Looking back on Tony La Russa’s history with players (and there’s more than one above average player on that list), you start to see why there’s some struggling going on in St. Louis.
La Russa has been successful for a long time in this game. He does small things to the lineup that are ‘cute’ when you’re winning but sets himself up for a lot of criticism when the wins aren’t pulled out–like last night’s 3-0 shutout loss to J.A. Happ and the Astros.
When the Reds lose and Dusty Baker downplays everything, I want there to be Hell to pay. I cringe and I get pissed. But the bottom line is, Dusty is right and we who practice losing our cool and want him to scream and yell and act like the walls are closing in are all wrong. What you’re seeing right now is Dusty’s style prevail in a pennant race.
No one’s talking about it, but I assure you that La Russa’s nit-picky, paranoid style is running it’s course on his roster in St. Louis and the negativity and toxicity of this man is reflecting his team’s play on a nightly basis.
On the contrary, Dusty’s relaxed, hands off approach is allowing his young players to go out and play without fear of losing their jobs on a nightly basis.
I don’t know which style is better, but for the roster set and positions that these two teams find themselves in right now; Dusty’s style is working and La Russa’s isn’t. It seems that the story coming out of St. Louis on a nightly basis is something that La Russa is complaining about. Something that rubbed him the wrong way. He’s acting like a ginger prick to any and all who will open an ear and his players have stopped responding with any type of motivated play.
Dusty Baker’s caring-grandfather style after so many seasons in the sun is motivating his men to run through walls right now. They’re the horse at the end of the Kentucky Derby who is running at full tilt without even being hit by the jockey.
Just something to think about as we finish up the last month of baseball. And something you hope the Cincinnati Reds front office takes notice of when trying to bring back Dusty Baker next season.