Will St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa waste more talent than Phil Mickelson?
St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa has been making all the right moves this postseason. His successful suicide squeeze call against the San Diego Padres in Game 4 of the first round produced near orgasmic reactions from the Cardinal faithful even if it was for a meaningless sixth run against a Padre team that cannot score that in a good week.
La Russa’s work in Game 7 on the road against the favored New York Mets was more impressive. All the TV talking heads waxed poetic over La Russa’s decision to move Yadier Molina one spot up in the lineup - giving Molina the chance to hit the ninth inning home run that sent the Cardinals to Detroit.
But La Russa’s decision to keep Scott Rolen in the lineup - the same Scott Rolen who reportedly hates La Russa - when all logic dictated otherwise meant just as much. Rolen singled to set up Molina’s homer - this after having a two-run shot of his own robbed by a Spiderman-playing Endy Chavez earlier in the game.
Standing by Rolen took real guts from La Russa.
Which doesn’t change the fact that the Cardinals manager has wasted more talent in his career than anyone outside of Phil Mickelson.
Sure, La Russa like Mickelson will stumble across the occasional championship - see the 1989 earthquake Oakland A’s. But these two will blow even more big ones. See the powerful As somehow losing to a one-legged Kirk Gibson and getting swept by a ho-hum Reds team. See Mickelson at the 18th hole of this year’s U.S. Open.
La Russa is 5-12 in World Series games. His teams have been swept in two of his four World Series, lost in five games in another. Anyone who’s followed the relative strengths of both the American League and the National League this season know that La Russa could very well be in line for another 0-4.
If La Russa’s underdog, depleted Cardinals somehow pull this one off, all that changes. But if the Tigers romp, La Russa is another Mickelson, good - on some days great - at what he does, but certainly no legend.
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It is hard to compare a MLB mgr to a solo golfer. Phil baby is his own worst enemy most of the time. La Russa has many other factors involved in his record. I still believe he is one of the best MLB has to offer. IM rooting for Detroit to win because of there mgr Jim Leland and the fact the team has had a dismal record for 20 years now, but LaRussa can pull rabbits out of his hat yet
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