Tony La Russa: "The Mozart of Overmanagers"

Feb 27, 2009 at 1:21 pm
- Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

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

La 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 puppeteer.

But don't be fooled, Posnanski ain't no hater.

He 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."

Now that 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.