And it's that unadulterated, unflappable, unfuckwithable genius that gives the man the uncontrollable urge to mess with his team's line-up.
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.
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."