Saturday, July 26, 2014

Three Reasons Tony LaRussa Doesn't Belong In Baseball Hall of Fame

 Baseball Tony LaRussa - Baseball Hall of Fame- Hall of Fame Voting -

Three Reasons Tony LaRussa Doesn't Belong In Baseball  Hall of Fame

Heard of Bryant Gumbel's comments questioning the inconsistency that allowed Tony LaRussa's recent induction into the Hall of Fame(as manager)  but not his long-time player, Mark McGwire. and we  were thinking along those lines, ourselves.  And, it was one thing at Oakland when Jose Conseco , Mark McGwire and steroids were a pretty new thing in baseball in 1988, but by the time LaRussa got to  St. Louis it was pretty well known that McGwire was using Creatine if not other performance enhancing drugs as McGwire joined the team in the mid-90s. It wasn't until McGwire finally admitted he was using that LaRussa made a few light weight comments, hardly condemning McGwire. In fact, LaRussa would invite McGwire back to St. Louis as a hitting coach after his playing days were over. La Russa had at least one other player at St. Louis, too, who had all the indications of a player on steroids. Without those three guys, one could probably subtract at least a few dozen wins and probably a World Series victory or two of three La Russa garnered during his tenure as manager of Oakland and St Louis. Even so, LaRussa had a modest .536 winning percentage which ranks him #62 (See Above Chart)  among all managers win-loss records - and he had good- to- very good teams to manager. Even Don Mattingly, Bob Brenly,  Ken Macha and Herman Franks had better managerial records than LaRussa. Baseball Tony LaRussa - Baseball Tony LaRussa , Baseball Hall of Fame, Hall of Fame Voting, The History of Baseball, Cooperstown Hall of Fame,Baseball Hall of Fame,Hall of Fame Voting

No doubt, Tony La Russa, who has a law degree among other things, would seem to be a fine person albeit a bit of a temper, and has done a lot for the community in and outside of baseball;he started what has become a large-scale  pet animal rescue foundation (ARF).
Yet, for whatever reason, La Russa -who admits it himself - never achieved the greatness many have lauded after him, perhaps mistaking his longevity and  piloting good teams with success.
La Russa will  tell you he takes responsibility for not winning the 1988 and 1990 World Series as skipper of the A's .  For a man of letters, his managerial style was not always empiracle and often more a matter of emotion than science.  While he could be a 'players manager'  he could also attract enemies easily and , perhaps,   thereby  not always getting the most out of players.
Then , there is that other issue of early PEDs in baseball  and his looking the other away, allowing his team to take an unfair advantage.  WE LIKE THE FACT THAT LARUSSA  WAS ACCEPTING OF HIS PLAYERS' SERIOUS ERRORS IN JUDGEMENT, BUT HE COULD HAVE DONE SOMETHING SOONER AND NIPPED THE PROBLEM IN THE BUD (such as by taking the players aside , privately, and warn of them of likely consequences ) but he didn't and it when on for decades - and he wasn't the only such manager as we'll note below with Bruce Bochy.

Now, LaRussa has come out in favor of letting PED players in the Hall of Fame.  It was one thing to ignore his own players using, but to sanction Hall of Fame inclusion is going way to far in our opinion. It's TOTALLY UNFAIR to those not using, as    players like  Johnny Gomes, Jake Peavey and others will tell you. Take a guy like Barry Bonds - a .275 hitter who had never hit more than 34 homeruns in seven years with the Pirates; once joining the Giants and the drug culture -at an advanced age- his batting average shot up to .325 and 45 homers per year (average) with high water marks of 73 homers and .360 average. Without the obvious PEDs Bonds - who every forgets was NOT a superstar before joining the Giants-  would be be Hall of Fame fare, and Bonds was probably at the top of all the PED players. So, how can ANY of them really deserve to be in the Hall. McGwire was a strike out king before steroids and Conseco not much better - but they were early in the game using somewhat less powerful drugs, in our opinion - another issue one would have to take in to consideration if deciding among PED players.  Best way is to leave them ALL out.  If McGwire and Conseco - or anyone else-  were stars BEFORE PEDs it would be one thing. But it doesn't work that way. Name us a single example of a player who was deserving BEFORE he took PEDs.  If Bonds wasn't, we can't imagine who would be.... Then, La Russa , as a manager, with or without PED players, did not have that fantastic of a record as we see in the below chart...

 The only modern day manager to make the Hall with a worse record than LaRussa was Whitey Herzog (.532) Surely, as a player McGwire may not deserve to go into the Hall of his numbers, nor even Barry Bonds, a mere .275 hitter averaging around 25 homers a year before coming to San Francisco and  it's PED culture.   For longevity, La Russa should get something being the third most tenured manager of all time, 33 years.


The same could be said of a manager like San Francisco Giants manager,Bruce Bochy, who many (especially in San Francisco) expect to  be a likely candidate for the Hall of Fame as manager .  He not only turned a blind eye to a host of PED players such as Ken Camaniti when he was manager at San Diego but when he came to  San Francisco it was even worse, where he he sanctioned Barry Bonds and  friends in the Capital of Sports Steroids. Even with a succession of indicted steroid users in San Diego and San Francisco, Bochy barely has a .500 record(.502)  as manager in both cities (.479 in San Diego and .505 in San Francisco and ranks way down in 144th place behind Bobby Valentine and just ahead of Kirk Gibson .   At least Dusty Baker had the good sense to part ways with Bonds and  San Francisco in 1996 before Bochy came in.  Perhaps someone like Baker would deserve a Hall of Fame spot  for standing his ground while also having a decent record as manager . That Tony La Russa is only the 62 most winning manager and Bruce Bochy #133 of all time, we don't believe that either should get into the managerial Hall of Fame based on their records , alone;add the fact that they were likely knowing and accepting of tainted players who helped their cause makes our decision a 'slam dunk'that  these two should not enter the Hall of Fame at all.


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    Watching the Philadelphia Phillies play the Giants was a pretty pathetic experience the past few days.  Not that the Giants are so hot - but they at least can summon up that extra something once in awhile -even if it takes 14 innings. The Phillies make the Giants pitchers look like Cy Young winners, not even making contact time and again with runners in scoring position. It seems as though the Phillies, now in last place in the NL East, have given up. Despite a few big names like Utley, Rollins and Howard (though the latter was one of those strike out kings in tough situations), Philadelphia can really use some help. With the exception of pitcher AJ Burnett and leadoff man Rivera there wasn't a lot of good to say about the Phils.  Even the team announcers seemed to be in a coma, perhaps put there by an inept team that had only scored a couple of runs through the first three games of the series.  While the Giants announcers can sometimes be a bit hyper and in-your-face, the Phillies guys can put you right to sleep along with their team.  Doubt the Giants will be quite so fortunate to have opponents like they've had the past week in Miami and Philly in coming weeks, though, as we know, Sabean and the Giants have a way of getting things done come season's end, even if they have to - and probably will-  sink the bottom of the barrel to do it.

Could you believe the reports that the Giants are interested in the Mets' Bartolo Colon?  So much for Giants President Larry Baer's statements that they'll try to steer away from PED players.  You'd' think they could do better than Dan Uggla and the tainted 42-year-old Colon - not to mention possible embarassment, though most Giants fans dont' seem to care.

Baseball Tony LaRussa - Baseball Hall of Fame- Hall of Fame Voting,
 The History of Baseball, Cooperstown Hall of Fame