Trying to understand the material impact that an MLB manager has on his team’s day-to-day performance is basically an impossible task, and so you usually do well without trying. And there are still moments where a manager can definitely do something that shakes his team’s fortunes in one direction or another, and whenever those moments come, it’s fun to point to the TV and shout, “Oh my God, what is he doing? ? “
The White Sox trailed the Dodgers 7-5 at the top of the sixth inning yesterday and Trey Turner was on the plate with two outs and one runner first. White Sox pitcher Bennett worked Sosa Turner on a 0-2 count and then threw a wild pitch that allowed Runner to go second. Then there was a madness.
You know that a manager has done something really wild when you can feel the confusion throughout the stadium. Just look at poor Freddie Freeman trying to figure out what he’s looking at from second base:
And saying there is a sense of humor in the universe, Max Munshi, the hitter that La Rusa was so eager to get on the plate in place of a man facing 1-2 counts, took Sosa deep for a three-run homer. I can’t say for sure that Munshi only hit that dinger because of how disrespectful he felt to La Rusa’s decision, but based on his reaction after touching the home plate, I think it could play a factor:
It’s one thing for a manager to eat shit like that in front of everyone, but things have gotten worse after La Rusa went and became very defensive about walking a guy in 1-2 counts. There was an immediate response to a question about it, “Are there any questions about whether it was a good move?” And since then things have gotten worse:
It’s true that Munshi is hitting like shit this season, but it’s also true that Turner is a career. Hit on you). Even if you want to accept La Rousseau’s thinking, there’s no reason to give Turner a free first base. If La Rusa’s ultimate goal is to deny Turner a chance to get a hit, why not throw Sosa out of the next three pitch zones or into the dirt? Maybe Turner would be forced to swing at one point and strike out, or put a weak hit ball into play. Or maybe he would spit on three straight pitches, in which case La Rusa would end up in exactly the same situation he wanted to engineer, minus Munshi angry.
Such an analysis of the decision is not even required, though. Lots of different things Can That happened halfway through the inning, but only one thing happened: Tony La Rusa made a call that shattered the faces of those who saw it, and then immediately exploded in his face. This is a short, satisfying story.