You could ask 100 baseball fans their opinion on Tony La Russa and I wouldn’t be surprised if you got 50 he’s a brilliant manager! vs. 50 he’s over rated and over-manages.
Now I won’t base my opinion of him based on one game, but the way he handled the 9th inning of last night was something you’d expect to see from a rookie, not a guy with other 30 years experience.
I’m talking about the quick hook he had with Jason Mott last night. I know he’s not Mariano Rivera and I know he’s not officially ‘the closer.’ But come on. He’s the guy you bring in when you have a lead in the 9th. He’s been outstanding so far and to pull him after he gave up two lead off singles is a classic overreaction.
The move that made most sense to me would have been to give a free pass to Josh Hamilton (even though he’s struggling) to set up the force at home. Then you go for the strike out or grounder to the infield and hope it works out.
Granted it’s easy to second guess a manager after a loss. I have the luxury of knowing what Tony didn’t work whereas we’ll never know if my strategy would have the Cardinals up 2-0. But there’s also a reason why I’m a blogger and Tony has 30 years experience.
Also while I’m at it I will second guess John Jay’s attempt to nail Kinsler at home and Albert Pujols’ failed attempt to cut it off.
In any event, the Cards mishap has made for a more interesting series. In the first two games we’ve seen a return to playoff type baseball, not the slugfests we’ve been witnessing through the first two rounds.
This is more like it.