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Tony La Russa named Manager

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On 10/31/2020 at 5:36 PM, Chicago White Sox said:

I’ve got bad news for you, but La Russa also won World Series due to cheating.  And I love that you use counting stats to try to make Hinch look bad.  Yeah, Hinch does have less World Series trophies than La Russa, but he has also managed 28 less seasons.  He’s both won more and made more World Series on a per season basis and both him & La Russa have won equally half of their World Series appearances yet you only hold losing one against A.J.  Hinch also has the better lifetime winning percentage for whatever that’s worth.

All that being said, the credentials don’t really matter.  The concerns here center around timing & fit and whether a 76 year old La Russa is the right guy to connect with motivate a young core and to partner with a front office on in-game strategic planning.  There are very obvious reasons to be skeptical that La Russa is going to connect with a bunch of black & brown players (let alone the White ones) given his incredibly old school view on things.  There is also reason to be skeptical that Hahn will have enough influence over La Russa to be able to force Tony to align with the front office on any in-game strategic planning.  There is real risk this quickly becomes the Tony show and that’s the last thing this White Sox team needs.  IMO, now was not the time to get cute and go with polarizing manager, but alas Jerry put his own interests ahead of his front office, players, & fanbase.

You have no idea what you are talking about. You are just projecting a terrible outcome in advance for a manager that knows 1000 times more than you do how to manage a baseball team to success, and has more experience than any other manager in the game. 

I've said every time it might not work out, just like it might not have worked out with any other choice the Sox made.

But it's ridiculous to spew such venom on the most accomplished living manager in major league baseball. He's managed 5000+ games, and led teams, collectively, to more success than the White Sox have experienced in their entire 115 year history. 

And, as for cheating, which players of the 2011 Cardinals teams were on steroids? WTF was a manager in the steroids era of baseball supposed to do? Drug testing, and the lack thereof, was controlled by the league. Tony didn't sign the players to the roster. He used the players the front office provided to win baseball games. Every other manager of that era did the same. 

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On 10/31/2020 at 7:42 PM, southsider2k5 said:

By your own logic, you lack the knowledge to tell people they are wrong here.

Not true, and not the same. 

I've never said LaRussa is going to work out, because we don't know that about any manager the Sox might have hired.

What I've consistently said is that LaRussa's track record, experience, and expertise deserve a TON more respect than his critics are giving him. He's earned enough that you should give him the benefit of the doubt to see how it works out. There will be plenty of time to be critical if he fails. 

But the people who pre-judge him suggest they know better, when they know absolutely nothing about baseball by comparison. 

Take the critique that he can't get along with the players. How the F would anyone "know" this?? He's managed 33 years of teams, gotten a truck load of players to play together to winning seasons. Seems to me TLR knows a LOT more about getting along with all sorts of players, or more importantly, getting the most out of players, than any of his critics.

Take the critique that he's insensitive to BLM and kneeling. Read James Fegan's piece in the Athletic. Tony called up Bruce Maxwell of his own accord. Maxwell is the first baseball player to have kneeled during the anthem. Wanted to understand where he's coming from. The post-hiring interviews indicated Tony's views have changed. So, more spouting off by people who have no idea what they are talking about.

Take the critique that he managed during the steroids era. That was a problem in baseball. But how was that the manager's problem? Front offices decide who the team signs, or cuts. The league decides (with the players) what the testing protocol is. LaRussa's job is to take the players he has and win games with them. 

Take the critique that he doesn't know analytics. What a bunch of crap. The man said "information is king" during recent interviews. He's always wanted information, and has always used it. But there's more to baseball than analytics. Need to know how to apply it when players are involved in the nuances of a game.

Take the critique that he's too old. Well, maybe he will be, eventually. But it's not a physical job. It's mostly a mental job. And there's no evidence yet that his mind has lost its edge. 

So, once again.

None of us can know how this, or any other hire the Sox might have made, will turn out. 

But, the Sox got the most accomplished manager alive today, and one of the most accomplished managers in MLB history, to come back because he's motivated to lead the White Sox to the World Series. Anyone who discounts that as a trash hire is doesn't know what they are talking about. 

Give LaRussa some respect. 

If he fails, by all means, let it rip. Until then, he deserves some respect. 

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Tony LaRussa and Steve Stone both have a huge need to be the smartest guy in the room even if they are not. I think it will  lead to a pretty spectacular feud some day.

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17 hours ago, ThirdGen said:

IMO he was fairly terrible at the baseball side of things.  One World Series title in an era of only 16 teams for the most part, and no free agency issues to deal with.  And that's my point:  no one questioned him being involved in baseball decisions, yet everyone freaks when Reinsdorf does.

People liked the PT Barnum side of BV.  The baseball side...not so much.

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Any chance that maybe players will respect three World Series rings and a bust in Cooperstown?

 

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13 minutes ago, Texsox said:

Any chance that maybe players will respect three World Series rings and a bust in Cooperstown?

 

Any chance the players respect dentures and depends? /green

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17 minutes ago, Texsox said:

Any chance that maybe players will respect three World Series rings and a bust in Cooperstown?

Depends on how much of the clubhouse dynamic he tries to change. Nobody likes to have large scale change forced upon them, especially 22-25 year olds. 

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3 minutes ago, oneofthemikes said:

Depends on how much of the clubhouse dynamic he tries to change. Nobody likes to have large scale change forced upon them, especially 22-25 year olds. 

They had a MLB manager of the year finalist in place. The front office doesn't seem to think that's an issue.

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7 hours ago, VAfan said:

Not true, and not the same. 

I've never said LaRussa is going to work out, because we don't know that about any manager the Sox might have hired.

What I've consistently said is that LaRussa's track record, experience, and expertise deserve a TON more respect than his critics are giving him. He's earned enough that you should give him the benefit of the doubt to see how it works out. There will be plenty of time to be critical if he fails. 

But the people who pre-judge him suggest they know better, when they know absolutely nothing about baseball by comparison. 

Take the critique that he can't get along with the players. How the F would anyone "know" this?? He's managed 33 years of teams, gotten a truck load of players to play together to winning seasons. Seems to me TLR knows a LOT more about getting along with all sorts of players, or more importantly, getting the most out of players, than any of his critics.

Take the critique that he's insensitive to BLM and kneeling. Read James Fegan's piece in the Athletic. Tony called up Bruce Maxwell of his own accord. Maxwell is the first baseball player to have kneeled during the anthem. Wanted to understand where he's coming from. The post-hiring interviews indicated Tony's views have changed. So, more spouting off by people who have no idea what they are talking about.

Take the critique that he managed during the steroids era. That was a problem in baseball. But how was that the manager's problem? Front offices decide who the team signs, or cuts. The league decides (with the players) what the testing protocol is. LaRussa's job is to take the players he has and win games with them. 

Take the critique that he doesn't know analytics. What a bunch of crap. The man said "information is king" during recent interviews. He's always wanted information, and has always used it. But there's more to baseball than analytics. Need to know how to apply it when players are involved in the nuances of a game.

Take the critique that he's too old. Well, maybe he will be, eventually. But it's not a physical job. It's mostly a mental job. And there's no evidence yet that his mind has lost its edge. 

So, once again.

None of us can know how this, or any other hire the Sox might have made, will turn out. 

But, the Sox got the most accomplished manager alive today, and one of the most accomplished managers in MLB history, to come back because he's motivated to lead the White Sox to the World Series. Anyone who discounts that as a trash hire is doesn't know what they are talking about. 

Give LaRussa some respect. 

If he fails, by all means, let it rip. Until then, he deserves some respect. 

Your own list was 

1. Never managed a major league baseball game in their lives.

2. Never played major league baseball.

3. Never served as a major league baseball executive

You've done none of these things.  If you are going to use these as a basis to lecture the anti-TLR crowd, then you have already shot your own argument in the foot.  The rest of is just mental gymnastics.

I have no problem calling this for what it is, a rash move made without considering an impressive slate of potential candidates which are/were out there that we could have gone to without Tony's considerable baggage.  The fact that TLR's "considerable track record" ends a decade ago.  Baseball has changed A TON in that decade.  TLR has contradicted the statements he made this week, with others made very recently about how he wouldn't incorporate data once a game started.  Why are we supposed to only believe the statements that fit your argument, even though he has consistently made the same statements until someone started paying him again?  It doesn't strike me as authentic at all.

The fact that while he might have said the right things in some people's point of view during his most recent interviews, he has done other recent views which contradict these words mere months ago.  His ACTIONS of supporting anti-Black and anti-Latino causes IS going to raise eyebrows.  His lack of contacting players ISN'T going to make anyone feel better.  Even it is eventually rectified, players are going to wonder why it took so long to reach out to them.  While a guy like Maxwell has taken to Tony's defense, there are PLENTY of players who had large problems with him, and NONE have spoken up here.  These accusations aren't new.

With the steroid era, people keep using the idea that EVERYONE WAS DOING IT as some sort of a defense for this.  Tony's team's had major steroid systems in place, and were operating in the open, and were even an open joke in front of the media.  He knew what was going on, and did nothing to stop it.  AJ Hinch at least sort of tried to put on a show of stopping things.  TLR gave it is tacit endorsement by ignoring it completely.  He's never been brought to reckoning for it either.  There are also the Jack McDowell accusations of an organized sign stealing operation that have never been addressed.  

At the end of the day, none of us owe Tony Larussa anything.  The idea we do owe him something with all of these other things hanging there over him is absurd.  I am not afraid to question his hire, and no one else should be either.  There is no reason at all where he can't be questioned as well as the process that brought him here.

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2 hours ago, Texsox said:

Any chance that maybe players will respect three World Series rings and a bust in Cooperstown?

 

Think back to 25 year old you.  If someone had come in with all of the titles and accolades in the world, but crapped on you personally and everything you believed in, and didn't spend anytime to act like they cared what you thought, would you respect them?  Especially with their entire public history contradicting their most recent public statements, especially if you had been led to believe that the person was originally supposed to be someone who you did have some excitement about having as a leader?

People want a level of respect before they give respect.  I don't buy that anyone is just going to blindly accept one part of the resume, but not the rest.

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9 hours ago, VAfan said:

Not the same. 

What I've said on this blog from the beginning is that I don't know, nor does anyone else know, how this is going to turn out. 

But TLR has more experience at this than all of us, and all the other commentators out there, combined, so he deserves the opportunity to prove himself in the here and now with this Chicago White Sox team. At that point, go ahead and judge him.

Just don't pre-judge him, because nearly every critic on here doesn't really know anything about what it takes to be a major league manager. 

Your deferral to authority is fun.

There is not some specialized schooling or education that goes along with being a big league manager. I don't need to defer to an expert when the qualifications involved don't exactly entail Rocket Science.

We can have opinions based on our observations, just as Tony has opinions based on his observations. Our observations can be based on anecdotal evidence - such as the players not saying a damn word a week in - just as Tony's managerial style is based on anecdotal evidence.

Lastly, your assumption that such and such knows more about the game than anyone blah blah blah because he's been around it for such and such years is also nonsense.

I always use the poker comparison. I played poker for my job when I first finished college; I played online poker and tracked every hand and all my data. I started at 21 years old and by the time I was 23, I had played and analyzed more hands of poker than Doyle Brunson - who had played the game for 50 years professionally. Why? Because I played online where the pace was 100 times faster, I played multiple things at a time, and I tracked it all. I had accomplished the experience Brunson had gained over 40 years in less than 2.

Edited by Look at Ray Ray Run
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2 hours ago, Texsox said:

Any chance that maybe players will respect three World Series rings and a bust in Cooperstown?

 

While it's not a 1-to-1 comparison, Jeffrey Katzenberg is one of the greatest film producers of all time, hands down. Oversaw the Disney Renaissance, Dreamworks.

Then because he knew what people wanted (as opposed to, you know, people) he made Quibi. 

Hopefully Tony La Russa doesn't Quibi the White Sox because he knows what is best for baseball, a decade after last managing and utter failure in the front office.

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1 minute ago, Quin said:

While it's not a 1-to-1 comparison, Jeffrey Katzenberg is one of the greatest film producers of all time, hands down. Oversaw the Disney Renaissance, Dreamworks.

Then because he knew what people wanted (as opposed to, you know, people) he made Quibi. 

Hopefully Tony La Russa doesn't Quibi the White Sox because he knows what is best for baseball, a decade after last managing and utter failure in the front office.

To be fair, Katzenberg hasn't been shit in 15-20 years and people just keep giving him money and watching it burn away. Never forget WndrCo before Quibi lol. This guy has convinced people to give him a billion dollars while he shits out bad idea after bad idea.

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2 minutes ago, Look at Ray Ray Run said:

To be fair, Katzenberg hasn't been shit in 15-20 years and people just keep giving him money and watching it burn away. Never forget WndrCo before Quibi lol. This guy has convinced people to give him a billion dollars while he shits out bad idea after bad idea.

While adults don't like them, the DreamWorks Animation films still print money, i.e. results.

And yeah, WndrCo was a thing, but Quibi was just such a hubris filled zeppelin.

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8 minutes ago, Look at Ray Ray Run said:

Your deferral to authority is fun.

There is not some specialized schooling or education that goes along with being a big league manager. I don't need to defer to an expert when the qualifications involved don't exactly entail Rocket Science.

We can have opinions based on our observations, just as Tony has opinions based on his observations. Our observations can be based on anecdotal evidence - such as the players not saying a damn word a week in - just as Tony's managerial style is based on anecdotal evidence.

Lastly, your assumption that such and such knows more about the game than anyone blah blah blah because he's been around it for such and such years is also nonsense.

I always use the poker comparison. I played poker for my job when I first finished college; I played online poker and tracked every hand and all my data. I started at 21 years old and by the time I was 23, I had played and analyzed more hands of poker than Doyle Brunson - who had played the game for 50 years professionally. Why? Because I played online where the pace was 100 times faster, I played multiple things at a time, and I tracked it all. I had accomplished the experience Brunson had gained over 40 years in less than 2.

Hey, now. Don't be getting all analytical with those poker analogies. I already tried that. Apparently we determined that poker is 100% luck and is not in any way an apt analogy for anything to do with baseball or statistics! 😛

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John Feinstein's article in today's Washington Post.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2020/11/02/tony-larussa-white-sox/

 

Quote

 

Among the complaints: At 76, La Russa is too old; he hasn’t managed since 2011; he isn’t wedded to analytics the way managers need to be today; he won’t be able to relate to today’s players; and his hiring smacks of cronyism because he is longtime friends with White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf, who fired him in 1986.

Let’s start with La Russa’s age. Regardless of how you feel about either presidential candidate, the fact is, for the next four years, the country is going to be run by a man currently in his 70s. That job is slightly more complicated than managing a baseball team — sorry, seamheads.

Sports offers other analogues. Syracuse basketball coach Jim Boeheim will turn 76 this month; Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski is 73. The only concern their teams’ fans have about their age is that they will retire in the not-too-distant future. And Dusty Baker, 71, returned to baseball to manage the Houston Astros out of the morass of their cheating scandal this past season.

La Russa is still sharp as a tack. I’ve known him for 28 years, and he hasn’t lost a step. The last time he managed, he won the World Series with St. Louis. At 67, he decided it was time to step away from the dugout, and winning a third World Series seemed like a good concluding note.

But La Russa’s a baseball addict, albeit one with a law degree. He came back to work for Major League Baseball for two years and then ran the Arizona Diamondbacks for two years before becoming an adviser to the Boston Red Sox and then the Los Angeles Angels. He never really left the game. There is no way he would take the job if he wasn’t convinced he could handle being in the dugout after almost 10 years out of it.

As for the questions about his embrace of analytics, La Russa was using analytics before the term was invented, keeping a “book” on every hitter and pitcher on his team and on the opposition. Is he ruled by them the way, say, Kevin Cash was when he yanked Blake Snell in the sixth inning of Game 6 of the World Series last week? No. La Russa would have known the numbers and then looked at Snell and known it wasn’t time to take him out.

As for his ability to relate to this generation of players, what is the difference between 67 and 76 when you’re dealing with athletes 40 to 50 years younger than you? The gap is huge regardless.

Anyone out there think La Russa doesn’t understand that? You don’t win 2,728 games without understanding how to get your players to buy into what you’re selling. Whenever spring training begins, La Russa will arrive in Arizona knowing just about everything there is to know about Tim Anderson, José Abreu, Eloy Jiménez, Luis Robert and Lucas Giolito — not only important White Sox, but players who knelt during the national anthem on Opening Day this past July.

In 2016, La Russa was critical of Colin Kaepernick’s kneeling protests of police brutality against Black men, wondering whether Kaepernick was “sincere” in his motives and why he couldn’t find a different platform to make his feelings known.

On Thursday, La Russa somewhat pivoted away from that position.

“A lot has gone on in a very healthy way since 2016, and not only do I respect but I applaud the awareness that has come into not just society but especially in sports,” La Russa said at his introductory news conference. “If you talk about baseball specifically, I applaud and support the fact that they are now addressing, identifying the injustices, especially on the racial side — as long as it’s peacefully protested and it’s sincere.”

Some will accuse La Russa of pandering. I side with those who believe he has learned that his initial comments were, at best, uninformed. Regardless, he was clearly sending a message to his new players that there won’t be any issues if they choose to kneel. It was also a message to the media and to White Sox fans. La Russa’s position is probably a lot more in tune with today’s players than a lot of his managerial and coaching colleagues.

Dean Smith always said he hoped he got better at his job as he got older because he kept trying to learn. Smart people do that: keep trying to learn. La Russa is, if nothing else, plenty smart.

And then there is the cry of cronyism. Cronyism is when someone who, based on personal relationships, gets a job for which he or she lacks the qualifications or experience. Hiring someone with the third-most managerial victories in baseball history hardly can be called cronyism. La Russa needs 36 wins to pass John McGraw for the most wins in history for a manager with a winning record. Connie Mack, who managed Philadelphia for 50 years in large part because he owned the team, has the most wins by far: 3,731. He also has the most losses (3,948) by a wide margin.

Will the talented young White Sox take the next step under La Russa? Who the heck knows? But to label his return a mistake is, at best, premature and, more likely, foolish.

 

 

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1 minute ago, RagahRagah said:

Hey, now. Don't be getting all analytical with those poker analogies. I already tried that. Apparently we determined that poker is 100% luck and is not in any way an apt analogy for anything to do with baseball or statistics! 😛

Well shit, I must have been one of the luckiest people alive between 21-24 (before the government made moving money impossible) lol.

I still miss playing; made more money, although with a bit more stress and less consistency, and I worked whenever I wanted - although I tell people my days were significantly longer than my work day today, because if I got deep in big MTT's, I was playing from noon to 2 or 3 am.

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1 hour ago, southsider2k5 said:

Your own list was 

1. Never managed a major league baseball game in their lives.

2. Never played major league baseball.

3. Never served as a major league baseball executive

You've done none of these things.  If you are going to use these as a basis to lecture the anti-TLR crowd, then you have already shot your own argument in the foot.  The rest of is just mental gymnastics.

I have no problem calling this for what it is, a rash move made without considering an impressive slate of potential candidates which are/were out there that we could have gone to without Tony's considerable baggage.  The fact that TLR's "considerable track record" ends a decade ago.  Baseball has changed A TON in that decade.  TLR has contradicted the statements he made this week, with others made very recently about how he wouldn't incorporate data once a game started.  Why are we supposed to only believe the statements that fit your argument, even though he has consistently made the same statements until someone started paying him again?  It doesn't strike me as authentic at all.

The fact that while he might have said the right things in some people's point of view during his most recent interviews, he has done other recent views which contradict these words mere months ago.  His ACTIONS of supporting anti-Black and anti-Latino causes IS going to raise eyebrows.  His lack of contacting players ISN'T going to make anyone feel better.  Even it is eventually rectified, players are going to wonder why it took so long to reach out to them.  While a guy like Maxwell has taken to Tony's defense, there are PLENTY of players who had large problems with him, and NONE have spoken up here.  These accusations aren't new.

With the steroid era, people keep using the idea that EVERYONE WAS DOING IT as some sort of a defense for this.  Tony's team's had major steroid systems in place, and were operating in the open, and were even an open joke in front of the media.  He knew what was going on, and did nothing to stop it.  AJ Hinch at least sort of tried to put on a show of stopping things.  TLR gave it is tacit endorsement by ignoring it completely.  He's never been brought to reckoning for it either.  There are also the Jack McDowell accusations of an organized sign stealing operation that have never been addressed.  

At the end of the day, none of us owe Tony Larussa anything.  The idea we do owe him something with all of these other things hanging there over him is absurd.  I am not afraid to question his hire, and no one else should be either.  There is no reason at all where he can't be questioned as well as the process that brought him here.

But, unlike you, I'm not pretending I know what Tony LaRussa can't do, which is to successfully manage the Chicago White Sox. That's what you are pretending to know, when you don't know anything of the sort. 

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3 minutes ago, VAfan said:

But, unlike you, I'm not pretending I know what Tony LaRussa can't do, which is to successfully manage the Chicago White Sox. That's what you are pretending to know, when you don't know anything of the sort. 

You quite literally are by making every single contra-argument after listing off why you couldn't possibly know.  Your thought would have more validity if you hadn't, but you continue to so so.

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19 minutes ago, Look at Ray Ray Run said:

Your deferral to authority is fun.

There is not some specialized schooling or education that goes along with being a big league manager. I don't need to defer to an expert when the qualifications involved don't exactly entail Rocket Science.

We can have opinions based on our observations, just as Tony has opinions based on his observations. Our observations can be based on anecdotal evidence - such as the players not saying a damn word a week in - just as Tony's managerial style is based on anecdotal evidence.

Lastly, your assumption that such and such knows more about the game than anyone blah blah blah because he's been around it for such and such years is also nonsense.

I always use the poker comparison. I played poker for my job when I first finished college; I played online poker and tracked every hand and all my data. I started at 21 years old and by the time I was 23, I had played and analyzed more hands of poker than Doyle Brunson - who had played the game for 50 years professionally. Why? Because I played online where the pace was 100 times faster, I played multiple things at a time, and I tracked it all. I had accomplished the experience Brunson had gained over 40 years in less than 2.

I think you VASTLY underestimate what it takes to be a major league manager, much less one who has led his team to more than 2,700 victories, 12 division titles, 6 pennants, and 3 World Series crowns, and the fact that you THINK that it's easy just affirms your ignorance.  And it has nothing to do with playing poker. 

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5 minutes ago, NWINFan said:

The condescending John Feinstein can go sit on a tack.

Especially when the key to his argument is to compare him to guys who haven't had a decade off from the job they are about to do.

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7 minutes ago, VAfan said:

I think you VASTLY underestimate what it takes to be a major league manager, much less one who has led his team to more than 2,700 victories, 12 division titles, 6 pennants, and 3 World Series crowns, and the fact that you THINK that it's easy just affirms your ignorance.  And it has nothing to do with playing poker. 

Who said it's easy? it's certainly an easier job than any career that requires advanced education.

What do you think the difference is between being a D1 baseball coach and a MLB coach; just curious to your thoughts. I would argue being a D1 coach may even be harder, and takes more work, but managing personalities is a lot easier than pro-ball.

The mistake you make constantly is you make vast assumptions about strangers you are talking to; what they've done with their lives, who they've helped, how high of a level they played baseball at and on and on. you do all of this to tell people they shouldn't question authority. It's truly nonsense.

Edited by Look at Ray Ray Run

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2 minutes ago, southsider2k5 said:

You quite literally are by making every single contra-argument after listing off why you couldn't possibly know.  Your thought would have more validity if you hadn't, but you continue to so so.

But I'm not sitting here opining that Tony LaRussa doesn't know how to manage -- absurd -- doesn't know how to relate to players -- absurd -- doesn't respect BLM -- proven wrong -- doesn't understand analytics -- absurd. 

The arguments against LaRussa are overblown and based in ignorance, when the guy has a track record that is worthy of respect.

In what field do you work? Who is the top person in that field? Do you think they are a hack who shouldn't be working in that field any longer? The arguments that Tony LaRussa can't manage any longer are being made by neophytes who have no clue.

What I do know is that Tony LaRussa has had the most accomplished career of any big league manager in the last 50 years. That's a simple fact. Based on that, I find the deluge of criticism from Sox fans to be premature at the very least. As I said above, if he fails, then let it rip. But give the guy a chance. You might learn something. 

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