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(USA Today)   St. Louis Cardinals honor Tony LaRussa by retiring his #10 jersey   (usatoday.com) divider line 45
    More: Spiffy, Tony LaRussa, Tony La Russa, Cardinals, uniform number, Ron Washington, Rogers Hornsby, Oakland Athletics, John McGraw  
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282 clicks; posted to Sports » on 02 May 2012 at 10:08 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-05-02 08:17:10 AM
The only manager I can think of who's been both overrated (late 80's/early 90's) and underrated (2000's).

I will wave my 1990 Reds broom at him in praise.
 
2012-05-02 09:58:37 AM
#.10
 
2012-05-02 10:17:12 AM
Holy cow
 
2012-05-02 10:20:58 AM
This should be interesting given the vast array of lunatics even in St. Louis that hated the guy despite his record and the two Championships. I swear to Christ there are still people wanting Herzog to come back.
 
2012-05-02 10:30:04 AM
Are they retiring his number because...
-He managed to alienate Ozzie Smith from the Cardinals organization while he was manager?
-He successfully drank and drove throughout St. Louis without ever going to jail or suffering consequences?
-He has skated completely from the steroids controversy despite managing McGwire, Canseco and Giambi among others?
 
2012-05-02 10:44:16 AM

generalDisdain: Are they retiring his number because...
-He managed to alienate Ozzie Smith from the Cardinals organization while he was manager?
-He successfully drank and drove throughout St. Louis without ever going to jail or suffering consequences?
-He has skated completely from the steroids controversy despite managing McGwire, Canseco and Giambi among others?


No, it's cause he won 2 titles. Who would get a number retired for drunk driving?
 
2012-05-02 10:44:45 AM

Shrugging Atlas: This should be interesting given the vast array of lunatics even in St. Louis that hated the guy despite his record and the two Championships. I swear to Christ there are still people wanting Herzog to come back.


Even through his last couple of years here, some people were still aching for Whiteyball. LaRussa definitely was never the most popular guy in town, but winning his first title here in '06 helped ease some of the criticism. I never did understand why people hated him. Sure, he did have his quirks--didn't have the best relationship with the media, his frequent late-inning pitching changes and lineup changes, batting the pitcher 8th to shake up a stagnant offense--but you can't argue with the results he got. After all, his .544 winning percentage over 16 years exceeds Herzog's over 11 (.530).

Looking back, it's unusual to look at which teams won the World Series. Taking the regular season as a whole, the '00-'02 and '04-'05 teams were probably better (especially '04-'05) than the two teams that won the World Series. You could argue that the '11 team was pretty darn good by the end of September, but I remember worrying a great deal last year during the first four months about the bullpen; Pujols' career-low numbers; key injuries to Pujols, Holliday, & Freese; Chris Carpenter's slow start, etc.

Also, didn't realize that, under Herzog, in each year following a Cardinals' World Series appearance (so, '83, '86, & '88), the team finished under .500.
 
2012-05-02 10:48:04 AM
LaRussa will call for three reilef pitchers, two pinch hitters and make six defensive changes during the ceremony.
 
2012-05-02 10:55:49 AM

generalDisdain: Are they retiring his number because...
-He managed to alienate Ozzie Smith from the Cardinals organization while he was manager?
-He successfully drank and drove throughout St. Louis without ever going to jail or suffering consequences?
-He has skated completely from the steroids controversy despite managing McGwire, Canseco and Giambi among others?


- Ozzie bears some responsibility for that, too, you know. LaRussa felt Clayton was the SS of the future here; Ozzie didn't have to take reduced playing time the way he did. Kind of immature on his part, I remember thinking. And I was in 6th grade at the time.
- (citation needed). All I remember is the one incident in Florida during Spring Training.
- ... and that's unique from just about anyone else... how? I don't think he'd be the first manager in the HoF to look the other way when low-brow activities were taking place in the clubhouse or away from the ballpark altogether.

It certainly doesn't hurt his legacy here that he retired a World Series champion.
 
2012-05-02 11:13:52 AM
I'll drink to that....and then take a nap at a stop light.
 
2012-05-02 11:14:44 AM

madden101: - (citation needed). All I remember is the one incident in Florida during Spring Training.


How often do you think people get busted for Drunk Driving and that is the only time they ever have or ever will drive drunk?
 
2012-05-02 11:23:24 AM
But whose syringe will he be hiding at his HOF induction?
 
2012-05-02 11:29:50 AM

generalDisdain: Are they retiring his number because...
-He managed to alienate Ozzie Smith from the Cardinals organization while he was manager?
-He successfully drank and drove throughout St. Louis without ever going to jail or suffering consequences?
-He has skated completely from the steroids controversy despite managing McGwire, Canseco and Giambi among others?


So he managed Giambi for one year? Pretty lawless, that Tony. If you're going to hang him on the steroid issue, then at least go after Dusty Baker and Bruce Bochy as well. IIRC, they're skating away from the steroid controversy pretty well themselves and are in the same boat LaRussa would be in.

Also, considering what happened to Josh Hancock (sad but stupid) and Leonard Little (not sad, incredibly dumb, and an ultimate travesty), getting Tony for his asleep-at-the-wheel moment is not even in the same ballpark (no pun intended).

\never thought I'd really defend the guy, but public did generally warm to him in '04
 
2012-05-02 11:35:18 AM

SnatchMcGillicudy: Also, considering what happened to Josh Hancock (sad but stupid) and Leonard Little (not sad, incredibly dumb, and an ultimate travesty), getting Tony for his asleep-at-the-wheel moment is not even in the same ballpark (no pun intended).


Are you saying because he passed out and didn't kill anyone, it's cool?
 
2012-05-02 11:41:48 AM

regindyn: No, it's cause he won 2 titles. Who would get a number retired for drunk driving?


Billy Martin?
 
2012-05-02 11:50:28 AM
Man I was sad when the Sox let him go - I was young at the time and didn't understand that was the way things go in sports.
 
2012-05-02 11:53:19 AM

generalDisdain: Are they retiring his number because...
-He managed to alienate Ozzie Smith from the Cardinals organization while he was manager?
-He successfully drank and drove throughout St. Louis without ever going to jail or suffering consequences?
-He has skated completely from the steroids controversy despite managing McGwire, Canseco and Giambi among others?


And here's what I'm talking about. This lunatic fringe.

Ozzie was every bit if not more to blame for that breakdown. Smith got pissed he was getting old and replaced. While I can understand having a hard time coming to terms with it, it was Smith and Smith alone that opted to stay away from the Cardinals. LaRussa tried numerous times to make things right...invited him to Spring Training, special events, etc. It was Smith that cut ties, even on things with the Cardinals with which LaRussa had no involvement. I farking love Ozzie to death, but regardless of how things initially went down, the reason things stayed that way for over a decade is 100% on him.

The DUI thing is another gem. He was pulled over and booked once. Tell me, how many people go to jail for DUIs on a first offense? Christ, even after their second and third? Should they go to jail? Well that's another question but it's not like LaRussa got any special treatment. Farking Leonard Little KILLED somebody while drunk and got a whopping 90 days in jail and suspended a whole 8 games by the NFL. How much time do you expect LaRussa to do on a first offense DUI when killing someone lands you a whopping 90 day term?

And what punishment would you like applied to LaRussa for the steroid era? Whatever it is, apply it equally to every other manager that managed players that were juicing in that period, all the players that were juicing, and MLB and MLBPA executives that both turned a blind eye to the whole thing.

Like SnatchMcGillicudy said, I never thought I'd be one to defend the guy...I had issues with him like every fan has had with every manager/player ever...but the type of wild eyed stupidity the man invokes from some people is just unreal.
 
2012-05-02 11:55:14 AM
Farkers criticizing a guy for his drinking habits ... Is the sports tab trying to out-retard the politics tab today?

// Cardinals fan
// Thanks for the titles!
 
2012-05-02 12:12:58 PM

CommiePuddin: LaRussa will call for three reilef pitchers, two pinch hitters and make six defensive changes during the ceremony.


I came in to say something similar, but you go it covered. You did leave out the part about alienating a few of the veteran players though.
 
jbc [TotalFark]
2012-05-02 12:16:25 PM
I suppose Ozzie is to blame for TLR's childish feuds with Rolen, Edmonds, et al. The only one where the player truly deserved most of the blame was Rasmus.

And if we're now retiring numbers before entry into the HoF (as has been the team's excuse for years) #51 better be on the damn wall tonight.
 
2012-05-02 12:22:49 PM

jbc: I suppose Ozzie is to blame for TLR's childish feuds with Rolen, Edmonds, et al. The only one where the player truly deserved most of the blame was Rasmus.

And if we're now retiring numbers before entry into the HoF (as has been the team's excuse for years) #51 better be on the damn wall tonight.


Ummm. Do you think teams only retire numbers of guys who are in the Hall of Fame?

Dale Murphy's number is retired by the Braves as is Tom Glavine's.

John Smoltz number will be retired next month.

Are any of those guys in the HoF. HoF has zero to do with team's retiring numbers.

The more you know...
 
2012-05-02 12:22:56 PM

forever_blowing_bubbles: Is the sports tab trying to out-retard the politics tab today?


There's no outrage like Cubs outrage. Speaking of... where's aquigley?
 
2012-05-02 12:23:35 PM

srhp29: jbc: I suppose Ozzie is to blame for TLR's childish feuds with Rolen, Edmonds, et al. The only one where the player truly deserved most of the blame was Rasmus.

And if we're now retiring numbers before entry into the HoF (as has been the team's excuse for years) #51 better be on the damn wall tonight.

Ummm. Do you think teams only retire numbers of guys who are in the Hall of Fame?

Dale Murphy's number is retired by the Braves as is Tom Glavine's.

John Smoltz number will be retired next month.

Are any of those guys in the HoF. HoF has zero to do with team's retiring numbers.

The more you know...


Oh, you are speaking strictly of the Cardlinals stance on retiring numbers. Withdrawn.
 
2012-05-02 12:24:59 PM

srhp29: SnatchMcGillicudy: Also, considering what happened to Josh Hancock (sad but stupid) and Leonard Little (not sad, incredibly dumb, and an ultimate travesty), getting Tony for his asleep-at-the-wheel moment is not even in the same ballpark (no pun intended).

Are you saying because he passed out and didn't kill anyone, it's cool?


Drinking and driving, no, that's not cool. Owning up to your mistake to your employer, your team, and its fans does deserve merit, as does the fact that anything alcohol-related hasn't happened since to TLR, which might indicate that he learned from that. Hancock doesn't have this luxury. Little blew his.
 
2012-05-02 12:33:52 PM

srhp29: SnatchMcGillicudy: Also, considering what happened to Josh Hancock (sad but stupid) and Leonard Little (not sad, incredibly dumb, and an ultimate travesty), getting Tony for his asleep-at-the-wheel moment is not even in the same ballpark (no pun intended).

Are you saying because he passed out and didn't kill anyone, it's cool?


Yep. That's how the law sees it as well. That's why we have different degrees of punishment based on what actually happened during someone's illegal behavior.
 
2012-05-02 12:41:23 PM

The English Major: forever_blowing_bubbles: Is the sports tab trying to out-retard the politics tab today?

There's no outrage like Cubs outrage. Speaking of... where's aquigley?


a1.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net
 
2012-05-02 12:43:42 PM

srhp29: SnatchMcGillicudy: Also, considering what happened to Josh Hancock (sad but stupid) and Leonard Little (not sad, incredibly dumb, and an ultimate travesty), getting Tony for his asleep-at-the-wheel moment is not even in the same ballpark (no pun intended).

Are you saying because he passed out and didn't kill anyone, it's cool?


While it may not be cool, the law sure as fark seems to think it is. There's no jail time associated with a first offense, sometimes even a second or third. Maybe a fine and some time on probation. My buddy was killed by a drunk driver who hit him head on while driving drunk the wrong way on the highway. He had three prior DUIs. Total jail time served for those priors: Zero.

And as I said, Leonard Little farking killed someone while drunk driving. Result: 90 days in jail and an 8 game suspension from the NFL. In other words, less punishment than Vick got for having dogs fight each other.
 
2012-05-02 12:45:35 PM
Dave Duncan's contribution to LaRussa's success shouldn't go unnoticed.
Hopefully, Dave will be the 1st coach inducted in the HOF.

/Thank you, to both
 
2012-05-02 12:47:44 PM
Drinking and driving,PETA spokesmen, and Cards ? Why that's the a-hole trifecta.
 
2012-05-02 12:55:07 PM

jbc: I suppose Ozzie is to blame for TLR's childish feuds with Rolen, Edmonds, et al. The only one where the player truly deserved most of the blame was Rasmus.


LaRussa definitely made the Rolen thing worse. No doubt. And I say that with Rolen being my favorite player for years prior to him coming to the Cardinals. Rolen wasn't innocent, but LaRussa certainly made it worse.

There was no 'feud' with Edmonds. LaRussa was mindfarking with Edmonds prior to a series the Cardinals were playing against him after the Cardinals traded him for David Freese. The two get along fine with each other and Edmonds was around the club a bunch last year.

I guess we can all at least agree Rasmus was and remains a tool.
 
2012-05-02 12:57:21 PM

Mr. Potatoass: Dave Duncan's contribution to LaRussa's success shouldn't go unnoticed.
Hopefully, Dave will be the 1st coach inducted in the HOF.

/Thank you, to both


Absolutely. I would not be surprised at all to see the Cardinals retire his number as well. But I think technically Dunc still hasn't officially retired from the team.
 
2012-05-02 01:01:12 PM

Shrugging Atlas: Mr. Potatoass: Dave Duncan's contribution to LaRussa's success shouldn't go unnoticed.
Hopefully, Dave will be the 1st coach inducted in the HOF.

/Thank you, to both

Absolutely. I would not be surprised at all to see the Cardinals retire his number as well. But I think technically Dunc still hasn't officially retired from the team.


Shrugging Atlas: Mr. Potatoass: Dave Duncan's contribution to LaRussa's success shouldn't go unnoticed.
Hopefully, Dave will be the 1st coach inducted in the HOF.

/Thank you, to both

Absolutely. I would not be surprised at all to see the Cardinals retire his number as well. But I think technically Dunc still hasn't officially retired from the team.


If you ask the right beat reporter (namely Joe Strauss,) he's still officially the PC and Lilliquist is an interim for this year. The Cards' website/media guide does not jive with that opinion, though. So it's one of those mysteries like "just how much does it have to rain to not see the Clydesdales on opening day" and "why can't the new organ guy play Here Comes the King as well as Ernie Hays did."
 
2012-05-02 01:20:17 PM

srhp29: Ummm. Do you think teams only retire numbers of guys who are in the Hall of Fame?

Dale Murphy's number is retired by the Braves as is Tom Glavine's.

John Smoltz number will be retired next month.

Are any of those guys in the HoF. HoF has zero to do with team's retiring numbers.


To be fair, Smoltz will get in. Not because of any weird "X wins and Y saves!" trivia, but because he was a very good pitcher for a long time, regardless of role. Plus, the Hall has a soft spot for guys who play for one team for 20 years. He's not a first-ballot guy, but he'll get in eventually.

Whether he deserves to is an open question, but I think he will get in.

Dale Murphy: No way. He had about 6 years where he was excellent, bracketed by a lot of crap. He's in the Don Mattingly pool of guys with a high peak but no longevity.

Tony LaRussa: Absolutely gets in. Like him or not, he managed more games than anyone but Connie Mack, and he had a perfectly good (but not amazing) winning percentage. He's credited with a number of innovations, particularly with the relentless pitcher substitution and using the bench more for specialists than generic backups. Fans may not love sitting through 7 pitching changes per game, but teams have copied La Russa's technique because it's very effective.
 
2012-05-02 01:28:07 PM

Shrugging Atlas: Ozzie was every bit if not more to blame for that breakdown. Smith got pissed he was getting old and replaced. While I can understand having a hard time coming to terms with it, it was Smith and Smith alone that opted to stay away from the Cardinals.


Also, some of that's on Smith. Smith played until he was 41, but he wasn't the same guy, and he was just tarnishing his legacy by hanging on as long as he did. Some time around 1994, his limited batting talent, his speed, and even his legendary glove were fading fast. And he was still getting $3M+ per year (probably ~$5M in today's MLB money) , which doesn't cut it for a part-time utility infielder when younger guys are knocking on the door.

Granted, Tony La Russa replaced him with a series of thoroughly meh shortstops. But pushing Smith out the door was the right managerial call at the time.
 
2012-05-02 02:00:46 PM

srhp29: How often do you think people get busted for Drunk Driving and that is the only time they ever have or ever will drive drunk?


Hence the "citation needed." I'm not saying you or regindyn are wrong; you're just not providing any evidence to back up your claims. Just "well, the thing in Florida probably wasn't an isolated incident."
 
2012-05-02 02:11:09 PM

Gulper Eel: The only manager I can think of who's been both overrated (late 80's/early 90's) and underrated (2000's).

I will wave my 1990 Reds broom at him in praise.


THIS!!
 
2012-05-02 02:24:35 PM

happydude45: Gulper Eel: The only manager I can think of who's been both overrated (late 80's/early 90's) and underrated (2000's).

I will wave my 1990 Reds broom at him in praise.

THIS!!


Hard to fault Tony La Russa for his team falling apart for one series, after they were kicking ass and taking names all season, including their ALCS sweep. The Reds didn't look like much, but they certainly got hot at the right time.

6 of the top 12 AL MVP candidates, including the (deserving) winner, were on the A's that year. Keeping that much talent together for 162 games (103 wins), especially when a lot of it was wrapped up in crazy (Canseco, Rickey, Eck, etc.) is an accomplishment all its own.
 
2012-05-02 03:15:19 PM
LaRussa's a snake. No surprise every old-school steroid head with a name passed through a team he managed. This douche contributed more to the proliferation of steroids in the game than any player. He figured out well before they did that he can make more money off juicing.
 
2012-05-02 03:20:22 PM
Not surprising. The guy was among the best at what he did.
 
2012-05-02 04:14:08 PM

chimp_ninja: Hard to fault Tony La Russa for his team falling apart for one series, after they were kicking ass and taking names all season, including their ALCS sweep.


They fell apart in the '88 Series too.
The earthquake in '89 meant the A's started their kickass #1 and #2 starters all four games...a huge advantage over the Giants. (Your least favorite manager ever goes here) couldn't have farked up the '89 Series, not with Dave Stewart and Mike Moore.
They fell apart in '90.
They shiat the bed in '91.

Sort of a pattern there...
 
2012-05-02 04:35:15 PM

Gulper Eel: They fell apart in the '88 Series too.
The earthquake in '89 meant the A's started their kickass #1 and #2 starters all four games...a huge advantage over the Giants. (Your least favorite manager ever goes here) couldn't have farked up the '89 Series, not with Dave Stewart and Mike Moore.
They fell apart in '90.


La Russa arrived in mid-1986, when the A's won 76 games. The next year, they were 81-81.

Then, in a three-year span, his team won 306 games and three consecutive pennants. However, they won the World Series only 1 out of 3 times, therefore Tony La Russa is a terrible manager and Rob Dibble is automatically Global Commissioner of All Baseball.

Gulper Eel: Sort of a pattern there...


The pattern is what Las Vegas will tell you: You would predict who wins each World Series not much better than a coin would. The best teams in baseball win ~60% of their games. Put two of them in a best-of-seven, and anything can happen. The worst mismatches in WS history imply a 65% edge for the favorite. Baseball playoffs are largely a crap shoot.
 
2012-05-02 10:11:16 PM
In related news...if you're down by 11 runs in the sixth inning, and three of your starting fielders have batting averages worse than the opposing pitcher's average....you might be the Pittsburgh Pirates.
 
2012-05-02 11:33:58 PM
Cards avoid my jinx, win 12-3
 
2012-05-03 06:57:59 AM
Are they retiring his syringe as well?

/ yeah, im sure pujols' zero home runs this season have NOTHING to do with no longer hanging out in the dugout with mgwire and "papa tony" steroid. nothing at all.
 
2012-05-03 07:25:28 AM

chimp_ninja: and Rob Dibble is automatically Global Commissioner of All Baseball.


It would still be an improvement over Selig.
 
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