Thursday, October 20, 2011
Pujols better than LaRussa? You kidding me?
So tonight I was reading ESPN.com as I am known to do, and I took the sportsnation poll, as I am also known to do, but tonight, something struck me funny. The question was something along the lines of who will be better respected among their peers when their career is said and done. Pujols or LaRussa. The poll results were not as this boy would have guessed. 59% of America said that Pujols would be more respected by his peers! That is extremely astounding to me, especially coming in a year when Pujols was so quiet, and it was LaRussa's unorthodox managerial skills that led the Red Birds to the World Series. LaRussa could be blamed for the length of modern baseball games, specifically post-season baseball games, for his late inning match-em-up pitching and double switches, at least three to four times a game in the 7th or later. But talk about a ballsy call to invite one of the most hated men in the post steriod-era into his locker room, clubhouse, and god forbid, dugout, to be a coach. That's right, I'm talking about Big Mac himself. What did Albert do this year? Whine about a contract, get injured, and have a mediocre year for a player wanting to be the next highest paid player in the United States. Don't get me wrong, Albert Pujols is a wonderful player, and any fan of the game would relish the chance to have him on their big league club, but how many World Series has Pujols led his teams to, one and a half i believe. I only give him half a credit for this one, as he is the premier player in St. Louis. How many has LaRussa led his teams to? Well let's see, besides the fact that only 5 other managers in the whole history of baseball have won pennants in both leagues, he was the first to win multiple pennants in both leagues, and one of only two managers to win a world series in both leagues, the other being the great Sparky Anderson. That right there should end all arguments of who will be better when all is said and done. Three consecutive World Series appearences in Oakland, and now a third with the Cardinals. This is a travesty for the baseball fans of America to not give Tony LaRussa his fair share of the glory for being the second best World Series manager of all time. Maybe the game has changed since I was a kid, or maybe it's just the fans not wanting to give up on the long ball. The "steroid era" did come alive, live, and die around LaRussa's clubs, but if they're not going to put an asterisk by Barry Bonds, Big Mac, or Slammin' Sammy's records, then they should not with LaRussa's accomplishments either. We should, as fans, cherish moments like these, it only comes around once every two or three generations that we get to witness baseball greatness unfold before our very eyes. Shame on you America, Tony LaRussa will get the vote in my book every time.