Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Why don't I like Tony LaRussa?

I don’t like Tony LaRussa and I’m not 100% sure why.
He’s a Hall of Fame manager… Sparky Anderson and LaRussa are the only two managers in history to win a World Series in both leagues.

Oh I admire him… but I don’t like him.

And I feel like I should like him.
My wife seems to like him, at least when I described him during the 2006 World Series.He’s a vegetarian who saves puppies and kittens.
Anyone who saves helpless animals should be liked.

But here I am not liking the guy.

Plus he got involved in local activities, like the Oakland Ballet. In fact starting when he was the A’s manager, he has performed in the Nutcracker along with other Bay Area based athletes.

As someone who was on the football and baseball team as well as drama in highschool, I love this merging of jocks and art.

It should make me love the guy.
But I don’t.

And it isn’t just because his Oakland A’s pummeled the Red Sox in the 1988 and 1990 ALCS. There are lots of people who beat up the Red Sox whom I don’t necessarily hate.

Besides, the Red Sox returned the favor when they swept LaRussa’s Cardinals in the lopsided 2004 World Series… so that should eliminate any lingering bitterness.

But it isn’t bitterness. I don’t like him.

Is it because he is a lawyer?
My cousin Bill is a lawyer. I like him.
My friend Susannah is in UCLA Law School. I like her.

There is a joylessness with the LaRussa era.
Maybe it has to do with the deaths of Kile and Hancock or his own drunk driving.

Is it because he benefited so clearly from the steroid era having Canseco and McGwire bulk up on his watch and bringing in a roided Big Mac to St. Louis and break Roger Maris’ record?

Nahhh. There are so many people who benefited from the steroid era in ways that we will never 100% know.

There’s something about LaRussa that rubs me the wrong way…
It could be the know it all aura he has.
It could be the fact that he has made some brutally questionable moves in the post season that he never seems to get crap for.

Or maybe he has that Alan Alda in Crimes and Misdemeanors quality.
He seems on the surface like a great guy, but get to know him and he’s a sleaze.

But I don’t think I am alone on this.
This is a guy who turned three proud franchises around…

He took a 90 loss White Sox franchise and brought them to the post season for the first time in 24 seasons.

He took an irrelevant A’s team and transformed them into a powerhouse, matching the 1970s A’s with 3 straight pennants.

His first year in St. Louis he took the Cardinals to within one game of the World Series and they have remained a playoff fixture in the 2000s.

And this year, with a team many people thought would lose 100 games, he has the team in the thick of the Wild Card race in late August.

Yet is he loved in Chicago? Oakland? St. Louis?

I could be wrong, but I get the sense that Whitey Herzog is still more loved in St. Louis.

LaRussa has that Clint Eastwood in Fistful of Dollars quality.
Yeah he protects the town, but what is his motivation? Can he really be trusted?

But then again, I loved Clint Eastwood in Fistful of Dollars.

I guess I’ll never figure out why I dislike LaRussa.

Maybe some Cardinals fans can help me.

Hey That's A Winner, do you look at LaRussa smile or do you look at LaRussa and nod your head thinking “He’s doing his job.”?

Let me ask you, Cards Clubhouse. Who do you have more affection for? LaRussa or Herzog?

Here’s a question for Mike at Stan Musial's Stance. Do you see the LaRussa era as kind of like signing a pact with the devil? And would the devil save puppies and support the local Ballet?

Viva El Birdos, do you look at LaRussa like he is an outsider? This is his 13th season in St. Louis. That’s 2 more than Herzog managed in St. Louis.

Or is it just not that complicated, Gas House Gang. He won in St. Louis. He will go to the Hall of Fame and his number will be retired… end of story.

Either way, the Cardinals are in the thick of it again and LaRussa might win yet another Manager of the Year…

And for some reason I still won’t like him


  1. well, summing up Tony Larussa's managing style is basically impossible. On the surface (at least in the past) he came off as a pure numbers guy, but I think that has eroded over the years into a kind of bullish pride. He kind of sticks to his guns a lot and does what he wants, even though it doesn't really add up numbers wise all the time. Sure, his gut feelings are as accurate as anyone else's, or moreso (he is very successful), but as a Cardinals fan I'm getting a little tired of his unwavering trust of veterans and more experienced players (even if they are no where near as talented as their younger counterparts), his constant tinkering with the lineup (I'm sure some players don't really know exactly what position they play anymore), his unpredictable use of matchups (sometimes he sticks to them blindly, at others he ignores some players). Finally, he'll run out guys that have been failing, seemingly at random. He'll throw a relief pitcher he hasn't been doing too hot into a pressure situation. Sure he's had a challenge this year in managing, but I'd like to see more consistency, and not his usual eccentricities. I do like the guy, he's quite the character. But he's no Whitey Herzog.

  2. Anonymous8:05 PM

    this clown is the luckiest manager in baseball history!! his claim to fame winning 89 quake series and 06 detroit meltdown 2 of the most forgetable in history. he knew about bash bros. roid use. him duncan weinberg mckay are joined at the hip for always. he knew about kiles drug use hoffmans alcohol abuse and did NOTHING!!! HE IS AN EGOTISTICAL ALKIE ASS HOLE !! I CALL HIM TONY THR DOG BOY!!!!

  3. Anonymous11:09 PM

    Dear Turdwall,

    Do some research, you idiot. Kile died from a coronary heart disease, not drug use. Oh... and for the last time, Trevor Hoffman has never played for the Cardinals. You're thinking of Josh Hancock.

    What a freaking moron.

    As for LaRussa, he just doesn't have any charm and always seems to exude an air of superiority which rubs a lot of people the wrong way, myself included. That being said, he's not paid to be anyone's friend. He's paid to win ballgames, which he does.

    I may not like him as a person but I can't think of many managers I'd rather have.

  4. Anonymous8:04 PM

    I've Only Been To 1 Of Larussa's Game's,And That Ended Up In A Win,But I Don't Care.It's Just Another Win.I Saw It Last Year,And They Have Traded Alot Of There Better Player's Away (Like Jim Edmonds,Scott Rolen,David Eckstein,And Matt Morris)....Then Seeing Mark McGwire Testify In Court About HGH.That Mean's That If Mark McGwire Is Using HGH when he hit 70 home run's back in 1999,Then Barry Bond's Was Taking HGH In 2001 when he hit 73 home run's.And,you can see why no Major Leauge team's are wanting him.Even if it could help the team.They still don't want him.All this talk about Steroids and the stuff that they put in their bodie's that,as years go by,might hurt them,kill them,or maybe even paralyse them.But,that's the risk that there willing to take.If I were in the Majors,I wouldn't be taking any of those so-called drugs.Jim Edmond's got replaced by Skip Schumaker and Brian Barton.Scott Rolen got replaced by Troy Glaus.David Eckstein got replaced by Cesar Izturis.Just trading player's to another team is all he has done since he took the MGR. job.And,that had to be the late 70's,early 80's.Cause,I've got card's of him from 1981 and on.Heck,I've even got a card from his playing day's with the Braves.Hey,do you remember when Tony LaRussa fired or traded Jason Simantochii,Brett Tomoko,Woody Williams,Edgar Renteria,Orlando Palmerio,Esteban Yan,Dan Haren,Jason Marquis,Sidney Ponson,Brady Raggio,Aaron Holbert,T.J.Mathews,Mark Sweeney,Gary Gaetti,Delino Deshields,Royce Clayton,Braddy Raddio,Todd Stottlemyre,Juan Encarnacion,Preston Wilson,Jeff eaver,Gary Bennett,Hector Luna,Andy Benes,and Alan Benes.

  5. Anonymous11:11 AM

    Your job as a future mother is to learn the god's ways and to help your child understand despite the negative reinforcement and conditioning of today's society. Without consciousous parents the child will have no hope, and may even exaserbate their disfavor by becoming corrupted in today's environment.
    Your ultimate goal is to fix your relationship wiith the gods and move on. You don't want to be comfortable here, and the changes in Western society in the last 100 years has achieved just that.
    1000 years with Jesus is the consolation prize. Don't be deceived into thinking that is the goal.

    The gods tempt people for which they are most weak. Artificial Intelligence will create desire in people's minds for the following sins:::
    1. Alcohol
    2. Drugs
    3. Preditory "earning"
    4. Homosexuality
    5. Gambling
    6. Something for nothing/irresponsibility (xtianity)
    7. Polygamy/superiority over women/misogyny (Islam)
    Much like the other prophets Mohhamed (polygamy/superiority over women/misogyny) and Jesus (forgiveness/savior), the gods use me for temptation as well. In today's modern society they feel people are most weak for popular culture/sensationalism, and the clues date back to WorldWarII and Unit731:TSUSHOGO.
    It has been discussed that, similar to the Matrix concept, the gods will offer a REAL "Second Coming of Christ", while the "fake" Second Coming will come at the end and follow New Testiment scripture and their xtian positioning. I may be that real Second Coming.
    What I teach is the god's true way. It is what is expected of people, and only those who follow this truth will be eligible to ascend into heaven as children in a future life. They offered this event because the masses have just enough time to work on and fix their relationship with the gods and ascend, to move and grow past Planet Earth, before the obligatory xtian "consolation prize" of "1000 years with Jesus on Earth" begins.

    The Prince of Darkness, battling the gods over the souls of the Damned.
    It is the gods who have created this environment and led people into Damnation with temptation. The god's positioning proves they work to prevent people's understanding.
    How often is xtian dogma wrong? Expect it is about the Lucifer issue as well.
    The fallen god, fighting for justice for the disfavored, banished to Earth as the fallen angel?
    I believe much as the Noah's Flood event, the end of the world will be initiated by revelry among the people. Revelry will be positioned to be sanctioned by the gods and led for "1000 years with Jesus on Earth".
    In light of modern developments this can entail many pleasures:::Medicine "cures" aging, the "manufacture" of incredible beauty via cloning as sex slaves, free (synthetic) cocaine, etc.
    Somewhere during the 1000 years the party will start to "die off", literally. Only those who maintain chaste, pure lifestyles will survive the 1000 years. They will be the candidates used to (re)colonize (the next) Planet Earth, condemned to relive the misery experienced by the peasantry during Planet Earth's history.
    If this concept of Lucifer is true another role of this individual may be to initiate disfavor and temptation among this new population, the proverbial "apple" of this Garden of Eden. A crucial element in the history of any planet, he begins the process of deterioration and decay that leads civilizations to where Planet Earth remains today.

    Only children go to heaven. By the time you hit puberty it is too late. This is charecteristic of the gods:::Once you realize what you have lost it is too late.
    Now you are faced with a lifetime to work to prepare for your next chance. Too many will waste this time, getting stoned, "Hiking!", working, etc.

  6. Anonymous10:24 AM

    Given Tito's departure...who do you want? I am assuming Tony's not on your short list...Really can't stand Valentine - hard to say why...his smile bothers me. Also, don't like the "scrappy" vibe he gives out.

    Bottom line, will probably never like someone as much as I liked Francona and I probably will root for the team that he winds up coaching...hope he lands in the NL.

    And while I love Torre, I'm not sure he can manage what is now a clubhouse of knuckleheads given that I didn't see much change in Manny..Manny kept being Manny.

    What say you?