Jan 10, 2011, 9:15 AM EDT
Bernie Miklasz has a story about Tony La Russa and the Cardinals in the Post-Disptach today. In it he talks about how some of the Cardinals’ moves — Lance Berkman in right field, letting Brendan Ryan go and replacing him with Ryan Theriot, etc. — may have the statheads going crazy, but that La Russa doesn’t care. He’s all about intensity and grinders and scrappers, you see, and whatever the latest conventional wisdom is on the part of the sabermetric community can go to hell.
Those of us who skew more toward the statty side of things may scoff, but La Russa has a message for us:
He constantly recurs to one intangible intensity … playing little ball, scrambling to manufacture runs, “looking for just 90 feet every once in a while,” La Russa says, energizes a team. It puts a team on the balls of its feet, ready to run. And that intensity carries over into its defense.
Oh, wait. That’s not a quote from Miklasz’s article at all. It’s from George Will’s Sports Illustrated profile of La Russa from 1990. A profile that, while far more expansive, has La Russa hitting all of the same notes. That article was written as his Bash Brothers Athletics team was about to win 103 games and a third straight AL Pennant. Except they weren’t all bash. They were second in the league in stolen bases too, despite all that power.
I know some Cardinals fans who are worried about the 2011 season. I’d probably be a bit worried if I were them too. But La Russa has always done it his way. He has always bucked expectations of others, often stubbornly so. And he has always won. He’s probably entitled to a little benefit of the doubt by now.
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- Monday’s White Sox/Orioles game postponed due to ongoing protests and violence in Baltimore 136
- Cardinals confirm Adam Wainwright is done for season with torn Achilles 19
- Source: Josh Hamilton rejected a trade to a National League team because he wanted to go back to Texas 50
- Deal done: Josh Hamilton traded to the Texas Rangers for cash considerations 55
- Pitchers batting is dumb and the DH should be universal 356
- And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights 88
- Alex Rodriguez hits 659th career home run, now one shy of tying Willie Mays 60
- Pitchers batting is dumb and the DH should be universal (356)
- Comment of the Day: do not underestimate the seriousness of the anti-DH crowd (199)
- The early leaders in MLB’s “Franchise Four” thing have been announced (166)
- The Royals and White Sox had a benches-clearing fracas, five players ejected (163)
- Protesters converge on Oriole Park at Camden Yards (149)