Kansas City Star columnist Joe Posnanski penned a piece for Sports Illustrated
today that attempts to break down what happens inside the manic mind of Cardinals manager Tony La Russa
during spring training.
In short, Posnanski suggests that TLR spends much of his time reveling in how much more intelligent he is than everyone other than his high-profile coaching buddies Bob Knight
and Bill Parcells
And it's that unadulterated, unflappable, unfuckwithable
genius that gives the man the uncontrollable urge to mess with his team's line-up. Posnaski writes
Russa has been the Mozart of overmanagers. There has never been an
eighth inning he could not grind into the ground with an endless series
of gratuitous pitching changes. There has never been a lineup good
enough for La Russa*, and he will use pinch hitters no matter the
score. He loves the bunt beyond all reason. He moves runners on the
pitch more than any other manager in the game. He likes to say that
players win games, but he manages those players like he's their
But don't be fooled, Posnanski ain't no hater.
professes a great deal of respect for the manager, reveling in the way
he "spends hours everyday on his spring training schedule." You can you
tell that he really got into La Russa's skull when he writes that the
coach "got into a simple baseball drill as if it was a Bruce Springsteen concert."
is something easily envisioned: La Russa throwing up some devil's
horns, head-banging with his fluffy mane, and belting out "Thunder
Road" while Skip Schumaker and Joe Mather endlessly muff ground balls.