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Saturday, October 29, 2011

LaRussa - Should His Hall of Fame Candidacy Suffer Due to “The Steroid Era?”

Dunno (holds stained wighat down), but Tufts takes a look…

By virtue of winning his third World Series title (1989 in Oakland, 2006 and 2011 in St. Louis), a career managerial record of 2728-2365 (third in victories behind John McGraw – who he would pass next season for second place – and Connie Mack) and four manager of the year selections, Cardinals skipper Tony LaRussa is certain to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in his first season of eligibility.

Or is he?

Will the “Steroid Era” hand-wringing and lamentations by sportswriters also result in a delay in the manufacturing of LaRussa’s plaque?

...If you choose to punish players, you probably have to punish those who knew – or should have known – who could have stopped the problem before it got way out of control.

How will the BBWAA and its members handle their drug suspicions during the process of constructing a ballot and voting on the candidacies of baseball executives and pioneers?  Will the writers appointed by the BBWAA Historical Review Committee that devise the Expansion Era ballot stop and consider their suspicions of non-players, also?

Since writers are intent making a stark black and white distinction as to who gets in and who doesn’t, where do you draw the line – and due to his actions, does Tony LaRussa fall below it for now?

Repoz Posted: October 29, 2011 at 08:52 PM | 43 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cardinals, hall of fame, history, steroids

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: October 29, 2011 at 09:04 PM (#3982348)
Or is he?

He is.
   2. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: October 29, 2011 at 09:12 PM (#3982357)
If BBWAA voters were intellectually honest (sharp, bitter laugh) this issue would be raised loudly.

But I expect TLR waltzes into Cooperstown with nary a mention of the Canseco/McGwire era.
   3. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: October 29, 2011 at 09:30 PM (#3982377)
someone should explain to this person that the BBWAA does not vote on managers--it's a separate, more select committee that does the voting
   4. Tracy Ringolsby Posted: October 29, 2011 at 09:30 PM (#3982378)
The problem with this article is the BBWAA members don't vote on non-players.
   5. Bob Tufts Posted: October 29, 2011 at 09:55 PM (#3982403)
The Expansion Era covers candidates among managers, umpires, executives and long-retired players whose most significant career impact was realized during the 1973-present time frame.

The Expansion Era ballot was devised by the Baseball Writers' Association of America
(BBWAA) appointed Historical Overview Committee, comprised of 11 veteran members: Dave Van Dyck (Chicago Tribune); Bob Elliott (Toronto Sun); Rick Hummel (St. Louis Post-Dispatch); Steve Hirdt (Elias Sports Bureau); Moss Klein (formerly Newark Star-Ledger); Bill Madden (New York Daily News); Ken Nigro, (formerly Baltimore Sun); Jack O'Connell (BBWAA secretary/treasurer); Nick Peters (formerly Sacramento Bee); Tracy Ringolsby (FSN Rocky Mountain); and Mark Whicker (Orange County Register).

The 16-member electorate charged with the review of the Expansion Era ballot features: Hall of Fame members Johnny Bench, Whitey Herzog, Eddie Murray, Jim Palmer, Tony Perez, Frank Robinson, Ryne Sandberg and Ozzie Smith; major league executives Bill Giles (Phillies), David Glass (Royals), Andy MacPhail (Orioles) and Jerry Reinsdorf (White Sox); and veteran media members Bob Elliott (Toronto Sun), Tim Kurkjian (ESPN), Ross Newhan (retired, Los Angeles Times) and Tom Verducci (Sports Illustrated).
   6. The District Attorney Posted: October 29, 2011 at 10:01 PM (#3982410)
The Expansion Era ballot was devised by the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) appointed Historical Overview Committee, comprised of 11 veteran members: Dave Van Dyck (Chicago Tribune); Bob Elliott (Toronto Sun); Rick Hummel (St. Louis Post-Dispatch); Steve Hirdt (Elias Sports Bureau); Moss Klein (formerly Newark Star-Ledger); Bill Madden (New York Daily News); Ken Nigro, (formerly Baltimore Sun); Jack O'Connell (BBWAA secretary/treasurer); Nick Peters (formerly Sacramento Bee); Tracy Ringolsby (FSN Rocky Mountain); and Mark Whicker (Orange County Register).
I bet ballfan knew that. ;-)

Steve Hirdt (Elias Sports Bureau)
Yeah, don't put Bill James on there, put this guy.

Maybe you can take off Whicker, who is presumably busy trying to get to Bryan Stow to tell him that Peyton Manning got hurt.
   7. Tripon Posted: October 29, 2011 at 11:08 PM (#3982448)
Did Tony LaRussa take steroids?
   8. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: October 29, 2011 at 11:09 PM (#3982449)
Here's some indications on how the four writers (out of 16 voters) figure to shake out:

Verducci, 2011:
"Voting for the Hall of Fame, always a difficult task that requires separating the truly great from the very good, has become even more tricky because of how steroid users corrupted the game, cutting it away not only from baseball before and after that era, but also from the baseball played in that same time by the many who chose to play clean. Some writers actually may have concocted ways to make the voting easier: a) pretend steroids never happened; b) pretend steroids don't boost performance; or c) pretend everybody was using so the playing field actually was even. None are based in reality...
A Hall of Fame vote is the highest endorsement of a career. There is a difference between understanding steroid use and endorsing it."

Elliott, 2007:
"He [Roger Clemens] was a first ballot Hall of Famer five years ago, he’s the same today and he’ll be the same five years from now."

Kurkjian, 2011:
“I'm not sure how you can vote against Jeff Bagwell, even though I don't think he's going to get in. Yet, some people have written that there are steroid accusations or steroid suspicions. I'm not buying those. I was brought up thinking that you better not accuse without some proof."
and in 2010:
"It's not going to be much of a Hall of Fame 15 years from now if ten of the best players of an era have all the numbers to get in, but are not in."

Newhan, 2011:
"My policy--as I stated while working for the Los Angeles Times and since starting this blog--is that I will not vote for any player carrying tangible evidence of steroid use. Suspicion is not enough, and should not handicap a player of Bagwell's credentials...
Some writers have made the point that we are not the morality police and should accept the Steroid Era as we do the Dead Ball Era or any other, but I don't agree. As I was quoted in a New York Times story Sunday, if we are not the morality police, if we are not the custodians of the game's hsitory and its legacies, who will be?
... Righteous indignation? I don't apologize. I accept the badge of the morality police."
   9. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: October 29, 2011 at 11:16 PM (#3982455)
Screw TLR. Please Tracy, if you can just make sure Grich gets on the next Expansion Era ballot, I'll be most grateful.
   10. Ebessan Posted: October 29, 2011 at 11:20 PM (#3982457)
The Expansion Era covers candidates among managers, umpires, executives and long-retired players whose most significant career impact was realized during the 1973-present time frame.

Bill Freehan can get blown.
   11. AJMcCringleberry Posted: October 29, 2011 at 11:21 PM (#3982460)
If you choose to punish players, you probably have to punish those who knew – or should have known – who could have stopped the problem before it got way out of control.

Agree. So what's going to happen to the writers?
   12. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: October 29, 2011 at 11:39 PM (#3982470)
TLR won zero rings between 1990 nad 2005, which happens to cover the steroid era almost exactly. And he has 3 rings in the handfull of years around it. Just think of how many rings he would have, if it hadn't been for steroids!

/ducks
   13. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: October 29, 2011 at 11:41 PM (#3982472)
If you choose to punish players, you probably have to punish those who knew – or should have known – who could have stopped the problem before it got way out of control.

Agree. So what's going to happen to the writers?

Alcoholism, self-loathing and depression.
   14. asinwreck Posted: October 29, 2011 at 11:42 PM (#3982473)
It should suffer from his mind-numbing bullpen management. And overuse of hairspray early in his career.
   15. sunnyday2 Posted: October 29, 2011 at 11:53 PM (#3982481)
if we are not the custodians of the game's hsitory and its legacies, who will be?


God help us.

And if indeed it is the writer's prerogative to be judge, jury and executioner not only of those who did steroids but those who should have known, well, shouldn't the writers have known? If you insist on doing the judging, don't be surprise if yte be judged. Or IOW:

If you choose to punish players, you probably have to punish those who knew – or should have known – who could have stopped the problem before it got way out of control.

Agree. So what's going to happen to the writers?


Cokes to both of you guys.
   16. Repoz Posted: October 29, 2011 at 11:54 PM (#3982482)
Jack "I'm plugging Yankees for post season awards even if they don't deserve them and I don't like people posting HOF votes before they're announced" O'Connell (BBWAA secretary/treasurer)

I feel better.
   17. KT's Pot Arb Posted: October 30, 2011 at 12:59 AM (#3982512)
If BBWAA voters were intellectually honest (sharp, bitter laugh) this issue would be raised loudly.


I'm not sure what TLR was supposed to do. Complain loudly that players had the right to take steroids? Out guys on his team if he suspected them ?

If TLR was orchestrating steroid use, I can see holding him accountable, maybe.
   18. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: October 30, 2011 at 01:12 AM (#3982515)
I'm not sure what TLR was supposed to do. Complain loudly that players had the right to take steroids? Out guys on his team if he suspected them?

LaRussa may have known what was going on, but if he did, he was living under the code, and of course he wasn't going to rat anyone out, especially if it involved his best player.

If TLR was orchestrating steroid use, I can see holding him accountable, maybe.

FIFY. But you have to prove that "if", and there's no evidence to date that he was doing any such thing.

As for the players, though, they took their chances, and if it backfired on them, well, tough ####. And if a few of them get kept out of the Hall of Fame as a result, Big Whoops. Talk about totally wasted sympathy.
   19. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: October 30, 2011 at 01:27 AM (#3982518)
This is Tony La Russa, right? The man who has publicly criticized players on other teams, and players on his own teams, and relatives of players, and umpires, and management, and TV announcers, and sportswriters, and fans? The same La Russa who was cornered, and unable to speak, just on this one very special topic?

Whitey Herzog may not have "outed" his cocaine players, but he certainly traded them away. A decade later, La Russa was part of the orchestrated campaign to denounce Steve Wilstein.

If the argument is "all those who profited unjustly from steroids must pay the price," then La Russa has to be on that punishment list. If that seems unfair, the snag is with the premise, not the conclusion. "Steroid era" absolutism is a harsh mistress. (Although actually, it isn't. Not for the media. When you get to make up the rules, you get to make up the exceptions, too!)
   20. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 30, 2011 at 01:48 AM (#3982525)
I wish #19 had a "like" button I could click on. Well said.
   21. Bob Tufts Posted: October 30, 2011 at 02:02 AM (#3982528)
Kudos, Gonfalon.

And not once did TLR ever think of the children!
   22. cardsfanboy Posted: October 30, 2011 at 02:04 AM (#3982529)
The man who has publicly criticized players on other teams, and players on his own teams, and relatives of players, and umpires, and management, and TV announcers, and sportswriters, and fans? The same La Russa who was cornered, and unable to speak, just on this one very special topic?


for the life of me, I can't think of anyone he's publicly criticized on the other team, who didn't actually start it. I've seen him criticize an action, but that is different than criticizing a player.

Whitey Herzog may not have "outed" his cocaine players, but he certainly traded them away. A decade later, La Russa was part of the orchestrated campaign to denounce Steve Wilstein.


Saying Whitey Herzog traded players because of their coke use is basically believing Whitey Herzog over the actual facts. He traded players who were 1. smarter than him. 2. more popular than him. Porter was a known user, when Whitey acquired him(and Porters usage years included his time under Whitey) and died with coke in his system, so it's hard to really believe he was clean when he was playing for the Cardinals. Hernandez on the other hand was a veteran force in the clubhouse and Whitey, as he proved with Ted Simmons, couldn't brook anyone with a strong personality. Lonnie Smith stayed on the team for several years after his drug problems popped up.
   23. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: October 30, 2011 at 02:34 AM (#3982539)
If the argument is "all those who profited unjustly from steroids must pay the price," then La Russa has to be on that punishment list.

I'm no fan of Tony La Russa, and I don't give a rat's #### if he gets elected to the Hall of Fame, but you're going to hang steroids around his neck, you should at least have to come up with something beyond "we all knew that he had to have known."

EDIT: Jesus, the nanny's now even zapping the tw*t-word??!!!

Verducci, 2011:
"Voting for the Hall of Fame, always a difficult task that requires separating the truly great from the very good, has become even more tricky because of how steroid users corrupted the game, cutting it away not only from baseball before and after that era, but also from the baseball played in that same time by the many who chose to play clean. Some writers actually may have concocted ways to make the voting easier: a) pretend steroids never happened; b) pretend steroids don't boost performance; or c) pretend everybody was using so the playing field actually was even. None are based in reality...
A Hall of Fame vote is the highest endorsement of a career. There is a difference between understanding steroid use and endorsing it."


Kurkjian, 2011:
“I'm not sure how you can vote against Jeff Bagwell, even though I don't think he's going to get in. Yet, some people have written that there are steroid accusations or steroid suspicions. I'm not buying those. I was brought up thinking that you better not accuse without some proof."


Put those statements together and give those two gentlemen a cigar.
   24. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: October 30, 2011 at 02:59 AM (#3982548)
you should at least have to come up with something beyond "we all knew that he had to have known."

Exhibits 1 through 34,104 (and 34,605 on Thursday).

Yes... how could the famously inattentive and lackadaisical La Russa possibly have suspected a thing about the sterrrrrrrroids, sterrrrrrrrrroids? (And haven't we already been through this 34,104 times, and 34,605 on Thursdays?)

EDIT: Jesus, the nanny's now even zapping the tw*t-word??!!!

Well, sure... everybody knows "Twilight" sucks.
   25. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: October 30, 2011 at 03:13 AM (#3982554)
you should at least have to come up with something beyond "we all knew that he had to have known."

Exhibits 1 through 34,104 (and 34,605 on Thursday).

Yes... how could the famously inattentive and lackadaisical La Russa possibly have suspected a thing about the sterrrrrrrroids, sterrrrrrrrrroids? (And haven't we already been through this 34,104 times, and 34,605 on Thursdays?)


We probably have, but that "evidence" of knowledge on LaRussa's part isn't quite on the same level as the evidence of actual use that we have against two of his players. It may be perfectly reasonable to deduce that LaRussa was in on the deal, but by that standard you can say that it's perfectly reasonable to deduce from purely conjectural evidence that any big muscled player with big power numbers was a roider. I guess I don't find that a standard I'd use to knock people out of the HoF, even though in this case I don't give a rat's twilight whether or not the suspect makes it into Cooperstown.
   26. robinred Posted: October 30, 2011 at 03:31 AM (#3982573)
However you want to parse it, LaRussa has a long, long, long, long history of calling out people he doesn't think are "doing it right." He didn't do that on PEDs and had known PED users on his team. Period.

As to Herzog, as with LaRussa, if you don't have an agenda, (as cfb clearly does) it is clear that Herzog was very successful. LaRussa has passed him now, but Herzog did a great job in St. Louis, and Herzog never had the WC to get him extra shots in post-season.

That said, LaRussa is a great manager and is going in the HOF when he's eligible.
   27. greenback calls it soccer Posted: October 30, 2011 at 03:47 AM (#3982583)
However you want to parse it, LaRussa has a long, long, long, long history of calling out people he doesn't think are "doing it right." He didn't do that on PEDs and had known PED users on his team. Period.

The 'period' rhetorical flourish is weird. It's supposed to end the discussion, I guess, but I'm always left thinking "No, that's probably not quite right." In this case, La Russa's long, long, long history is centered around his transparent attempts at psychological warfare against the opposition and chasing off underachievers on his own team. There's little ethical basis for his whining.
   28. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 30, 2011 at 03:55 AM (#3982585)
The 'period' rhetorical flourish is weird.


And always convincing. Especially if followed by an "End of story."
   29. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 30, 2011 at 04:03 AM (#3982591)
LaRussa may have known what was going on, but if he did, he was living under the code, and of course he wasn't going to rat anyone out, especially if it involved his best player.


Once more, Andy, since you're slow on this topic: Nobody cared about steroid use until the late '90s at the earliest. The only "code" in place was the same one that called on people in the game not to rat players out for smoking pot or for cheating on their wives by banging cocktail waitresses two at a time. That you still don't understand this is amusing, but, regardless, the "code" you speak of -- that people were somehow all hush hush about steroids but were yapping on about all kinds of other behind-closed-doors activity -- is all in your head.

Your boyhood idol's home run record fell, and then was eclipsed several times. If you think that was unfair, and that players were cheating to do it, I'm sure Mike Lupica will give you a shoulder to cry on.
   30. TOLAXOR Posted: October 30, 2011 at 04:10 AM (#3982595)
"all those who profited unjustly from steroids must pay the price," then La Russa has to be on that punishment list"


AND SO MUST EVERYONE WHO CONTRIBUTES TO THIS WEBSITE!!!

AND SO MUST EVERYONE IN THE MEDIA!!!

WE HAVE PROFITED IN OUR OWN MEASURABLE AND IMMEASURABLE WAYS, WE ARE GUILTY WE ARE CRIMINAL WE ARE THE 1% WHO CARE ABOUT BASEBALL!!!!
   31. Tom Nawrocki Posted: October 30, 2011 at 04:29 AM (#3982600)
I'm mildly surprised that LaRussa hasn't announced his retirement yet. This would seem to be the perfect time for it, and if Pujols leaves, the Cardinals will struggle mightily to contend next season.
   32. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 30, 2011 at 04:43 AM (#3982607)
If La Russa's presence is at all a factor in Pujols' possible return, as it reportedly is, I can't see La Russa retiring until after Pujols signs a new contract elsewhere (and I can't see him retiring at all if Pujols re-signs with STL).
   33. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: October 30, 2011 at 04:57 AM (#3982609)
RayDiPerna Posted: October 29, 2011 at 11:55 PM (#3982585)

The 'period' rhetorical flourish is weird.

And always convincing. Especially if followed by an "End of story."


I prefer to end with: IT'S OVER! IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN OVER!
   34. cardsfanboy Posted: October 30, 2011 at 05:04 AM (#3982611)
As to Herzog, as with LaRussa, if you don't have an agenda, (as cfb clearly does) it is clear that Herzog was very successful. LaRussa has passed him now, but Herzog did a great job in St. Louis, and Herzog never had the WC to get him extra shots in post-season.


I actually like both a lot, my problem is that for some reason an ego maniac like Whitey is considered to be great, while an ego maniac like TLR is considered to be evil. They are pretty much the same ####### guy. Both intense competitors, both are guys who have an ego the size of Texas, both think they do it the right way... the only ####### difference is that Whitey is able to deflect blame onto other people because he refuses to accept any culpability in his actions, while TLR constantly takes foists the blame onto himself.

Herzog did a great job as long as he was winning, but the mf, quit on the team, his hand picked team, in middle of the season and then tried to blame the owners for his failure. And he has a history of quitting when the going gets tough. He basically told his team before game seven in 1985, that they couldn't win this series. Whitey is a hof worthy manager, is probably one of the three greatest managers in Cardinal history, but on just a first 11 year basis, TLR clearly passes him as the greatest of all time.

It's just silly that smart fans fall for the lies that Whitey tells, and then make up crap to support their preformed bias against TLR. TLR, has never as a Cardinal manager, criticized the other teams players except for their actions on the field, and even then it's usually very generic. We aren't talking about a ####### Brewer player calling out Carpenter... I dare anyone to find a quote directly attributable to TLR where he criticizes an opposing player by name, in which the opposing player didn't start the flame war.
   35. cardsfanboy Posted: October 30, 2011 at 05:13 AM (#3982613)
Once more, Andy, since you're slow on this topic: Nobody cared about steroid use until the late '90s at the earliest. The only "code" in place was the same one that called on people in the game not to rat players out for smoking pot or for cheating on their wives by banging cocktail waitresses two at a time. That you still don't understand this is amusing, but, regardless, the "code" you speak of -- that people were somehow all hush hush about steroids but were yapping on about all kinds of other behind-closed-doors activity -- is all in your head.

Your boyhood idol's home run record fell, and then was eclipsed several times. If you think that was unfair, and that players were cheating to do it, I'm sure Mike Lupica will give you a shoulder to cry on.


Are you creating an argument from Andy that he hasn't espoused in this thread? Andy has pretty much clearly stated that unless real evidence arises that TLR was actively condoning roid usage, that he should be given the benefit of the doubt. I don't see how this is evidence that he's upset about his boyhood idol being surpassed by multiple players.

The code he is speaking of, is arguably the code that is in place in pretty much every work environment in the world. The exact same code you are talking about in your post. How did you somehow interpret that to mean it was a unique code only applicable to roid usage?
   36. robinred Posted: October 30, 2011 at 05:44 AM (#3982618)
my problem is that for some reason an ego maniac like Whitey is considered to be great, while an ego maniac like TLR is considered to be evil


Hmmm. Your position is clearer now, and I misread it. My bad.

I would suggest, though, that you are overstating the bad side of TLR's rep, maybe due to BTF-overdose.

I am a long-time Lakers fan, and I think LaRussa is a lot like Phil Jackson: very smart, gets through to players, knows how to help them succeed, creative, philosophical. But also pompous as hell, manipulative, verbose, and self-righteous. Two guys who have been called "geniuses" a few too many times, but two guys who are (or were, in Phil's case) mostly damn good at their jobs.
   37. robinred Posted: October 30, 2011 at 05:54 AM (#3982619)
It's supposed to end the discussion, I guess, but I'm always left thinking "No, that's probably not quite right


Nah. Nothing "ends" discussions here. It is simply intended to emphasize the truth of a point.

There's little ethical basis for his whining.


Something tells me he doesn't see it that way. I don't particularly care about LaRussa and steroids, but I find it highly unlikely he was unaware of what was going on. The same goes for many other field managers and execs as well. People are singling out LaRussa because of Canseco and McGwire and because of LaRussa's success and public posturing.

We don't all have your rhetorical flair, Ray:

Yawn.
Never heard a word of his broadcast.
It's over. It's always been over.
   38. I Remember When Posted: October 30, 2011 at 03:01 PM (#3982678)
#34 Exactly! As a Cards fan I had a love/hate relationship with Whitey. When he was good he was very good, when he was bad he would quit on his team, trade off his producers and act like a prima donna.

Tony on the other hand, never quits, takes the heat for his players and acts like a prima donna. When Tony started with the Cards and benched Ozzie I thought here we go again and so it took a while to warm to him. But today I appreciate the guy - the 2011 Birds would NOT have happened under Herzog.

My 3 greatest Cardinal managers would be Southworth, LaRussa and Schoendienst. Whitey is odd man out because he quit.
   39. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: October 30, 2011 at 03:10 PM (#3982684)
Thank you, CFB (#35). Ray's just got his Halloween trolling costume on a day early. He doesn't even bother to respond to anything other than his own pre-set notions of what I've written, and arguing with him is like punching the tar baby.
   40. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: October 30, 2011 at 03:42 PM (#3982705)
When LaRussa dies, someone will buy his genius brain at an auction and hold an online poll to decide whether to blow it up, shoot it into outer space, or brand it with an asterisk and donate it to the HOF.
   41. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: October 30, 2011 at 04:22 PM (#3982725)
LaRussa is interesting in St. Louis in that his greatest postseason success has come with teams you would, at best, describe as regular season underachievers. His best St. Louis teams--by record--and their post season record:

1. 2004, 105 Wins: 7-8 (Lost in WS)
2. 2005, 100 Wins: 5-4 (Lost in LCS)
3. 2002, 97 Wins: 4-4 (Lost in LCS)
4. 2000, 95 Wins: 4-4 (Lost in LCS)
5. 2001, 93 Wins: 2-3 (Lost in LDS)

On the other hand, his two World Series winning teams won 86 and 90 games, respectively. I'm not sure this means anything but it's a strange thing.
   42. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: October 30, 2011 at 04:31 PM (#3982731)
It means the playoffs are a crapshoot, and the best way to win a couple of world series is to get your team into the playoffs often.
   43. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: October 30, 2011 at 05:00 PM (#3982755)
RB - you can see something similar with his AL teams.

Twice his teams won over 100 games in the regular season. They were 1-8 in the World Series, losing to the Dodgers and Reds in huge upset.

Twice a LaRussa team in the AL won 99 games in a season. One got bounced 3-games-to-1 in the ALCS, and the other did in fact claim his only world title.

Nitpick:
On the other hand, his two World Series winning teams won 86 and 90 games

Typo there - the 2006 Cards won 83 games, not 86.

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