For baseball's great overmanaging artist, this was his Mona Lisa
I must admit: I do get a kick out of overmanaging. Sure, mostly it's like a kick to the sternum... but there's something utterly human about overmanaging that I can appreciate. A baseball manager has so little he can CONTROL on a baseball diamond. He can't design a play -- hit and runs and wheel plays don't satisfy. He can't make halftime adjustments. He can't substitute players in-and-out or change up his lines. You don't think about this much -- or I don't -- but perhaps the biggest thing is that a baseball manager can't even put his best player in position to make the big play. In basketball, you get
It's just a whole different type of game, and I think overmanaging really is a natural reaction to the frustrations of the job.
With that in mind, the
There are probably others, but these are the ones I could find.
• He moves
Lopez is pretty effective... or the Mets are pretty dismal. Or both. He allows only one walk while retiring the side. Little does anyone know that Lopez is on a pitch count.
Of course Pujols misses the pitch. Of course Ludwick is thrown out stealing -- though it is close, and Ludwick makes a lousy slide. Of course Pujols promptly bangs a double and later comes around to score what would have been the winning run rather than the tying run. Of course.
When it ended, there were many ready to rip Tony La Russa... and that's fair. But to me that game was vintage La Russa. He has never apologized for the overwhelming way he manages baseball games. He never will. He tries to win, all-out, all the time. Hit and run. Pull the pitcher. Send in a pinch-hitter. When you manage baseball games that way, like a heavyweight boxer throwing haymakers, you win some and you lose some, and you make a lot of people angry. But one thing is for sure: You never go to sleep wishing you had tried harder.