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Friday, October 31, 2014

Tony La Russa Planned to Watch Moneyball with World Series Game 6 Postponed

With Game 6 of the World Series postponed until Thursday night, Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said he was going to hit the movie theater to watch Moneyball.

Moneyball has been viewed controversially since the book was released in 2003. It helped change baseball and it shaped the way front offices conducted business. Many people viewed it as progressive, but others felt differently. La Russa is one of those people. The Cardinals manager disagrees with the importance of on-base percentage, which was championed in the book.

“On-base percentage is one of the most dangerous concepts of the last seven, eight years because it forces some executives and coaches and players to think that it’s all about getting on base by drawing walks,” La Russa said to the media Wednesday.

“The fact is that the guys that have the best on-base percentage are really dangerous hitters whenever they get a pitch in the zone. So if a pitcher knows that, he works on the edges. So the question is do they get a good pitch to hit?”

Sounds like the words of a grumpy man, but hey, how many World Series rings does he have and how many do I have?

Rangers manager Ron Washington, who was a coach in Oakland while Moneyball went on, enjoyed the movie. But he recognizes that it was meant to entertain, and that it had its shortcomings.

“To me it was a great movie about a manager hamstrung as far as dollars go. I realize it didn’t mention (Eric) Chavez, (Miguel) Tejada, (Tim) Hudson, (Barry) Zito and (Mark) Mulder. I liked the movie,” Washington said.

“And I am a big fan of Billy Beane’s. He gave me an opportunity to be a coach. I think got this opportunity in Texas because of Beane’s review. As I have always said, things you accomplish in life comes from other people extending a hand to help you.”

Hey, at least Washington feels better about the movie than former A’s manager Art Howe. But Wash brings up some excellent points that I also did — the movie completely ignores the pitching staff that carried the team, not to mention the steroid-aided sluggers that helped pad their offense. But La Russa should recognize that a hitter being selective at the plate doesn’t always mean they don’t get good pitches to hit. Albert Pujols has walked over 90 times six of the last seven years. He seems to have managed to hit the ball pretty well despite being selective.



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