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August 1, 2011

The BP Broadside

Trade Deadline Winners

by Steven Goldman

In over a decade of writing professionally about baseball, I have never stooped so low as to write a “trade deadline winners and losers” piece. Normally, I run from a cliché like the Wehrmacht withdrew from a battle, attacking even as I back away. This is probably why I have never been invited to many parties. Normally, the July 31 non-waiver trading deadline is such a violent anticlimax that there isn’t much to say, making it acceptable to dismiss it as if it were a guest-star on Downton Abbey, issuing no more than a single word, a hostile glance, and a pregnant pause. The 2011 trading deadline was so active it demands a more thorough going-over. Today winners, tomorrow losers, and Wednesday I will be invited to the King’s Charity Ball (but no one will tell me it isn't a costume party).

Winners
Atlanta Braves
Between injuries and disappointing performances, the Braves were being strangled by their outfield. The unit as a whole has done less hitting than that of any team in the league except the Padres. Center field was a particularly sore point, as it has been for a number of years—in 2008, Braves center fielders ranked eighth in the NL in True Average, then dropped to 13th in 2009, 15th last year and again this year. Bourn isn’t Ty Cobb, but should represent a serious upgrade for the Braves in the center-field line, as he ranks fourth among all NL center fielders in TAv (250 PA and up department). Braves leadoff hitters have also been among the worst in the league, having hit .254/.306/.365 overall. Weird stat alert: In 57 plate appearances at Turner Field, Bourn has never drawn a walk. Having hit only .218/.289/.348 against southpaws to date, the Braves needed a right-handed bat and didn’t get one, but Bourn’s value should hardly be dismissed in light of that. They gave up two solid pitching prospects, a third that should be rated a throw-in, as well as an outfielder that has proved he can’t play in the majors, at least for them. That’s not a bad deal for a part they needed so badly and who also remains under contract.

Baltimore Orioles

Unlike some rebuilders who pretended they had no need to sell (hellooooo, Cubs!), the Orioles got something, moving the underrated Koji Uehera and the superannuated Derrek Lee in separate deals. The returns aren’t particularly special. Chris Davis will give the lineup the left-handed power it has been missing all year, but potentially nothing else—he’s arbitration-eligible after the season and has a strike zone wider than a rhino’s buttocks. Tommy Hunter pitches to contact and thus will be undermined by the league’s worst defense. Aaron Baker is a 23-year-old first baseman in High-A ball, which likely means we will never hear his name again. Nevertheless, a roll of the dice is better than standing pat with decayed assets.

Boston Red Sox
Theo Epstein got off to a shaky start, giving up future Generic Second Baseman Yamico Navarro and a Standard Model Reliever for Mike Aviles, which seems like a high price to pay for a 30-year-old defense-second infielder who has hit .222/.261/.395 this year. Given Jed Lowrie’s shoulder injury, Kevin Youkilis’ frequent day-to-dayness, and Marco Scutaro being, well, Marco Scutaro, it’s understandable that they felt they needed more depth, having already been forced to resort to Drew Sutton and an ahead-of-schedule Jose Iglesias. Still, Aviles is a sneeze away from being out of the league altogether, whereas Navarro has some long-term value.

Things got better with the trade for Erik Bedard, who, if he remains ambulatory for more than two starts in a row, should provide some desperately-needed insurance to a rotation that looked to have to batter its way through any playoff series after Game Two. With the second-best offense since 1950, perhaps they could have done it, but better not to try, especially since the deal cost them four prospects they are highly unlikely to miss.

Cleveland Indians
To be honest, I’m not sure if the Indians should be listed under winners or losers. They added Kosuke Fukudome to a depleted outfield and Ubaldo Jimenez to a short rotation while also getting more than a hamster for Orlando Cabrera. This is all probably too little too late, but Ubaldo is just 27 and is signed through 2014. Even if he can’t help the Indians find the handle on the division again, this is the starter with ace stuff that they have been missing since CC Sabathia blew town. No insult to Cliff Lee or Justin Masterson intended, but Jimenez struck out 214 batters last year and 198 the year before and has averaged 8.5 strikeouts per nine innings over the last three seasons. The last Indians pitcher to strike out 200 batters in a season was Sabathia back in 2007, and to find the previous example you have to go back to Bartolo Colon in 2000 and 2001—Colon also whiffed 10.1 per nine in 188 innings in the former season, a long, long time ago. 

That said, they sure spent a whole lot of the future to get him, and there isn’t much left on the shelf. Since getting something of even meager value for players who are the equivalent of spoiled milk, all credit to the Tribe for getting an outfielder for Orlando Cabrera, which is (a) one body more than one might have expected them to get and (b) something they desperately need even with the addition of Fukudome. Thomas Neal’s .295/.351/.409 at Fresno doesn’t translate into anything special, and the decay in his walk rate is troubling, but at least he’s breathing and owns the correct glove.

Houston Astros
Ed Wade is a much-derided GM about to preside over  a 110-loss season, something that only 13 other modern-era team architects have done before (there have been 15 teams that had 110 or more losses, but George Weiss got to preside over three of them—Weiss is in the Hall of Fame, so there’s still hope for Wade); no doubt he intended to build a historic club, but this probably wasn’t what he had in mind. Despite this, when you take an organization’s top two prospects for a player as basically decent as Hunter Pence is, you deserve credit. Wade also deserves kudos for long being a believer in Michael Bourn, who was drafted on his watch in Philadelphia, acquired by him for Houston, and patiently nurtured through a .229/.288/.300 season in his first year as a regular. Bourn rewarded Wade over the last three years, and now he rewards the Astros by returning four players. Perhaps Wade could have extracted more from the Braves and held out for one of their best prospects. Even if he had been able to do that, it would have cost the Astros desperately-needed volume. Just because the players coming in weren’t the Braves’ top prospects doesn’t mean they aren’t among the Astros’ top prospects. No one player can cure the Astros; competence at multiple positions will bring them back to respectability faster than having one Superman on the team.

St. Louis Cardinals
Bitch about what Colby Rasmus could have been to the Cardinals all you want, say that they gave up a great talent to satisfy a manager’s vanity. Forget it: Rasmus wasn’t going to be that guy with this team, so the point is moot. However Rasmus became disgruntled with the Cardinals and vice-versa, the fixing-it ship had sailed, and who was in the right or wrong is totally irrelevant at this stage. Further, as even as good as Rasmus was last year, he went through great hot streaks and deep slumps, and if the Cardinals felt the aggregate wasn't worth putting up with, we own that opinion at least cursory respect given that they have to live with the guy and his old man and we don't. In trading him, St. Louis picked up the additional starting pitcher it needed and manufactured what should be an effective bullpen out of thin air. Jon Jay gives them the depth to survive the move, and if he isn’t Tris Speaker in center field, neither was Rasmus. As an encore, they spent a very minor prospect on Rafael Furcal, who doesn’t have to be Furcal-the-two-time-All-Star, but Furcal-who-is-just-a-little-better-than-Ryan-Theriot. Jon Mozeliak made absolutely the right moves at the deadline, moves that give the Cardinals a far better chance of making the playoffs than they had before. Anyone who downplays that in favor of mourning Rasmus is shedding tears over something wholly imaginary.

San Francisco Giants
We haven’t seen a repeat World Series winner since the 1998-2000 Yankees, and Brian Sabean’s bid to join them is worthy of overspending on a rental—and it’s not clear that he did overspend. Sure, he gave up a very good pitching prospect, but a lot can happen between High-A and the majors. He also chose to pin his meager hopes of improved production at shortstop on the husk of Orlando Cabrera, which would normally be another example of Sabean’s fetish for vets, but in this case sort-of makes sense given that Giants shortstops have hit .208/.273/.304 to date and all Cabrera has to do is hit better than that while not passing out during routine fielding chances. Value is relative, and in this very limited instance, Cabrera is an upgrade.   

Seattle Mariners
Doug Fister fit Safeco Field, but you can say that about a lot of pitchers. In his short career he has an ERA of 3.42 at home, 4.40 on the road. He had good control and pitched to contact. The M’s turned him into four players. Casper Wells is limited in that his conception of the strike zone is about as egalitarian as a Woody Guthrie song, but he has slugged .505 at Triple-A and .490 in the majors. The M’s can use some of that. Charlie Forbush not only reminds us old-timers of one of Stan Lee’s in-jokes, he could prove to be the greatest player born in Maine since George Gore (okay, Bob Stanley) if his good control and deceptive delivery play up in the Emerald City’s pitcher’s paradise. Seattle is up a bit even if prospective third baseman Francisco Martinez doesn’t pan out and the player to be named actually is Irving Forbush.

Texas Rangers
Even with Neftali Feliz looking a bit on the shaky side of late, Texas now has one of the deepest bullpens in the game with Koji Uehara and Mike Adams in the fold. This year’s team video may be titled, “While the Angels Slept,” because the Halos did nothing to close the gap with the defending pennant-winners, while the Rangers likely made up for any shortcomings they had in the starting rotation vs. their division rivals by creating a relief corps so impregnable it could be called “Fort Apache: The Lead.” Actually, even if they hadn’t, the difference between Mike Napoli and Jeff “Bill Bergen” Mathis was probably enough to send the Rangers into October for another year. Irony is such a bitch.

Toronto Blue Jays
In the final analysis, they dealt a pile of fungible players—Corey Patterson’s picture is in the dictionary next to “fungible”—and just one prospect, Zach Stewart, to get Colby Rasmus, who at 24 is still young enough to be a prospect himself and won’t be eligible for free agency until 2015. Although he had fallen out of favor with Tony La Russa (he was seemingly never in favor), if Rasmus can find the stroke he displayed last year, the Jays will have added an all-star. In exchange for bullpen parts that, with the exception of Mark Rzepcynski, were all on the wrong side of 30 (Jason Frasor, Octavio Dotel). Alex Anthopoulos, take one giant step backward and miss a turn for having to choke down a year and change of Mark Teahen in the process, but on the whole, still a very good series of moves.

Washington Nationals
Washington got depth in Zach Walters and Erik Komatsu. These are hardly top-level prospects, but the Nationals weren’t dealing Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig either. Jason Marquis and Jerry Hairston were just passing through. If being a general manager is an art, then it is the art of turning today’s dross into tomorrow’s hope—however thin. As for their failure to acquire Denard Span or B.J. Upton, (a) it's not clear why that was a priority anyway, and (b) there will be plenty of time for that over the winter.

Steven Goldman is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Steven's other articles. You can contact Steven by clicking here

106 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

buddaley

Shouldn't you note in your remarks on Seattle that they also acquired Trayvon Robinson in the Bedard deal, an acquisition that makes their work at the deadline even more impressive. They also got Chiang from Boston, a player having a very good season even if he has not been considered a top prospect.

And finally, apparently the deal with Detroit includes one more prospect to be selected from among the top three 2010 Tiger draft picks. All in all, a pretty good haul for what they gave up.

Aug 01, 2011 04:54 AM
rating: 3
 
randolph3030

While I was dismayed to see the "Winners/Losers" archetype being portrayed here after flipping away from a particularly cliche-ridden piece over at yahoo re: the Trade Deadline, the quality of writing and fresh outlook on the Rasmus-situation kept your shoes clean of the usual instant, definitive assessment Around-The_Horn style muck. Well done, Steve, though I agree with buddaley and that you missed the two interesting OFs going to Seattle...I think Jack Z. did a pretty commendable job over the weekend.

Aug 01, 2011 05:38 AM
rating: 2
 
Richard Bergstrom

Eh, the Blue Jays section had some choppy writing in it. It looks like the "In exchange" sentence was a bit of a fragment and I'm not sure what "Alex Anthopoulos, take one giant step backward and miss a turn for having to choke down a year and change of Mark Teahen in the process" means. Is Teahan both the step backward and the missed turn?

Aug 01, 2011 09:24 AM
rating: 1
 
achaik

RE: Greatest player born in Maine. Bill Swift?

Aug 01, 2011 06:15 AM
rating: 1
 
MightyMoGreen

I'm going with the most feared (by beachballs) reliever of his day, Bob Stanley. Although it could end up being young Tim Stauffer.

Aug 01, 2011 10:04 AM
rating: 0
 
BillJohnson

Thanks for the nuanced view of the Rasmus situation. Most writers seem to be describing this trade in apocalyptic terms, believing that in some hypothetical future universe, Raz and TLR were going to kiss and make up, so that Colby would start cranking out 5-WAR seasons that aren't going to happen for St. Louis now. Well, in some alternative universe maybe, but not in this one.

Aug 01, 2011 06:42 AM
rating: -1
 
greenfrog

Good summary of the deadline winners, although some might quibble with the inclusion of certain teams. Personally, I felt that Houston could have received more in exchange for Pence and Bourn.

As a Jays fan, I'm thrilled about the Rasmus trade. Toronto can be a good place for a player to get his career back on track (see, for example, Bautista, Escobar and Morrow). Colby doesn't have to become an all-star to make this trade worthwhile. Considering who he's replacing (Corey Patterson and Rajai Davis), solid-average would be a major upgrade.

Aug 01, 2011 08:07 AM
rating: 0
 
sjberke

Re the Nats: I agree that center field can just as well be addressed over the winter but as for whether it needs to be a priority...well, yesterday Brian Bixler started in CF (and led off) for DC.

Aug 01, 2011 08:08 AM
rating: 0
 
John Douglass

Calling Rasmus a win trade requires an awful lot of spin. Mostly, it requires acknowledging that Mozeliak is likely stuck between the rock of an egomaniac manager and ownership enamored with the legend that inflated said manager's ego, and that he did the best he could in a situation where one thing would be static next year: LaRussa. Which is unfortunate, because LaRussa is the biggest reason St. Louis has become a mediocre team capable of winning a very poor division and little more, despite having two CYA-caliber SP and two of the best 6 or 7 hitters in baseball over the past few seasons.

Aug 01, 2011 08:11 AM
rating: 5
 
Richard Bergstrom

Let it be said that those Cy Young capable pitchers, as well as many retreads through the years, were due in part from LaRussa and his coaching staff's machinations. He was also the one who gave an untried Pujols a starting job, and many other numerous trials and leaps of faith with players to put together a winning team.

Aug 01, 2011 09:20 AM
rating: 1
 
Tarakas

Given the level of talent that Pujols possesses, I'm not sure how impressive it was that Larussa recognized him as a major leaguer.

Aug 01, 2011 09:46 AM
rating: 3
 
Richard Bergstrom

He had a total of 24 plate appearances at AA and above.


As a comparison:
Alex Rodriguez had 434.
Barry Bonds had 186.
Manny Ramirez had 129.

The only person somewhat similar was Ken Griffey Jr, who had 17 plate appearances but also had his father on the major league roster.

Not many managers promote from A ball to the majors, no matter how good their spring training looked.

Aug 01, 2011 10:10 AM
rating: 2
 
Tarakas

I'd hope any competent major league manager would recognize Pujols as talented.

Remember, Pujols was not slated to break camp with the team his rookie year. He made the roster because a washed up Bobby Bonilla was hurt. Given his druthers, Larussa wanted to send Albert back down.

Aug 01, 2011 12:17 PM
rating: 1
 
Richard Bergstrom

Consider how many competent (and incompetent) general managers missed drafting Pujols.

Aug 01, 2011 16:53 PM
rating: 1
 
Matt Kory

True, though if the Cards had an inkling of how good Albert The Great would be they wouldn't have picked him in the 13th round.

Aug 01, 2011 21:57 PM
rating: 2
 
John Douglass

I'm not sure Carpenter and Wainwright are the best examples of Duncan's Black Magic, but I'll stipulate that guys like Marquis and Suppan (the first time around) were of some utility thanks to Duncan.

However, it's that type of thinking that leads LaRussa to believe he and his dugout braintrust can manage through anything, which is reckless, arrogant and dangerous to the team's success. Making Jared Schumaker an everyday 2B and making McClellan a fifth starter and resurrecting Ryan Theriot as everyday SS and a whole lot more are laughably bad decisions unless you're on a $40 million salary budget. If he'd done the right thing and began the year with McClellan in the bullpen and Lance Lynn in the rotation, the need for a starter at the deadline may not have been a need at all. If Brendan Ryan had not failed to be a Tony Guy he may not have been shipped out on the heels of the Theriot "improvement" at SS. If Rasmus had been a Tony Guy and if the guy who taught Rasmus his swing had been embraced pr at least generously tolerated in lieu of villified, Rasmus might still be a Cardinal, and a very very productive one.

If we're going to give Mozeliak credit for improving the bullpen (and I get that this article is about deadline deals) it bears keeping in mind how badly LaRussa screwed it up to start the year by making McClellan a starter and breaking camp with Batista and Augustein instead of Salas and Sanchez.

Aug 01, 2011 10:14 AM
rating: 5
 
Tarakas

I think a variety of moves over the last few years in St. Louis would provide ample room for discussion of whether Larussa does more harm than good. He has done good, and he has strengths, but I think the man also has faults that may be worsening.

Aug 01, 2011 09:48 AM
rating: 3
 
BillJohnson

Going back and looking at this article four months later, some of these comments look mighty ironic, don't they?...

Dec 08, 2011 08:35 AM
rating: 0
 
Impresario

The Rasmus deal from the Cards' perspective will depend on how much Edwin Jackson benefits from the Dave Duncan Magic, and on the 3 possible PBTNLs in the deal. Speaking of which, have there been any rumblings as to who they will be? I'm assuming that at least one will be a draft choice from this year that can't be traded yet.

Aug 01, 2011 08:19 AM
rating: 0
 
CRP13

Thanks for this. I totally disagreed with Jayson Stark's article today that called the Astros a "loser" at the deadline.

How do these trades NOT help their long-term plans?

Aug 01, 2011 08:20 AM
rating: 0
 
greenfrog

It's not that adding those prospects doesn't help Houston's long-term plans, it's just that some people think they could have done better, considering that Pence and Bourn were hot commodities at the deadline.

Aug 01, 2011 08:54 AM
rating: 2
 
CRP13

And I would call those people crazy, and I'm an Astros fan. Pence and Bourn aren't superstars, and the Astros got seven future major leaguers and a PTNL for them. Honestly, expectations were too high.

Aug 01, 2011 10:04 AM
rating: 2
 
toanstrom

So the Tigers get a 3/4 starter with a 3.70 FIP whose under team control and lock up their rotation for the foreseeable future, while giving away zero players who were going to play a role for them going forward, and they losers?

Aug 01, 2011 08:25 AM
rating: 2
 
Matt Kory

Well, they're not winners in Mr. Goldman's opinion. I'm not sure that makes them losers though.

Aug 01, 2011 21:59 PM
rating: 0
 
cdamon

the biggest gain to to the red sox of the aviles deal is that francona no longer has the opportunity to be obsessed with playing Navarro as often as possible.

That has to be worth something.

Aug 01, 2011 09:21 AM
rating: 0
 
Zennith

So, according to this, you must think that the mets were losers? How's that work, exactly?

Aug 01, 2011 09:33 AM
rating: 2
 
John Carter

My first thought was, "oh no, not another trade round-up", but since Steve was writing it, I dived in anyway - and was glad to see Steve' opening apology of sorts. I think there are lots of us who enjoy putting off things we should be doing.

... So much so, that I'll step into the discussion. Betemit, Fister, and Pauley do fill holes on a team with a tight two game division lead with several other teams still in contention (you can't count out Minnesota). Detroit certainly is a trade deadline winner. They didn't give up anybody they needed for this stretch. Perhaps - and only perhaps, in the long run Francisco Martinez & company is a bigger deal than Fister & Pauley. We all know those ex-Mariner pitchers aren't as good as their current ERAs, but don't you think Dave Dombrowski knows that, too? Can't that deal be a win-win?

Aug 01, 2011 09:42 AM
rating: 1
 
Tarakas

As I watched the Rasumus drama play out, I remembered all of the players who Tony Larussa ultimately could not get along with, including Jim Edmonds, Scott Rolen, JD Drew, and Brendan Ryan.

I also remembered Whitey Herzog, and how he worked hard to extract maximum value from players other teams saw as difficult to get along with or as headcases. Ozzie Smith fought with management in San Diego but flourished working with Whitey. Andujar was a well know for aggravating managers and for being difficult to deal with, but Whitey realized how to work with him and Andujar succeeded. Whitey seemed to respond with wisdom and flexibility when working with players of various personalities. I could go on.

I always appreciated this approach....

Aug 01, 2011 10:02 AM
rating: 4
 
Richard Bergstrom

LaRussa has a better winning percentage with the Cardinals than Herzog did with the Cardinals. I don't think you appreciate what you already have.

Aug 01, 2011 10:15 AM
rating: -3
 
John Douglass

1981-1990 Whitey had 18 player seasons with 400 or more PA and a OPS+ of 110 or higher. He had 11 player seasons with 150 or more IP and a ERA+ of 110 or higher.

1996-2011 LaRussa had 44 of the former and 27 of the latter. In 50% more seasons managing LaRussa had over 100% more very good to great seasons. The second best hitting year under Herzog was Jack Clark's 149 OPS+ in 1985. That would be the 19th best hitting season as a Cardinal from 1996-2011.

LaRussa has had a much higher level of talent on his roster than Herzog had, and therein lies your 12 points of winning percentage and then some.

Aug 01, 2011 10:49 AM
rating: 3
 
Richard Bergstrom

Wouldn't that suggest that LaRussa was able to get as much out of his players as Herzog? Also it might suggest that LaRussa was better at building and developing a roster and/or retreading pitchers than Herzog? I'll admit I don't know much about the 80s Cardinals front office to know if they were just keeping their wallet tight or were poor at talent acquisition. But if LaRussa is being derided for the players he shooed out of town, he should also get credit for the ones he kept.

Aug 01, 2011 11:45 AM
rating: -2
 
John Douglass

Given there's only .012 in win % difference between the two and that Herzog didn't have nearly the offensive firepower LaRussa has enjoyed, I'd think it indicates that Herzog was the one able to get a lot more from a lot less. Though I don't like inferring managerial quality from Win %.

Herzog's 1985 Cardinals won 101 games without a lot of pop--they sported a barely-over-NL-average SLG. They also had a below-average # of sac bunts. And led the NL in runs scored by over a third of a run per game. TLR on the other hand this year has an offensive juggernaut that is blowing away the rest of the NL in OPS+, yet he's fighting for the league lead in outs given away via sac bunts, and is likely leading the game in outs given away on busted hit-and-runs. Like Herzog 26 years ago, these Cardinals lead the NL in runs. But the margin between them and the fifth-best run-scoring team this year is smaller than the gap between the 1985 Cardinals and the second-best.

Herzog never had a Pujols, a McGwire, a Edmonds, a Rolen, a Lankford or a Holliday at their peaks. Jack Clark was the only really great power hitter Herzog had to work with, and Clark was only there a very short time and was not as good as at least five of those six.

Aug 01, 2011 12:09 PM
rating: 6
 
Richard Bergstrom

I'm not sure how I'm supposed to argue here. Basically, you say that Herzog was better than Larussa, but you seem to want to measure it based on chemistry. Winning percentage seems irrelevant. Player development/retreading is dismissed. Herzog gets bonus points for having bad players even though it's assumed he had some choice in what players were on his roster, yet Larussa gets penalized for having good players on his roster and penalized for sending away other players.

As a Cubs fan, I would've traded Dusty Baker for either one.

Aug 01, 2011 16:36 PM
rating: 0
 
Tarakas

Larussa and Duncan seem to get a lot out of certain types of players, ones with certain personalities and approaches to play. Given people they can work with, they can work wonders. I do question whether they are losing their edge, as it has not worked as well the last few years. They have seemed more focused on player attitude than talent or performance. They seem to have little interest in players who do not meet their standards of a "tough" attitude, including a willingness to play through serious injuries. People who don't display the proper attitude are ridiculed and driven out, including people like Edmonds, Rolen, and Drew.

Ultimately, I think anymore Larussa wants a team of 25 players as obsessively intense as he is.

Whitey seemed much less interested in a certain personality, and more in extracting value from players when he could, adapting his game and approach as needed. He wasn't perfect--he mishandled Van Slyke, for example. But many players, with a variety of types, personalities, and approaches, had career years for him.

Again, I have tremendous respect for Larussa and Duncan, but I question if they are still as good as they used to be.

Aug 01, 2011 12:12 PM
rating: 4
 
Richard Bergstrom

Edmonds was a Cardinal for 8 years and had his best OPS year and best OPS+ career in a Cardinal uniform. Most WARP as a Cardinal too.

J.D. Drew was a Cardinal for six years and had his best OPS year and second best OPS+ career in a Cardinal uniform. (Best was with LAD for two years). Most WARP as a Cardinal too.

Scott Rolen was a Cardinal for five years and had his best OPS+ year and best OPS+ career in a Cardinal uniform. Rolen did accumulate more WARP (wish it was easier to add up on BP) as a Phillie, mostly due to injuries while he was a Cardinal.

Note that Edmonds and Rolen's numbers came past age 28, theoretically their post-prime seasons. So, I would argue that, whether you look at rate stats like OPS+ or counting stats like WARP, the people you say Larussa wanted to drive out had long careers as Cardinals and their time with the Cardinals, under Larussa's watch, was the most productive of their career.

Aug 01, 2011 16:52 PM
rating: 1
 
Tarakas

I'm not sure what your argument is here.

I never said that these players were not productive for Larussa. So I'm not sure why you're bringing that up. You beat that straw up pretty good, though.

Larussa did not like Drew as a player because he was not intense enough. Regardless of his numbers. That was my point. I'm not sure what OPS has to due with Larussa not liking Drew's lack of ferocity.

Rolen and Edmonds both got injured, and Larussa saw their injuries as character flaws and drove them out of town.

I think the medical community believes concussions are not a character flaw.

Aug 01, 2011 18:17 PM
rating: 0
 
Richard Bergstrom

Your argument was:
#1 "As I watched the Rasumus drama play out, I remembered all of the players who Tony Larussa ultimately could not get along with, including Jim Edmonds, Scott Rolen, JD Drew, and Brendan Ryan.
I also remembered Whitey Herzog, and how he worked hard to extract maximum value from players other teams saw as difficult to get along with or as headcases."

and

#2 "Larussa and Duncan seem to get a lot out of certain types of players, ones with certain personalities and approaches to play. They seem to have little interest in players who do not meet their standards of a "tough" attitude, including a willingness to play through serious injuries. People who don't display the proper attitude are ridiculed and driven out, including people like Edmonds, Rolen, and Drew."

#3 "Whitey could get productive years out of people that Larussa can't."


My argument:

With the exception of Ryan who does not have non-Cardinal data to compare against, the exact players you thought Larussa didn't mesh with for a lack of toughness, he got more production out of than when they weren't Cardinals.

Thus, I suggest that Larussa extracted "maximum" value from Drew/Edmonds/Rolen and I do not see any specific evidence that Whitey would've gotten much different production than Larussa did with Rasmus, nor Drew, Edmonds or Rolen.

Or, in summation, I'm sorry you don't like Larussa but there's no evidence besides amorphous anecdotes about chemistry that Whitey would've done any better.

Aug 01, 2011 20:54 PM
rating: 1
 
John Douglass

"Thus, I suggest that Larussa extracted "maximum" value from Drew/Edmonds/Rolen..."

Now would be a good time to have a look at the J.D. Drew player page and explain why only 2 of his top 9 WARP seasons were in St. Louis, and neither of his two best were.

Or take a visit to the Scott Rolen player page and note that while his best year by WARP (at age 29, when he's supposed to be peaking) was in STL, years #2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 were elsewhere. Injuries plagued him, sure, but 3 of his 6 least productive years were in St. Louis.

Edmonds sure did have great years in St. Louis at an age when he should have been past his prime. Man, LaRussa must have shown Edmonds how to Perform Elegantly Despite his age and father time.

Aug 01, 2011 21:38 PM
rating: -1
 
Richard Bergstrom

So you say I should use the age 29 argument to dismiss Rolen's peak with the Cardinals but count Drew's age 30 peak season with the Braves against Larussa?

So you say I should note that three of Rolen's 6 least productive years were in St. Louis yet dismiss that three of his seven most productive years were in St. Louis?

So you should say that I should toss out any stats about Edmonds just because you assume he got PED from Larussa?

So where does that leave this discussion? You're going to believe what you want to believe, which is that Larussa runs people out of town or dopes them up or generally isn't as good as people think he is... but Whitey would magically somehow turn things around. And basically, no stat I could cite showing Larussa's effectiveness (and there's been little statistical discussion about WHitey) would make you _believe_ otherwise.

Aug 01, 2011 23:36 PM
rating: 1
 
John Douglass

I'm saying none of that. Merely that Drew was not a player who was nonstop great under LaRussa, nor was Rolen. They both had most of their best seasons elsewhere. So your thought that LaRussa got the most out of them is wrong.

Aug 02, 2011 06:54 AM
rating: -2
 
Tarakas

Winning percentage? I thought it was more than just managers who won ball games. But we can talk winning percentages.

Larussa has had good and bad years in St. Louis. From 2000-2005 he had a heck of a peak. I give him plenty of credit for that.

But from 2006 on, despite playing in one of the weakest divisions of baseball, despite sporting one of the best players in baseball, along with supporting stars and frequent Cy Young contenders, Larussa and his Cardinals have sported a .525 winning percentage. The last post season game they won was in 2006. After stumbling into winning the World Series with an 83-win team in 2006, they haven't really done much of anything.

This season, I see a team--one whose roster he has a great deal of influence over--locked in battle with the Pittsburgh Pirates for 3rd place in one of the worst divisions in baseball. I think it is safe to say that someone, somewhere, is not perfect.

Aug 01, 2011 11:50 AM
rating: 2
 
drawbb

Herzog also won 3 pennants for St Louis with only half as many playoff spots available and in half as much time as it's taken LaRussa to win 2 there.

LaRussa also managed the neat trick of having a 105-57 team with a +196 run differential somehow get swept in the World Series without ever even having a lead for a single inning and the next year failed to reach the WS with a 100-62 club despite nobody else in the league being good enough to win more than 90.

Aug 02, 2011 08:04 AM
rating: -1
 
BillJohnson

OTOH, Whitey also ran Keith Hernandez out of town on a rail and traded a high-powered shortstop in Garry Templeton to get Ozzie (who didn't look as high-powered at the time of the trade, although that would change ...). He also dispatched Ted Simmons as soon as he saw that "his" kind of catcher (Darrell Porter) was available.

At least the first two of those moves were defensible based on off-the-field issues. The Cardinals have always needed to run a tight ship -- "needed" because their success hinges on drawing large crowds from a small but fanatical fan base. Contrary to some of what is written, St. Louis is definitely NOT a large-market team; anything but. Guys with Templeton's behavioral issues, and Hernandez' drug problems, were a threat to that connection with the fans.

The defenestration of Simmons, however, is evidence that Whitey too had "his guys." That's only to be expected; every manager in baseball does, except for the ones that every player hates equally (can you say Vern Rapp, while we're on the subject of Cardinals managers?). The only real issue is whether TLR has too many of them for the team's good, and deals with them counterproductively. I think the jury is still out on that one.

Aug 01, 2011 12:54 PM
rating: 3
 
John Douglass

I think the big difference between Whitey Guys and Tony Guys is pretty vast. They both liked guys with good baseball attitudes who came to play, and that's about where the similarities end.

Whitey built his teams around fast guys who made a lot of contact and played + defense. He liked young guys. Hendrick, Porter, Ozzie were about the only position player regulars on his STL teams for any length of time after their 30th birthdays, and Ozzie was a holdover from his younger days.

Tony likes guys with multi-positional utility, who are not particularly good at any of those positions--Schumaker, Miles, Theriot, DeRosa, etc etc etc.--and with little regard to how well they play defensively or how well they get on base. Tony Guys are typically over 30, not terribly athletic, and in their decline, unlike Whitey Guys.

Aug 01, 2011 13:22 PM
rating: 0
 
Tarakas

To some extent this is true.

Whitey would not tolerate drug use on his teams. Players on drugs were told to stop or get traded. Hernandez would not stop. He got traded.

Simmons was a poor catcher. Whitey wanted a better defensive catcher. Simmons did not want to move off catcher. So Whitey cut him. After the trade, Simmons only caught 100 games in a season once more in his career--it wasn't just Whitey that thought Simmons was not an every day catcher.

Running Simmons out because he wouldn't switch off of a position he was terrible at is a bit different than driving JD Drew away because he didn't seem intense enough while playing excellent baseball.

Yes, Whitey always had a couple of questionable guys in scrub roles on the team. He did not, however, make his pet tweener fourth outfielder a starting second basemen.

Aug 01, 2011 16:09 PM
rating: 1
 
dodgerken222

As a Dodger fan, I was relieved at 4 PM that LA had done nothing. Then a few minutes later I heard that he had given away Trayvon Robinson. It's getting very difficuly staying a fan of this team. Somebody please stop Ned Colletti before he kills again.

Aug 01, 2011 10:32 AM
rating: 8
 
HeavyHitter

McCourt and Colletti. It's gonna be a long road back.

Aug 01, 2011 15:40 PM
rating: 4
 
Tynan

Agent Ned strikes again.

Aug 02, 2011 10:31 AM
rating: 0
 
amazin_mess

Houston a winner and the Mets aren't? Wow! They rid themselves of a $17.5M dollar vesting option and traded a strict rental for a top 40 prospect.

Aug 01, 2011 11:39 AM
rating: 2
 
randolph3030

jeez, give the guy a chance before you jump on him with both feet. Perhaps, the Mets aren't even on the losers side; I don't think he wrote that every team had to be one or the other. You gotta let him talk before you tell him to shut up.

Aug 01, 2011 12:19 PM
rating: 1
 
ScottyB

100% agreed, amazin'

I bet Steve puts them in the middle- not quite a winner, not quite a loser. I bet most of BP would have wanted them to trade Reyes, however.

Aug 01, 2011 19:36 PM
rating: 0
 
amazin_mess

There appears to be an anti-Met bias with some writers at BP, which is surprising now that Alderson is there.

Aug 02, 2011 10:29 AM
rating: -2
 
randolph3030

You don't think they should have traded Reyes? (A sincere question).

The only bias at BP is against poorly run organizations. I'm not sure which side of that line the Mets stand at the moment.

Aug 02, 2011 14:28 PM
rating: 0
 
SGreenwell

I agree. The Mets with Alderson have been better, but I feel like they're still hamstrung by horrible ownership. They're in a huge, huge media market, and a decently-run organization probably makes money hand over fist. I realize that their lack of market value vs. the Yankees is probably due to gradual neglect over the years though.

Aug 02, 2011 21:35 PM
rating: 0
 
amazin_mess

No I do not.

Aug 04, 2011 04:18 AM
rating: 0
 
randolph3030

Why not? They got a quality SP prospect for Beltran, they'd have picked up a better one for Reyes. I can't see how it would negatively impact their ability to re-sign him as an FA.

As for alienating the fan base, that's already been done. Having Reyes at short while Izzy walks the bases loaded and Turner tosses the ball into the stands for a loss, isn't going to make it hurt less. I suppose there would be a few fewer tickets sold for the rest of the season, but it's not a few tickets that are going to be what resigns Jose. The factors will be a good ballclub and a truck load of dollars.

Aug 08, 2011 08:11 AM
rating: 0
 
amazin_mess

Ed Wade got destroyed in the Atlanta deal, IMO.

Aug 01, 2011 11:43 AM
rating: -1
 
CRP13

At first thought, I thought so. I don't agree anymore. 4 prospects who almost certainly will make the major leagues for an average center fielder? Yes please.

Schafer was a top prospect only two years ago, remember. He didn't get fleeced.

Aug 01, 2011 12:57 PM
rating: 0
 
amazin_mess

LOL - I did no such thing Randolph. A critique isn't a declaration of war, is it? I don't know why some readers here take it personally when an article is critiqued. I did not jump on anyone.

I just pointed out that Mets could/should be considered winners if teams like Houston - which arguably got crushed on one of their deals - are "winners".

Aug 01, 2011 12:39 PM
rating: 2
 
CRP13

Very, very, very, very arguably.

Aug 01, 2011 12:57 PM
rating: 1
 
Matt Kory

It was probably your use of the word "wow" followed by an exclamation point. It read to me like you were shocked and appalled that the Mets weren't a 'winner'. Maybe I read it wrong. Maybe you wrote it wrong.

Aug 01, 2011 22:10 PM
rating: 0
 
amazin_mess

I didn't realize an exclamation point meant I was standing on top of a mountain with a megaphone. I thought I was conveying surprise.

Aug 04, 2011 04:23 AM
rating: 0
 
Richie

Whitey Herzog was renowned for getting rid of players he didn't like. Ted Simmons. Gary Templeton. Keith Hernandez. If you didn't do what he wanted you to do, he was as quick as any manager to point the door out to you.

Aug 01, 2011 12:57 PM
rating: 0
 
Tarakas

Yes, Templeton refused to not make obscene gestures at the fans. Hernandez refused to snort coke. Ted Simmons refused to move off a position he couldn't play.

Herzog was certainly an unreasonable man.

Aug 01, 2011 16:11 PM
rating: 1
 
Matt Kory

I believe you mean Hernandez refused to STOP snorting coke. I'm pretty sure Whitey Herzog didn't present Keith Hernandez with the option to do drugs or be traded.

Aug 01, 2011 22:11 PM
rating: 1
 
Lou Doench

I'm fairly certain mr Hernandez would have been fine with the latter

Aug 02, 2011 09:20 AM
rating: 0
 
John Carter

You can't anymore easily separate the players' and manager's affect on a team's winning percentage than you can separate the manager's affect on the players and what those players would have done without that manager. Suffice to say, while there were some excellent players LaRussa couldn't make fit into his grandly designed teams, he has had a long track record of success that should make Cardinals fans feel grateful. Whitey Herzog is deservedly in the Hall of Fame, so no matter who was better, LaRussa has been excellent.

Aug 01, 2011 12:58 PM
rating: 0
 
Richie

Rats. BillJohnson beat me to it. By minutes.

Oh, and did somebody actually defend 'Daddie Dearest'?? Goodness gracious.

Aug 01, 2011 13:00 PM
rating: -2
 
John Douglass

I did defend Papa Rasmus. He built Colby Rasmus' swing. And Rasmus didn't have problems with that swing until he was in the majors and his dad's input and influence became a sticking point with the manager. I'd also note that Papa Rasmus has two more kids in professional baseball, including one drafted by the Cardinals this year. I think he taught all three to swing a bat pretty well. I would not defend his message board ramblings, but I'll defend tooth and nail that him consulting with Colby Rasmus on his swing is 1. a great idea, and 2. something that hundreds of successful players have done, whether consulting their dad, their high school coach, their college instructor, or other.

Aug 01, 2011 13:26 PM
rating: 2
 
bquine

To paraphrase Franklin from "Peanuts": Any trade that makes a little girl cry has to be a bad trade.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pI8l87uyDXM

Aug 01, 2011 13:03 PM
rating: 1
 
amazin_mess

CRP13 - you might be right. I just think Wade should have insisted on one of the top pitching prospects. I'm sure Wren would have rather traded his mother than do that, but that's what I believe they should have been after. Especially considering the Braves were pushed into a corner a bit with the Giants and Phillies' trades.

Aug 01, 2011 13:27 PM
rating: 0
 
amazin_mess

On Rasmus, John has a great point. I remember the Mets sending Mike Hampton to meet with his father for pitching advice on an off day early in the 2000 season. Apparently, Hampton's dad noticed something off it his delivery. They met and went over his mechanics, and it ended up turning his season around. I wouldn't dismiss the effect Tony Rasmus has; he knows Colby better than anyone. The Jays' welcoming attitude toward the elder Rasmus is a smart play.

Aug 01, 2011 13:31 PM
rating: 6
 
BillJohnson

Smart play, or still in the honeymoon? Certainly even the top players can benefit from (some) advice from friends and family; I well remember the way a high-school teammate's observation turned the 1985 version of John Tudor into pure, concentrated awesomeness after he started the season 1-7. But there are limits. Papa Raz exceeded those limits when his kid was in St. Louis; that TLR was (or may have been) excessively thin-skinned in responding doesn't excuse that. There will be limits in Toronto, too. Maybe, for Colby's sake, he won't exceed them. If he does ...

Aug 01, 2011 14:55 PM
rating: 0
 
Tarakas

Keith Hernandez got advice from his father, too.

Aug 01, 2011 16:12 PM
rating: 0
 
yadenr

Where to position the straw on the mirror?

Aug 02, 2011 13:43 PM
rating: 2
 
HeavyHitter

Not getting a blue-chip prospect in exchange for Bourn was unforgiveable. Steve, I'm one of your biggest fans but I could not disagree with you more. One star is worth more thn 5 replacement-level players. One of the reasons they are called "replacement level" is that they're easily replaced. Wade did well to get Singleton & Cozart for Pence. He then gave back his gains, and then some, by basically getting nothing for Bourn. The sum total does not make the Astros a winner in the deadline deals.

Aug 01, 2011 15:17 PM
rating: 0
 
Matt Kory

First, it's debatable whether or not the players received by the Astros are indeed replacement level. Hopefully for Houston they are better than that. But in any case, I think the point is the Astros are so lousy, so rotten at so many positions that one All Star caliber player isn't going to do the trick. They need volume (a point I think Mr. Goldman made above) more than they need quality. That's not to say the don't need quality too, but the road to a winning record is paved with at least a few league average players, so there's no harm in acquiring them now. Another point: if you think Frank Wren was giving up Julio Teheran for Michael Bourn, I've got a bridge to sell you. (Sorry to end on cliche but it's late and I'm tired.)

Aug 01, 2011 22:17 PM
rating: 2
 
Richie

Consulting with Daddy is one thing. Having Daddy get in the way of all the professionals is insane. Daddy Rasmus is clearly doing the latter.

I'm sorry if you hate LaRussa. I'm sorry if you have Rasmus on your dynasty fantasy team. Letting that blind you as to Pujols calling Rasmus out (did Albert ever call out Rolen, or Drew, or Edmonds?), or the incredible immaturity of Rasmus - obviously taking after his father there - well ...

Aug 01, 2011 16:19 PM
rating: -1
 
Matt Kory

Who is "you?"

Aug 01, 2011 22:18 PM
rating: 0
 
John Douglass

I do dislike LaRussa. Because he has become a parody of his reputation. I do like Rasmus, because he's young and talented. The situation between them is why this kid who had a bedroom shrine to Willie McGee, who still has the program from Lou Brock Day in 1979, and who traded all his Dwight Gooden rookie cards for John Tudors, can't bear to follow them any more. Because LaRussa is ruining the team, and plunging them deeper into mediocrity every year with his Schumaker experiment and his 8-man bullpen on a AL road trip, and the 20 other things I could ramble on about.

Aug 02, 2011 07:14 AM
rating: 0
 
Richie

What blue-chipper did Wade turn down that any other team wanted to offer for Bourn? You've absolutely no way of knowing that the Braves would've caved and upped their offer. Given that no other team did, Bourn's worth was cleary established.

Now if you want to argue that the Astros might just as well have hung onto Bourn and tried again next trade deadline, well, that I can see, and quite possibly agree with.

Aug 01, 2011 16:27 PM
rating: 0
 
amazin_mess

That's what he should have done. Told Wren to pound salt and put Bourn on the block this winter. But I'm sure there were orders to cut payroll regardless of the return. I'm glad I'm not an Astros fan, thats for sure.

Aug 01, 2011 17:04 PM
rating: 1
 
kmbart

Let's see - the Phillies need a right-handed hitting OF with some power and above average defense and can't spend even $2M without going over the cap. They get that player for a blocked first-base-only hitter who once had a good MONTH in Single A, plus a Single A pitcher whose WHIP has risen a quarter-point and K/BB rate dropped by more than half this year, and a pair of nondescript minor leaguers. As the Mets fans who live around me are saying, "Is Wade still getting a paycheck from the Phillies?"

Not only a huge win for the Phillies in 2011, but a great maneuver for the 2012 and 2013 seasons as well. The Astros didn't get Domonic Brown? The catcher-starved Houston team didn't get Sebastian Valle? The worst-team in baseball didn't get Brody Colvin (who actually IS the Phillies best pitching prospect)? How big is Steven Goldman's thumb that he could sway the balance on that deal?

Aug 01, 2011 19:51 PM
rating: 0
 
evo34

"going over the cap" What the hell are you talking about? This isn't the NFL.

Aug 02, 2011 23:25 PM
rating: 0
 
kmbart

"Cap" is a lot shorter than "Luxury Tax Limit on payroll". No NFL love from this corner of the universe...

Aug 03, 2011 06:07 AM
rating: 0
 
John Carter

drawbb:
Actually, you have it backwards. It is more difficult now to win a league pennant than in Herzog's day because there are more teams to compete against. Having more play-off berths only makes it easier for a team to luck into a pennant, because more play-off rounds gives more chances for the strongest team to lose a short series.

Furthermore, it is a brazen form of lying with statistics to make the claim that LaRussa is a poor manager for doing poorly in the World Series in a year his team was 105-57, while ignoring the fact that his team won the World Series in a year when their record was 83-78! (... not that the results of a couple of World Series is much proof of managerial prowess, anyway.)

Aug 02, 2011 10:46 AM
rating: 0
 
drawbb

Your own words are at odds with what you're trying to say: "Having more play-off berths only makes it easier for a team to luck into a pennant."

That was precisely my point. Herzog didn't have the option of lucking into a pennant as LaRussa's 2006 team did. Herzog's only means was to finish first under a more difficult regular-season set-up.

Never claimed TLR was a poor manager because of losing that one World Series, just that's it certainly one of several noteworthy and embarrassing losses under his stewardship. If you want to give him credit for winning with a 83-78 team, the credit lies just as much with Selig's format as it does with LaRussa.

Facts don't make value judgments, they simply are. In this case, the facts are that in his career LaRussa has lost the World Series three times with teams that won at least 103 games. Two of those losses were to clearly inferior opponents. He also had other teams of 100 and 99 wins that couldn't reach the World Series, at least one of which lost to a clearly inferior opponent. He is one of just two managers who has been swept in the World Series twice. Of the two World Series he has won, he had a clearly superior team once and--as you said--lucked into the other victory with a clearly inferior team thanks in part to a watered-down postseason format.

Sorry, I just can't call that a great track record. Not a bad one, but also nothing that moves mountains.

You misstated what the difference in the postseason format then vs now is. Reaching the playoffs at all was far more difficult in Herzog's era. However, actually winning the pennant once you got there was easier because it required beating just one opponent rather than two. That is a tradeoff by definition.

In addition, it's interesting to note that during LaRussa's time managing under the old postseason format in Chicago and Oakland he managed more seasons than Herzog, yet won exactly the same number of pennants (3) and World Series (1) despite having superior talent during the Oakland tenure than anything Herzog ever had.

Aug 03, 2011 01:03 AM
rating: 1
 
Richard Bergstrom

Let me see if I understand the gist of your argument...

LaRussa gets no credit for building/managing the three 103 win teams but does get dinged for losing the World Series with them.

LaRussa gets no credit for winning the World Series with a 83 win team.

LaRussa gets dinged for "several noteworthy and embarrassing losses under his stewardship".

Thus, since you give LaRussa no credit for doing anything well, but apply the dings in full, Larussa is not a good manager.

Wait a sec... I think I made this argument recently.. hmm...

Aug 03, 2011 12:40 PM
rating: 0
 
drawbb

No, I'm pointing out that his resume looks a lot like Bobby Cox's: A lot of regular-season success, but quite a bit more postseason failure than should be expected from that type of track record.

Why some of you are getting defensive about pointing out his shortcomings is hard to understand.

Aug 04, 2011 02:46 AM
rating: 0
 
Richard Bergstrom

Because, as you should know, the postseason is a crap shoot/roll of a dice and shouldn't be your final opinion on the end all/be all statement of a manager's positive or negative qualities. This isn't like football or basketball where the best team almost always wins. The best team in baseball wins 60% of its games, which means it loses 40%. Throw in that during the playoffs, you generally don't face fifth starters and better hitters and it can be even harder to win a game. Ever play poker? Even pocket aces can get beat 10 times in a row, through no fault of the poker player's.

You don't like Larussa, you don't like Cox now? What's he done wrong besides somehow manage to get to the postseason in the post-Maddux/Glavine/Smoltz era with barely an offense?

Aug 04, 2011 11:56 AM
rating: 0
 
drawbb

Postseason results are not the be-all and end-all, and I understand the math involved perfectly well...which you should've inferred from my statement "quite a bit more postseason failure than SHOULD BE EXPECTED from that type of track record."

What does "liking" LaRussa or Cox have to do with this conversation? I've been in the game 17 years and never crossed paths with either man. However, it is germane and perhaps not coincidental to note that they both have similar postseason legacies far beneath their regular-season accomplishments. Those are facts, not value judgments.

Aug 05, 2011 07:50 AM
rating: 0
 
lucas66

Chris Davis won't be arb-eligible until next year. He was at a year + 120 days entering 2011 and has spent a fair amount of time in the minors this season.

Aug 02, 2011 12:35 PM
rating: 0
 
Richie

There is alot of irrational hatred of LaRussa here, which makes it silly to actually address.

I'm curious as to where it stems from, tho'. On football boards I find an incredible amount of hatred of Peyton Manning, which I fully understand. It's substantially his first name. 'Pay-Tun', which connotes being born very rich. So the same people who used to boo when 'Money Incorporated' entered the wrestling ring hate Peyton Manning, too.

With LaRussa, is it maybe his being a lawyer? Perhaps the Glenn Beck thing figures in some?

Aug 02, 2011 12:35 PM
rating: 3
 
randolph3030

Money Incorporated sighting!

Aug 02, 2011 14:19 PM
rating: 0
 
Richard Bergstrom

All I know is my attempt to be rational got minused down.

Aug 02, 2011 19:54 PM
rating: 0
 
John Carter

Unbelievable, Richard. I thought your "unworthy" comment best summed up this dominant discussion.

Using the minus is like boo-ing. It is very rude to boo someone who has taken the trouble to write a well thought out comment - even if you disagree with its conclusions or find a flaw in its logic. If you disagree, it is better to state why and produce a healthy dialougue. A minus says alsmost nothing except nastiness and produces only bitterness and bewilderment, because a minus could have many different intentions.

Aug 02, 2011 21:19 PM
rating: -2
 
Richard Bergstrom

Eh, you've been here long enough to know it's not unbelievable. Just means there's a lot of disgruntled Cardinal fans reading this thread.

Aug 02, 2011 21:49 PM
rating: 0
 
evo34

I read the St. Louis capsule three times. It still makes no sense. He's "disgruntled" and "streaky," so his ship has sailed? Same guy with a .300 TAv in 2010 at age 23... Who would want that?

Aug 02, 2011 23:19 PM
rating: 0
 
John Carter

I didn't mistate anything, drawbb. Twist statements and logic however you want, I've had my say on this.

Aug 03, 2011 07:48 AM
rating: 0
 
Richard Bergstrom

Amen.

Aug 03, 2011 12:27 PM
rating: 0
 
John Carter

drawbb/Richard/everyone else -

I made a tangental observation on John Perrotto's column today.

By the way drawbb: no, I have no personal affection for LaRussa - he's never managed a team I've rooted for in particular, etc. This is about you making some comments that I thought were highly misguided or out and out incorrect and I was trying to point out the flaws in your arguments. We are seeking truth here along with our entertainment.

Aug 04, 2011 13:29 PM
rating: 0
 
drawbb

I did nothing other than state facts about LaRussa's history of postseason failures and yet it somehow got construed as "flaws in your arguments" or "twist[ing] statements and logic".

Some of you were mentioning his history of regular season success. All I did was point out that for every piece of evidence you could offer in support, there is probably an equally valid counterargument of detraction. If you're truly seeking truth along with entertainment, then you must be willing to accept and examine the warts, too.

Aug 05, 2011 07:43 AM
rating: 0
 
Richard Bergstrom

The thing is you pick apart managers without having standards really set on what a good manager/bad manager is. LaRussa and Cox have taken a variety of different-sized payrolls, injury problems and style of teams (pitching, offense, etc) , have taken them to the playoffs, have won World Series.

So, instead of spending time rehashing various things said in this thread, and since you've been "in the game" for so long, why don't you come up with a system for ranking _current_ managers based on statistics? Seriously, I want to know where Cox and Larussa rank among _current_ managers on your statistics-driven list and who ranks higher/lower.

Aug 05, 2011 11:36 AM
rating: 0
 
drawbb

Nobody has a set of standards like that and you'll likely never see one.

This site has been one of the pioneers challenging the conventional wisdom that managers can make a difference. BP's default setting has been that managers don't make much difference or that--if they do--it's too small or too undetectable to be captured.

While the industry mostly doesn't agree with that, I happen to think the reality is probably closer to what BP has suggested. However, analysis of that subject is necessarily going to take a more subjective discussion-based approach.

Toward that end, while you and some others highlighted positive accomplishments of LaRussa (and Cox) I wanted to proffer some other bullet points that could be considered negatives. That isn't "picking apart" managers without having standards set, it's having the discussion.

Maybe having the open and honest examination of the ups and downs will help us arrive at a set of standards for which there currently is none. I do know this: Automatically getting defensive about LaRussa and Cox just because I brought up their bad sides isn't going to get us anywhere.

After all, if I really had an agenda and was just interested in slamming them I could've mentioned the personal troubles of both men. The fact that I didn't indicates I'm only interested in questioning the legitimate topic of whether they are really as valuable on the field as many have assumed.

Aug 06, 2011 08:54 AM
rating: 0
 
Richard Bergstrom

Are Cox and Larussa perfect? No, they're human.

I and others have argued they are among the best current MLB managers. You seem to think otherwise by diminishing/dismissing anything they accomplish as luck and ding them when they are unlucky. So then, I ask, "If you think, based on the facts, that Cox and Larussa are not good managers, who is better and why?"

You critique without having standards to measure managers. Since you don't have standards on what is a good manager, you can pick apart any statistic in a vaccuum since you are refusing to compare managers statistically, and in addition, get dismissive of others' attempts to use facts.

The basis of your argument is "Larussa's success is based on his luck in having good teams but Herzog would win more playoffs because he was better at chemistry"
I've still seen no real reason based in fact on why you think Herzog (or anyone else) would get more production out of Larussa's Cardinal teams than Larussa did.

And you refuse to provide it.

That's basically what miffs me about this whole conversation. I'm not a huge Larussa or Cox fan so I don't get automatically defensive about them. But when people put _real_ effort to do some research into their comments, others throw it out the window with amorphous arguments about personality or chemistry or luck holier-than-thou hocus pocus without any basis (or effort/research of their own) to back up their own claims that personality/chemistry/luck would've made any difference. It's kind of like discussing the theory of evolution and someone says "The Bible says you're wrong" without properly reviewing the evidence presented or adding supporting evidence.

Aug 06, 2011 10:39 AM
rating: 0
 
randolph3030

Has anybody seen Steven? He hasn't written anything since this article, more than a week ago.

Aug 08, 2011 08:14 AM
rating: 0
 
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