Baseball Tony LaRussa - Baseball Hall of Fame- Hall of Fame Voting -Does Tony Belong?
Why Baseball's Tony LaRussa Doesn't Belong- Baseball Hall of Fame
1) LaRussa Looked the Other Way for Decades
Heard of Bryant Gumbel's comments questioning the inconsistency that allowed Tony LaRussa's recent induction into the Hall of Fame(as manager) but not Mark McGwire's (as player) and we were thinking along those lines, ourselves. And, it was one thing at Oakland when Jose Conseco , Mark McGwire and steroids were a pretty new thing in baseball in 1988, but by the time LaRussa got to St. Louis it was pretty well known that McGwire was using Creatine if not other performance enhancing drugs as McGwire joined the team in the mid-90s. It wasn't until McGwire finally admitted he was using that LaRussa made a few light weight comments, hardly condemning McGwire. In fact, LaRussa would invite McGwire back to St. Louis as a hitting coach after his playing days were over. La Russa had at least one other player at St. Louis, too, who had all the indications of a player on steroids. Without those three guys, one could probably subtract at least a few dozen wins and probably a World Series victory or two of three La Russa garnered during his tenure as manager of Oakland and St Louis. Even so, LaRussa had a modest .536 winning percentage which ranks him #62 (See Above Chart) among all managers win-loss records - and he had good- to- very good teams to manager. Even Don Mattingly, Bob Brenly, Ken Macha and Herman Franks had better managerial records than LaRussa.
2) LaRussa Continued to Sanction PED Players Long After He Knew About It, Even Bringing Back McGwire to St.Louis and more
No doubt, Tony La Russa, who has a law degree among other things, would seem to be a fine person albeit a bit of a temper, and has done a lot for the community in and outside of baseball;he started what has become a large-scale pet animal rescue foundation (ARF).
Yet, for whatever reason, La Russa -who admits it himself - never achieved the greatness many have lauded after him, perhaps mistaking his longevity and piloting good teams with success.
La Russa will tell you he takes responsibility for not winning the 1988 and 1990 World Series as skipper of the A's . For a man of letters, his managerial style was not always empiracle and often more a matter of emotion than science. While he could be a 'players manager' he could also attract enemies easily and , perhaps, thereby not always getting the most out of players.
Then , there is that other issue of early PEDs in baseball and his looking the other away, allowing his team to take an unfair advantage.
3) LaRussa Record Had Low Win-Loss Numbers
The only modern day manager to make the Hall with a worse record than LaRussa was Whitey Herzog (.532) Surely, as a player McGwire may not deserve to go into the Hall of his numbers, nor even Barry Bonds, a mere .275 hitter averaging around 25 homers a year before coming to San Francisco and it's PED culture. For longevity, La Russa should get something being the third most tenured manager of all time, 33 years.
The same could be said of a manager like San Francisco Giants manager,Bruce Bochy, who many (especially in San Francisco) expect to be a likely candidate for the Hall of Fame as manager . He not only turned a blind eye to a host of PED players such as Ken Camaniti when he was manager at San Diego but when he came to San Francisco it was even worse, where he he sanctioned Barry Bonds and friends in the Capital of Sports Steroids. Even with a succession of indicted steroid users in San Diego and San Francisco, Bochy barely has a .500 record(.502) as manager in both cities (.479 in San Diego and .505 in San Francisco and ranks way down in 144th place behind Bobby Valentine and just ahead of Kirk Gibson . At least Dusty Baker had the good sense to part ways with Bonds and San Francisco in 1996 before Bochy came in. Perhaps someone like Baker would deserve a Hall of Fame spot for standing his ground while also having a decent record as manager . That Tony La Russa is only the 62 most winning manager and Bruce Bochy #133 of all time, we don't believe that either should get into the managerial Hall of Fame based on their records , alone;add the fact that they were likely knowing and accepting of tainted players who helped their cause makes our decision a 'slam dunk'that these two should not enter the Hall of Fame at all.
Combine the three above factors - 1) that LaRussa was aware of PEDs on the teams for decades, 2) that LaRussa didn't take any real action and even rehired at least one known PED user and 3) LaRussa had one the second lowest managerial win-lost record of any modern day manager - and LaRussa probably should not have been inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame class of 2014 in our opinion. On a positive note, LaRussa isa a good guy, perhaps so much so that he may have let personal feelings and friendships get in the way of right and wrong.
Impressed with Frank Thomas' emotional speech at Sunday's Hall of Fame inductions and his frankness to bring up steroids. Whereas, again, LaRussa had one last major stage to say something but chose to ignore McGwire even though he mentioned many others; perhaps a little late when he SHOULD HAVE ignored McGwire years ago and not brought him with him to St.Louis. Perhaps LaRussa and the San Francisco Giants are the only ones who have ignored steroids to such an extreme that they would do something like this (the Giants not only resigning the obvious Bonds year after (15) year) but having the gall to bring him back- all be it for a week - to be HITTING instructor for the team in Spring Training this year. )