There are few things in baseball worse than the cult of the manager, and there no manager cults more head-slappingly pretentious than the one that has sprung up around Tony La Russa. I have a theory that La Russa is so exalted by the George Wills of the world because he is more or less one of them -- an observer who has little to no impact on what's transpiring in front of him, who spends his nine innings investing tiny fluke moments with galactic significance and stamping them with the mark of his own genius.But wait there's more!
La Russa is a guy playing Chutes and Ladders who thinks it's actually chess. He is a manager, nothing more, and he has been blessed with a lot of great players over the years, and he has been smart enough and sober enough not to fuck them up too horribly. That's it. That's his genius.Somewhere out there this morning, Kevin Slaten is smiling.