about Ned Yost, or is he now under the radar because he manages in the wilderness? Maybe Ozzie will go all small ball in the NL and he can be the new whipping boy.
   146. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 01, 2011 at 02:15 AM (#3983930)
More of a trade but player manager Rogers Hornsby in 1926 for the Cardinals. But Rajah did manager again, usually with disastrous results.

True Story: When Bill Veeck fired Hornsby as manager of the Browns after only 49 games in 1952, his players were so grateful that they presented him with an enormous trophy that read "To Bill Veeck - For the greatest play since the Emancipation Proclamation. June 10, 1952. From the players of the St. Louis Browns." The link has a photo of the actual trophy, and you can actually read the words.
   147. asinwreck Posted: November 01, 2011 at 03:28 AM (#3983985)
Of course he retired. What's left after you've achieved the crowning moment, the one you've spent decades building toward?

I speak, of course, of Tony LaRussa's invention of the IBB specialist. In the World Series. A more LaRussian move is impossible to comprehend. What else could he do?

Rumor has Jerry Reinsdorf offering him some front office position with the White Sox. I can't figure out whether this would make the organization more or less dysfunctional than the middling club that just exercised its option on Jason Frasor.
   148. cardsfanboy Posted: November 01, 2011 at 03:43 AM (#3984002)
Whither Dave Duncan? He had health problems this year so I'll assume he's retiring, too.


Duncan had health problems? I knew his wife had a tumor, but I don't really remember any health problems with him. I imagine he'll stick with the Cardinals(I thought he signed a contract extension for next year, not sure though) and prove himself as his own man.
   149. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: November 01, 2011 at 03:49 AM (#3984006)
cfb - yeah, I confused Duncan w/ his wife. Still doubt Duncan returns next year.
   150. Balkroth Posted: November 01, 2011 at 03:53 AM (#3984011)

Duncan had health problems? I knew his wife had a tumor, but I don't really remember any health problems with him. I imagine he'll stick with the Cardinals(I thought he signed a contract extension for next year, not sure though) and prove himself as his own man.


Correct, and a mutual option for 2013.
   151. cardsfanboy Posted: November 01, 2011 at 04:03 AM (#3984013)
I'm on the Jose Oquendo bandwagon, and I have absolutely no idea what his coaching philosophy will be. Here is a guy who played for Whitey Herzog, coached for over a decade for TLR, played for Davey Johnson and Joe Torre, was the ultimate bench player and is a fun agressive third base coach.

Who knows maybe he is a horrible manager, but I really think he deserves the shot based upon his mentors alone. Add in continuing the Cardinal tradition etc.

Again, I have no idea how he would manage, or how he would handle a press conference or people, but if I'm Mo, I think that Oquendo has the job until he interviews out of it.
   152. Martin Hemner Posted: November 01, 2011 at 04:06 AM (#3984018)
I can't see LaRussa managing the AS star game, as it is technically no longer an exhibition. If it "counts", then you can't have a manager that is not affected by the outcome. Plus, from everything I have seen recently, it sucks to manage the AS team. It has nothing to do with baseball, and everything to do with egos. Why would LaRussa want to come back for that, instead of being an honorary captain or something?
   153. True Blue Posted: November 01, 2011 at 04:08 AM (#3984021)
#146 The Browns went from playing .431 ball under Hornsby to playing .408 ball under Marty Marion. The following year they played .351 ball. Hope they had fun with that trophy.
   154. Something Other Posted: November 01, 2011 at 04:11 AM (#3984023)
Remarkable. Not even a borderline HOFer after two decades of managing, then, BOOM!

LaRussa underachieves in Chicago, his A's certainly didn't do better than expected, and in his first 22 seasons he fails to get over .500 in half his seasons, finishing fourth or worse half the time; then he seems to turn into a completely different manager, at least as far as results are concerned. What changed?

LaRussa's career arc reminds me a little of Paul Molitor's, who put up about 40% of his career value starting with his age 33 season.
   155. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: November 01, 2011 at 04:17 AM (#3984026)
LaRussa underachieves in Chicago, his A's certainly didn't do better than expected, and in his first 22 seasons he fails to get over .500 in half his seasons, finishing fourth or worse half the time; then he seems to turn into a completely different manager, at least as far as results are concerned. What changed?


LaRussa didn't underachieve in Chicago and I'm not sure what "was expected in Oakland." He clearly cemented his Hall of Fame status and did his best work in St. Louis, but he established himself as a quality manager in both his first two stops.
   156. Balkroth Posted: November 01, 2011 at 04:20 AM (#3984030)
I basically agree there, I really really would like Ron (Pop) Warner to get a shot, cause I really like how he's managed the springfield team, but It's Oquendo's, esp since it seems like it might be helpful with Pujols too. Plus Oqueno is a crazy fun guy.

For good measure, the cards should at least interview Sandberg though
   157. True Blue Posted: November 01, 2011 at 04:28 AM (#3984035)
I don't think anybody answered #36's question about the last guy to retire with a career marker in reach. He mentioned Mussina (300 wins) and Kaline (400 home runs). I always thought the ultimate in this is Frank Robinson. He retired with 2,943 hits and 586 home runs. as player manager he easily could have used himself as DH. Especially since Cleveland had 40 year old Rico Carty as DH-he would not taking any at bats from a youngster.

Of course there is Sam Rice retiring with 2,987 hits but the Morocco native (Morocco, Indiana that is) insisted that 3,000 hits wasn't a big thing back in the day.
   158. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: November 01, 2011 at 04:37 AM (#3984039)
Of course there is Sam Rice retiring with 2,987 hits but the Morocco native (Morocco, Indiana that is) insisted that 3,000 hits wasn't a big thing back in the day.


I believe he didn't know he had 2,987 when he retired. But you are correct on his Newton County origins.
   159. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 01, 2011 at 04:40 AM (#3984042)
How come Dave McKay never gets mentioned as a managerial candidate? He's been at TLR's side for decades. If he's even picked up a fraction of TLR's knowledge he'd have a leg up on most managers. Is he simply not interested?

Ryne Sandberg as Cards skipper would be divine.
   160. cardsfanboy Posted: November 01, 2011 at 04:59 AM (#3984048)
McKay has the personality of a wet noodle.
   161. Something Other Posted: November 01, 2011 at 05:49 AM (#3984057)
LaRussa didn't underachieve in Chicago and I'm not sure what "was expected in Oakland." He clearly cemented his Hall of Fame status and did his best work in St. Louis, but he established himself as a quality manager in both his first two stops.
9 seasons, 5 times he finished 5th or 6th, he finished first all of once--that's the record of a "quality manager"? I'm sure the least you could expect of the A's players under LaRussa was what they actually accomplished. Anyway, he didn't cement anything in St. Louis, he became a HOF manager with his work starting in 2000, which looks completely different from the first two-thirds of his career.
   162. Dr. Vaux Posted: November 01, 2011 at 07:07 AM (#3984063)
Were there teams in the NL Central that looked better on paper than the Cardinals in the 2000-2005 era?

I think people are under the impression that LaRussa got more out of players than other managers would have. What I find interesting about him is that he had such a stable coaching staff that if he did get more out of players --and he seemed to--it's hard to tell how much he had to do with it and how much the various members of the staff had to do with it. It will be interesting to see Dave Duncan coach under another manager.
   163. A Random 8-Year-Old Eskimo Posted: November 01, 2011 at 08:43 AM (#3984067)
LaRussa underachieves in Chicago,

Getting 99 wins out of the 1983 White Sox is hardly underachieving.
   164. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 01, 2011 at 01:08 PM (#3984098)
He also had the benefit of having the best player in baseball play for him in all three stops - Albert Pujols in St. Louis, Jose Canseco in Oakland, and Jerry Dybzisnki in Chicago.
   165. just plain joe Posted: November 01, 2011 at 01:25 PM (#3984105)
Ryne Sandberg as Cards skipper would be divine.


That would make heads explode all over the midwest.
   166. SoSH U at work Posted: November 01, 2011 at 01:53 PM (#3984122)
9 seasons, 5 times he finished 5th or 6th, he finished first all of once--that's the record of a "quality manager"?


How much you over/under achieve is dependent on the talent you have to work with, not your record in relation to .500. In the case of the Sox during Tony's time, it wasn't much (I addressed all this in hte other thread the last time you were going on about this).

TLR was not a Hall of Fame-worthy manager after his Chicago/Oakland stops. So what? He was already established as a damn good major league manager.

What's amazing about TLR's record is not his peak, even if it was pretty damn good in St. Louis. What differentiates him from most everyone else, save Bobby, is the length of time he was effective. Most other greats lose it before they reach 20 years - they aren't still going strong at 30.

I think people are under the impression that LaRussa got more out of players than other managers would have. What I find interesting about him is that he had such a stable coaching staff that if he did get more out of players --and he seemed to--it's hard to tell how much he had to do with it and how much the various members of the staff had to do with it. It will be interesting to see Dave Duncan coach under another manager.


Well, the Leo Mazzone era in Baltimore wasn't exactly Exhibit A in the case that the magic is all in the coaching.
   167. Tom Nawrocki Posted: November 01, 2011 at 02:16 PM (#3984133)
I'm sure the least you could expect of the A's players under LaRussa was what they actually accomplished.


The first time you said this, I thought you were trolling, but maybe not. Perhaps there's a reasonable person somewhere who thinks that a normal expectation for the nine full years LaRussa managed the A's was five or six division titles, rather than the four they actually won. But I doubt it.

The talent LaRussa acquired in Oakland did not look very impressive at the time. He picked up Dave Stewart after being released by the Phillies, and turned him into an ace, and got Dennis Eckerley from the Cubs for three non-prospects, and turned him into a Hall of Famer. Dave Henderson looked like nothing when the A's signed him as a free agent. And so on.
   168. Something Other Posted: November 02, 2011 at 01:16 AM (#3984675)
TLR was not a Hall of Fame-worthy manager after his Chicago/Oakland stops. So what? He was already established as a damn good major league manager.
That's the ####### point, isn't it? To take a look at a guy's career and see what made him who he is, and in the case of a HOFer, see when he became one and why. This isn't sacrilege. We're not asking for a look at Jesus's rectum, no matter how offended you are by a look behind the curtain.

How much you over/under achieve is dependent on the talent you have to work with, not your record in relation to .500. In the case of the Sox during Tony's time, it wasn't much (I addressed all this in hte other thread the last time you were going on about this).
Addressed? You made a couple of generalizations. I'll give you that.

It's also entirely possible that without Pujols LaRussa retires as the Harold Baines or Rusty Staub of managers. There's no shame in that, but it's ludicrous not to note it, or note things like it, to not trouble to look even that much into a guy's career and see why he found success or if it found him. One equivalent would be a good hitter who moves into the best hitter's park in the majors for the last third of his career and starts to look like a great hitter. Did LaRussa become a different manager during the last third of his career? Did he really figure something out? Sometimes guys do. Or did he get lucky, in that the Cardinals were always up there in their division in terms of payroll and he happened to have the best player in the game over a decade, and cheaply at that? I'd think that someone who gave a #### about LaRussa's career might have an actual opinion about that, but you don't seem to.

@167: troll yourself, pal. So we give LaRussa credit for finding or getting the most out of players in Oakland, but don't dock him for failing to do so in Chicago? That's rigorous. What was he doing differently? Did he ever talk about it? Doesn't it seem like he got better at finding guys and getting more out of them once he got to Oakland? If it's not too much ####### trouble, why do you think that is? How much of that was Duncan joining LaRussa about halfway through his stint in Chicago, iirc?
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