The question I want to ask is if you would rather have a 'genius' manager or a more normal manager?
We often made fun of Cito for being, well, inert. Cito believed in putting the players in the spots and letting them win or lose the game. He wasn't going to wow you with in game tactics. And he was pretty successful.
Then, at the other end of the scale, we have Tony LaRussa. Genius. Just like Wile E Coyote, Tony carries business cards around that say genius on them. One of my favorite cartoons has Wile E introducing himself to Bugs Bunny and then, a bit later, Bugs goes and knocks on his door, saying 'Are you in genius? Are you in capable?
Tony has been very successful too. The problem, sometimes, with genius managers, is they have to keep showing you how smart they are. Last night was a good example. Some of what happened:
- Allen Craig gets thrown out at second on, apparently, a botched hit and run, with Albert Pujols at the plate.
- Tony brings Ryan Theriot in to pinch hit for Skip Schumaker, in the 8th inning and then has him bunt. Why? Can Schumaker not bunt? A quick look tells me Schumaker had 1 sac bunt, this year, while Theriot had 6. Theriot has a lot more sac bunts in his career than Schumaker, so likely he is better at it, but is he so much better that you'd want to use up two players in the 8th inning of a tie game. Theriot had to be replaced by Jon Jay in CF in the bottom of the inning. Jay, by the way, had 9 sac bunts this year, if you were going to have to use him anyway, why not have him bunt?
- Tony gets the wrong pitcher throwing in the bullpen, apparently because the bullpen coach couldn't hear him through the phone. Lance Lynn ends up coming into the game to intentionally walk Ian Kinsler. Shouldn't the genius manager had let the bullpen coach know, before the game, that he wasn't going to use Lynn, unless the game went to extras. And shouldn't one of them have made sure the right guy got up? Couldn't the bullpen coach use his brain and think 'this doesn't seem right, maybe I should double check who I'm to get up to throw'?
- Because of the above and a miss played ball, Marc Rzepczynski ended up pitching to, right-handed batter, Mike Napoli. It didn't work out well.
- Craig gets thrown out at second base again, on a strikeout/throw out, again with Pujols at bat. Craig ran to second 2 times before being thrown out, likely tiring him some and he wasn't the tying run, so why are they wanting him to steal? His run didn't matter.
We found out, after the game, that Albert Pujols called the hit and run plays when he is at bat. Doesn't this sound strange to you? You have the manager turning over game strategies to one of his players? I don't understand it.
LaRussa will be in the Hall of Fame someday and has had a real successful career. Judging him on this one game isn't far.
Anyway, which do you prefer: a guy that over-manages or a guy that under-manages? This series you get to compare the two, Tony loves to make move after move, Ron Washington is closer to the other end of the scale.