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Tony La Russa to overmanage his 5000th game tonight

Jun 10, 2011, 1:50 PM EST

St. Louis Cardinals v Arizona Diamondbacks Getty Images

Ah, I kid La Russa, because he’s a kidder.  Wait, no he’s not. He’s one of the more humorless managers in recent history. Hmmm, how about I kid Tony La Russa because I’m just not that big a fan.

But even if I’m not a fan I do admire and respect his accomplishments, which will have him in Cooperstown someday.  It’s pretty astounding that he has lasted as long as he has with as much success as he has in a job that just seems designed to chew dudes up and spit them out.  Bobby Cox managed my favorite team and Joe Torre won more rings, but really, I think I’m more impressed with La Russa and his track record than I ever was with Cox or Torre.  La Russa has never wanted for talent or backing, but he never had the kind of luck , money or backing that Cox and Torre in Atlanta and New York, respectively.

Over at the Post-Dispatch today there is a nice story by Bryan Burwell about La Russa and his very long and very successful run in the majors. A good read about a guy who stands a great chance of being the last guy with this kind of staying power in Major League Baseball history.  Almost makes me want to go back up and change that cheapshot headline.

Almost.

  1. spudchukar - Jun 10, 2011 at 1:55 PM

    Are you pullin’ a double-switch on Tony, Craig?

  2. paperlions - Jun 10, 2011 at 2:03 PM

    I think the headline is unfair. He’s probably over-managed only about 70% of games (he doesn’t always over-manage blowouts, and he wasn’t nearly as bad when he was in the AL), so he’s only going to over-manage his 3500th game tonight.

  3. skerney - Jun 10, 2011 at 2:04 PM

    Dave Stewart, Jose Canseco, Mark McGwire, Carney Lansford, Bob Welch, Rickey Henderson, Dave Henderson, Albert Pujols, Scott Rolen, Jim Edmonds, Chris Carpenter, Yadier Molina, Edgar Renteria, and Adam Wainwright sure helped too.

  4. gosport474 - Jun 10, 2011 at 2:06 PM

    Yeah it’s real impressive having a drunken driving conviction, being in complete denial about the steroid era, and writing the unwritten rule of baseball and expecting everyone to follow it even though they don’t know what is in it. What a classy dud(e).

    • Nick C - Jun 10, 2011 at 2:08 PM

      I’m sure you have absolutely no skeletons in the closet of your glass house.

      • seeingwhatsticks - Jun 10, 2011 at 2:22 PM

        Those aren’t skeletons in the closet, they’re skeletons in the driveway.

      • Ari Collins - Jun 10, 2011 at 2:45 PM

        Would you be able to see the skeletons through the glass closet door? Strange (but enjoyable) mixed metaphor you’ve got yourself there!

      • nixonotis - Jun 10, 2011 at 2:48 PM

        Dude, you didn’t have to point out the mixed metaphor. After all, people in glass houses shouldn’t throw skeletons.

      • jjschiller - Jun 10, 2011 at 2:53 PM

        I thought it was people with glass skeletons shouldn’t throw stones in the closet.

      • Utley's Hair - Jun 10, 2011 at 3:36 PM

        Wait…skeletons in the closet? Does that mean there’s homophobia after death, too? Damn….

      • jwbiii - Jun 10, 2011 at 4:42 PM

        I bury mine out behind the garage.

  5. Nick C - Jun 10, 2011 at 2:07 PM

    There are many who hate Tony but if given the opportunity I think most would trade their current manager for him in a heartbeat. Tony is a winner. You might not like him and most don’t, even here in STL, but you have to respect his track record of success. Just look at the injuries the Cards have suffered this year and they have the best record in baseball.

    • nixonotis - Jun 10, 2011 at 2:12 PM

      Stopped to get a slice of pizza on the way home and couldn’t help but get distracted by the flashing Playboy pinball machine in the back corner of the place. I headed over, popped a few quarters in and, wouldn’t you know it, I set the high score, no tilt or anything! I’m a winner too!

      • Nick C - Jun 10, 2011 at 2:15 PM

        Now do it for 33 years and 5000 games with millions of people watching.

      • nixonotis - Jun 10, 2011 at 2:18 PM

        Do I get free pizza?

      • Nick C - Jun 10, 2011 at 2:30 PM

        Depends on what your high score is.

  6. spudchukar - Jun 10, 2011 at 2:09 PM

    A toast to Tony’s 5000th, a ’65 Bordeaux, of course. Keep up the good work. Do do the voodoo you do so well.

  7. chrisdtx - Jun 10, 2011 at 2:25 PM

    You can call it overmanaging if you want, but at least he’s not asleep at the wheel like some other managers. No, wait…

  8. levistahl - Jun 10, 2011 at 2:37 PM

    I wouldn’t want to work for him, don’t think I could deal with the intensity of being friends with him, get annoyed with him when he runs thirty pitchers out there in one game, but oh, am I grateful to have been able to have him manage my favorite team for so long. (Full credit to Dave Duncan on that, too. I still don’t understand how he does what he does.)

  9. royalsfaninfargo - Jun 10, 2011 at 3:30 PM

    For better or worse LaRussa has had a big impact on the modern game. The one inning closer is almost directly linked to him, if not his idea. That has changed pitching almost completely over the last 20 yrs. I also am not a big fan of LaRussa but only one other man has coached more games, that man is Connie Mack. LaRussa is also less the 100 victories away from passing John McGraw for second on the all-times win list.

  10. danberman4 - Jun 10, 2011 at 5:17 PM

    Don’t worry, he deserves the cheap shot. He’ll be in the Hall of Fame, but I doubt his head will fit through the door when he goes to visit his plaque.

    http://pinetarandbrickbats.blogspot.com/2011/06/cards-la-russa-hard-to-like.html

  11. metalhead65 - Jun 10, 2011 at 7:26 PM

    you would think this guy invebted baseball just because he bats the pitcher 8th. and for all his genius he has won 2 world series? he should have won that many with the steroid I mean bash brothers with the A’s. but instead they got swept by the REDS! he still hasn’t recovered from that which is why I guess he always finds something to cry and whine about when they play them. the pitcher is cheating,the balls are to slick they are pitching inside on us wa wa waa. so no I would never ever want this douche to manage my reds no matter how maddening Dusty’s moves are.

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