Tony LaRussa: Players Manager?
Here in Chicago, we know first-hand how much Tony LaRussa loves to over-manage. We saw it here when he was the skipper for the White Sox, and we’ve seen it during his many years with the Cardinals. Joe Posnanski wrote a fine piece about LaRussa’s fine art of over-managing, and now there is another aspect to the story.
From Sparty and Friends:
Felipe Lopez took one for the team 10 days ago, when he pitched 1 inning in relief against he New York Mets. The game lasted 20 innings, and the Cards manager didn’t want to use up all his arms with another game left to play in their series that weekend. Lopez, a player that has the ability to play multiple positions, took the mound and allowed one hit, walked one, but allowed no runs to cross the plate. Following that game, Lopez experienced tightness, which was to be expected for someone who normally doesn’t pitch.
Lopez is now on the DL with a elbow strain. LaRussa claims that it is from an injury that Lopez suffered in the first week of the season that has never healed. Really? So you let a player who already had an injury to his elbow go out and pitch? Really, Tony? Really? Oh, and the strain of throwing an inning of relief wouldn’t have any impact on that preceding injury? But it isn’t at all possible that he suffered this strain strictly because he played a position that puts extreme strain on all ligaments in your throwing arm, especially when it isn’t conditioned to do that?
Perhaps in his zeal to win LaRussa forgot about Lopez’s elbow strain. But that would be par for the course, as LaRussa seemingly forgets a lot of things. You can read into that how you like.