I refuse to talk about today’s Brewer game

Posted by Dan

But on Baseball Tonight, I saw Adam Wainwright hit a HR while hitting 8th. Karl Ravech says, “Pitcher hitting 8th, I don’t get that. Do you get that?” John Kruk says, “Well its hard to question a guy who won the last World Series.” Putting aside the sheer stupidity of that logic, here are my thoughts on it.

I personally don’t understand it. I get the “2 lead off men” concept. But why not just have the “2nd lead off man” just bat 2nd? Seems stupid to me. Instead of this:

Eckstein-Spezio-Pujols-Encarnacion-Ludwick-Edmonds-Bennett-Wainwright-Miles

Why not this?

Miles-Eckstein-Spezio-Pujols-Encarnacion-Ludwick-Edmonds-Bennett-Wainwright

???

Is it because Miles and Eckstein’s OBP’s are .328 and .339? Probably not. Tony La Russa is very overrated as a manager. In fact, here is the play by play from the 8th inning:

– R. Ludwick popped out to shortstop
– J. Edmonds doubled to deep right center
C. Duncan hit for G. Bennett
– C. Duncan walked
A. Kennedy hit for A. Wainwright
R. King relieved L. Ayala
Y. Molina hit for A. Kennedy
– Y. Molina grounded into double play pitcher to second to first, C. Duncan out at second

So, two men on, and La Russa has to hit for his pitcher because he’s in the 8 hole. But, I guess since he used Adam Kennedy, who is OPSing a cool .591 this season, this whole point is probably moot (I love that phrase).

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9 responses to “I refuse to talk about today’s Brewer game

  1. I’m sure you just forgot to mention the part where La Russa had the umpire check for a doctored baseball and made the pitcher change his undershirt.

  2. i dont know if a manager with over 2200 wins, 12 division titles, 5 world series appearances with 2 wins is overrated. he may not do everything perfect and sometimes is a jackass, but i would say he has been a good manager for a very long time.

  3. It’s tough to prove the effect of a manager on a team. Looking at LaRussa’s seasons in which he won either league’s pennant, his teams won 104, 99, 103, 105, and 83 games (last year). Aside from the 83 win season, in which his team nearly had a historic collapse, the other 4 of his WS teams won an average of 103 (102.75 actually) games. I think if a team has the ability to win 100+ games, the manager probably isn’t too important, and will get too much credit for those teams’ success.

  4. to me that whole argument means that davey lopes is just as good a manager as tony la russa. it also is saying that there is no reason for a manager to ever be fired for the performance of a team because they have no bearing on how a team does. obviously, both are untrue.

  5. A manager’s influence on a team, either negative or positive, is generally overrated.

    To me a more important quality is motivating players and keeping them from killing each other more than micromanaging the way La Russa does.

  6. either way, he record can’t be ignored. i just don’t see how an “overrated” manager gets to manage in the big leagues for over 20 years and win that many games.

  7. “Overrated” doesn’t mean bad — just that because it’s hard to quantify a manager’s effect on a team, alot of general baseball fans seem to give them too much credit. Obviously I’m not brushing his 2300 wins aside, just saying that, players have a lot to do with that as well.

  8. Just going to throw in my last thought on this topic. I’m not going to pretend to know how effective La Russa is at motivating players or keeping an even keel in the clubhouse.

    Where I take issue is with those who feel he’s revolutionized the game–some have made that claim. It’s because he does things like occasionally hit his pitchers eighth. What I see is him making more managerial moves during a game than most any other manager, and he is notorious for slowing down the game.

    Now that certainly doesn’t make him overrated, but I definitely feel that he tries to make more of an influence on the game than is really necessary.

    Dan illustrated one classic La Russa inning. It’s why I’m annoyed when the Brewers play the Cardinals, and why I think he’s overrated. It’s not really because of him as much as it is because of the people who think all his strategies are responsible for his players playing better than others. I just don’t believe all those extra moves make that much of a difference over the course of a season.

    Sure he’s won a lot in his career, but he’s had some great teams to manage. Your example, Davey Lopes, would have won a ton of games with the ’88, ’89 and ’90 A’s too. On the flip side, Tony La Russa wouldn’t have been able to do a thing to save the 2001 Brewers.

  9. Word to your mother.

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