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Tony La Russa holds a grudge against Keith Law

Sep 17, 2012, 9:13 AM EDT

More fun from Tony La Russa’s book.  Not only does he still hold a grudge against Nyjer Morgan, but he holds one against ESPN’s Keith Law. Although, for reasons explained below, it’s a pretty misguided grudge:

That “single writer” who “looked at some metrics” is Keith Law, who infamously left Adam Wainwright off his Cy Young Award ballot (which only allowed for three votes at the time).  Except Law leaving Wainwright off the ballot did not cost him the award. Law — like many other voters — did not believe Wainwright was the best pitcher that year so he shouldn’t have voted him first. But even if he had voted Wainwright second or third, he would still have finished behind Lincecum.

So fine, go ahead and blame Law if you want to, La Russa, but just know it would only be the zillionth instance in your career when you got upset about something that is a product of your imagination.

UPDATE: As many commenters noted, La Russa has his facts wrong here anyway.  Law had Wainwright on his ballot. He was third. He left Carpenter off.  And this was 2009, not 2010.

  1. Alex K - Sep 17, 2012 at 9:15 AM

    Will this story ever go away?

    • vallewho - Sep 17, 2012 at 11:29 AM

      will TLR ever go away?…I hope so.

      • okwhitefalcon - Sep 17, 2012 at 12:06 PM

        There’s no excuse for the facts of the story being incorrect, that’s just bad business.

        I guess Harper Collins cut back on the fact checkers before going to print, Tony’s a sharp guy but his recollection isn’t right – it should’ve been caught.

        As for TLR, why is this surprising to anyone?

        He’s got a long memory and holds grudges, always has and always will.

        Expect more stories like this to surface as the release of the book nears, I’ve seen some already and they’re gold.

        The Ian Desmond “hit” in spring training, the lighting stuff at Miller Park, phonegate is the World Series – it’s awesome reading.

        I could take him or leave him as a manager, he just never bugged me the way he does some. One thing for sure, everyone knew he was in charge and the franchise reflected his personality and that’s something they sorely miss this year.

        As for Law, I’m a Cardinal fan who happens to enjoy him.

        Hell, I think he’s actually overrated a few Cards prospects over the years in the name of HPGF (hyperventilating prospect geek fraternity).

  2. stex52 - Sep 17, 2012 at 9:16 AM

    Tony was a good coach. Players liked playing on his teams, including some that I really respected. Nobody ever said he was a nice guy. Not required in the job description.

    Remember, he was a lawyer by training.

    • Jeremy Fox - Sep 17, 2012 at 11:50 AM

      Apparently the training didn’t take. Lawyers are supposed to be precise with their facts.

      • stex52 - Sep 17, 2012 at 12:44 PM

        Since when? I wasn’t intending the lawyer part as a compliment. Something closer to the joke about “professional courtesy” and “eaten by sharks.”

      • pepefreeus - Sep 18, 2012 at 1:49 AM

        Hamilton Burger was his mentor.

  3. Chip Caray's Eyebrows - Sep 17, 2012 at 9:21 AM

    Huge douche.

  4. whodeytn - Sep 17, 2012 at 9:30 AM

    Giant Douch

    • vallewho - Sep 17, 2012 at 11:30 AM

      Brobdingnagian Douch

  5. dj4k - Sep 17, 2012 at 9:33 AM

    To make matters worse, I think Tony might be confused about the years in his cute little tirade.

    Wainwright did finish 2nd in the Cy Young voting in 2010, but it wasn’t to Lincecum, as he claims. Halladay won it that year. Lincecum actually finished 10th. Timmy won his two consecutive Cy Youngs in 2008 and 2009, not ’09 and ’10.

    Hard to sympathize with his “lividness” when he really, truly doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about.

  6. elmaquino - Sep 17, 2012 at 9:45 AM

    I’ll save the commenters some time:

    DUI. Tony’s fault he was portrayed as smarter than everyone else by the media. Bizarre hatred of a person you don’t know. Good?

    • vikesfansteve - Sep 17, 2012 at 2:08 PM

      When Larussa was with the A’s he got nailed in Danville CA driving wasted. The police let him drive home & did not arrest him. It was a big scandal. This was back in 92. He has given lots of money to the city of Alamo & Danville but the dude is and always has been a boozer.

  7. stlducks - Sep 17, 2012 at 9:47 AM

    Most cardinals fan s I know, including me dislike Keith law because of how he used to bash on cardinal pitchers by saying they are not that good. He used to say they look good because the defense makes great plays for them. And he decided to punish Waino because the cards had a great infield.
    Again stupid writers in this blog find anyway to bash the greatest mananger in baseball just because he didn’t give a crap about anyone of you.

    • nategearhart - Sep 17, 2012 at 10:36 AM

      I would go over all the things that are wrong and inaccurate about this post, but it’s been rehashed so many times over the years that I’m starting to think illegibility/lack of reading comprehension is a prerequisite for Cardinal fandom.

    • nategearhart - Sep 17, 2012 at 10:37 AM

      Also, TLR is a colossal douche.

    • paperlions - Sep 17, 2012 at 10:45 AM

      Odd, I don’t know any legitimate fans who feel that way. I am aware of plenty of mouth-breather Cardinal fans that think anyone that doesn’t gush over every player or prospect on “their” team must be a hater (similar to parts of every fan base)….but confusing unbiased analysis/observation for bashing/hating says far more about those that are outraged than it does about the person giving an information-based opinion.

      Smart fans realize that saying a pitcher isn’t as good as his ERA because his defense is good is actually a compliment to the defenders. Run prevention isn’t solely the job of the pitcher, there are 7 guys behind him that need to do their job too.

      Do those alleged fans you know still dislike Law, because no he can’t help but lavish praise on the solid and deep farm system, and he does so over and over and over?

      I’d love to see a list of players Law “bashed” that turned out to be better than he thought they were. The only one I can think of is Jon Jay…and even Law has made the point that if Jay really is a .350 BABIP hitter (which no one saw coming based on his MiLB numbers), then he’s a solid everyday CFer.

      • saints97 - Sep 17, 2012 at 10:52 AM

        When did the Cardinals have good defense? Sure, they had Brendan Ryan for a majority of games in one season, but that same season saw Skip Schumaker at 2B, and he’s terrible. Albert was great defensively from 2006-2008, but was otherwise just above average.

        I guess there are some that say Eckstein is good just because he is small and tries hard, but he was always a liability defensively. And since Rolen left, the same can mostly be said of their 3rd sackers.

        I really don’t understand the idea that the Cardinals were so great defensively. Maybe I am misremembering, though.

      • paperlions - Sep 17, 2012 at 10:57 AM

        Rolen, Edmonds, Pujols, Molina, Ludwick, Ryan, Miles (totally under rated defender), they had plenty of above average to great defensive players throughout the years.

      • saints97 - Sep 17, 2012 at 11:23 AM

        I would assume that we are talking about the period from 2006 to 2010, since that seems to be the time that Carp and Waino were contending for Cy Young Awards.

        During that span, the Cardinals had a team UZR of negative 15.8, good for 10th in the National League.

        All of those above average to great defensive players must have had negative synergy, or maybe your eyeballs fail you.

      • paperlions - Sep 17, 2012 at 12:03 PM

        I don’t know the time frame for stlducks comments, but I assume it was the year they played Ryan at SS a lot, which had a large effect on the rate at which GBs were turned into outs that year.

        I think “team” UZR is a pretty crappy stat. If you want to see how well a team turned batted balls into outs, just look at their team BABIP for the pitching staff.

      • paperlions - Sep 17, 2012 at 12:05 PM

        Just went and checked. For 2006-2010, the Cardinals pitching staff had the 5th lowest BABIP in all the Majors. In other words, their defense was better at turning batted balls into outs than just about everyone else.

      • saints97 - Sep 17, 2012 at 11:31 AM

        But, by the way, I have no beef with Law. I think he’s a smart baseball guy, and always has reasoned explanations for his thoughts on players. He’s wrong sometimes, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t make a logical judgement that just ended up wrong.

    • paperlions - Sep 17, 2012 at 10:54 AM

      I’m a Cardinal fan….and see nothing in Tony’s resume to suggest he was anything more than a slightly above average manager. Mostly, he managed very talented teams, and he only finished with a .536 career winning % (an average of 87-75 per season). Considering the highly talented teams he managed over most of his career, that number isn’t particularly impressive.

      To me, he just managed a lot. He finished 3rd in wins, 2nd in losses, and 22nd in winning % for managers with over 2000 games. Considering the talent he had on his teams in Chicago, Oakland, and St. Louis, that’s fine…but nothing spectacular.

  8. thatyankeedude - Sep 17, 2012 at 10:20 AM

    Mega douche

  9. proudlycanadian - Sep 17, 2012 at 10:29 AM

    Still waiting for the leaked story that TLR did not like Colby Rasmus.

  10. mvp43 - Sep 17, 2012 at 11:12 AM

    Super colossal mega douche

  11. thefalcon123 - Sep 17, 2012 at 12:20 PM

    Oh Jesus.

    Lincecum had 49 more strike outs, gave up 7 fewer home runs and gave up 48 fewer hits (he did give up two more walks in 8 fewer innings). In other words, Tim Lincecum by every account other than wins was better than Adam Wainwright. The wins is mostly explained by the fact he had the leagues 13th best offense behind him!

    If anything Wainwright was actually much closer to Halladay in 2010!

    Halladay: 21-10, 2.44 ERA, 250 IP, 231 Hits, 30 BB, 219 K, 1.041 WHIP
    Wainwright: 20-11, 2,42 ERA, 230 IP, 186 H, 56 BB, 213 K, 1.051 WHIP

    …and he didn’t get a single first place vote that year. Where’s everyone’s outrage on that one!*

    *this is not to imply that Wainwright deserved it over Halladay…he didn’t.

  12. norcaldeportes - Sep 17, 2012 at 12:37 PM

    Less ex-Cardinals. More Giants.

    • umrguy42 - Sep 17, 2012 at 4:14 PM

      Less norcaldeportes. More anybody else.

  13. johnnyb1976 - Sep 17, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    Is there any time that the Cards and their fans aren’t crying about something

  14. bla bla bla - Sep 17, 2012 at 1:01 PM

    Ever lasting, all encompassing Douche.

  15. sisqsage - Sep 17, 2012 at 4:11 PM

    TLR has always been a little weird. With his animal rights obsession, he’s nicer to dogs than he is to some people he runs across.

    Holding grudges works in sports. Gives you an edge, and nobody worked harder or enjoyed getting an edge more than La Russa.

    The factual errors (wrong year and inaccuarate voting results) are unacceptable and totally take away from his argument about the Cy Young.

    If you have read a recently-relased book of any kind, it’s obvious publishers no longer pay for top editing/fact checking talent due to the economy.

  16. schmedley69 - Sep 17, 2012 at 8:41 PM

    Heard that he still holds a grudge against the cops who pulled him over for drunk driving too. The person he should really hold a grudge against is his barber.

  17. dutchman45 - Sep 17, 2012 at 9:12 PM

    Tony LaRussa is a disgrace. He not only made this mistake but left Brandon Phillips and Johnny Cueto off the all star team because he dislikes them and holds a grudge
    Not very proffessional!

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