Tony La Russa doesn't enjoy his job much anymore

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Why? young players and the media, mostly:

“The highs are enjoyable but you can’t enjoy them for long. The
disappointments are painful and you carry them for much longer. It’s
part of the competition. What’s made the job not as much fun is the
combination of distractions of players due to money and security … and
the proliferation of media.”

For a guy who has had as much success as he has had, and who has had about as little really critical press as anyone in his position can be expected to have — quick — when was the last time he was truly on the hot seat for anything? — La Russa sure has a thin skin. I suppose it’s just temperamental at some point.  All I know for sure is that you never hear Joe Torre and Bobby Cox grousing about that kind of stuff.

Is there any doubt that this is Tony’s last year?

Alex Wood to try pitching out of the stretch

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Pedro Moura of The Athletic reports that Dodgers starter Alex Wood plans to pitch out of the stretch throughout the 2018 season. Wood got the idea when he watched Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg pitch against the Dodgers.

Wood, 27, finished last season 16-3 with a 2.72 ERA and a 151/38 K/BB ratio in 152 1/3 innings. That’s a mighty fine season, one in which many pitchers would not dare to mess with something that isn’t broken.

Interestingly, Wood indeed has had better results with runners on base — when he would pitch out of the stretch — as opposed to the bases being empty, with a respective OPS allowed of .523 versus .684, respectively. Over his career, he has allowed a .617 OPS with runners on and .706 with the bases empty.

In response to Moura’s tweet about Wood, retired pitchers Dan Haren and Jered Weaver took the opportunity to burn themselves. Haren tweeted, “I pitched a few seasons completely out of the stretch actually, just not by choice.” Weaver responded, “Sometimes I would just step off and throw the ball in the gap myself because I knew the hitter would do it anyways.”