Sunday, October 17, 2010

LaRussa and the Cardinals

LaRussa will ponder his return for the 2011 season.

Alright. I said I wouldn't do anymore Cardinal articles until there is something worth talking about. The 2010 season, and that pitiful effort displayed by a team full of over-payed primadonnas, was NOT worth writing about. There was absolutely no excuse for a team that talented to perform that god-awful.

However, I think that it is clear that there is finally something worth discussing; and that is the return (or departure) of Manager Tony LaRussa. When it comes to LaRussa, the opinions of Cardinal Nation are split right down the middle. Some people recognize that he is a Hall-of-Fame bound manager; so therefore it is reasonable to believe that he is just as good, or even better, than any other manager that may be available. The other side views LaRussa as someone who can put together winning talent, but also makes bone-headed game management decisions, and doesn't know how to manage a bullpen. That same group also feels that LaRussa reads way too much into statistical match-ups, and he doesn't always go with the best players; they feel he has worn out his welcome in St. Louis.

LaRussa's one-year contract has expired, and he has not given any indication on whether or not he will return for a 2011 season. It is clear that LaRussa will be welcomed back by the front-office...but will he be welcomed back by the fans?

First of all, there is the fact that LaRussa just finished a one-year contract. Maybe the "one year" part was his decision, or maybe it wasn't. If it was his decision, then what made him sign only a one-year deal in the first place? Was it a lack of passion? Has he lost his desire? Not to mention, his long silence indicates that it's a tough decision for him, meaning he is not ready to grab the team by the throat, and he may no longer have the youthful energy needed to lead the team into the playoffs. 

So is having an experienced manager worth having a manager with no heart? There is a lot of talent on this Cardinal team. It would be a damn shame if that talent went to waste for another season, just because the manager is not 100% dedicated to running a baseball team. It seems like the team would be better served with a manager that knows, with complete certainty, that there is nowhere else he would rather be than managing the St. Louis Cardinals.     

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