Tony La Russa Getty

Tony La Russa’s success does not make him immune from criticism


Yeah, I got La Russa on my mind today.  And to be clear, as I always, always make a point of saying when I’m criticizing La Russa for something, I appreciate him as an all-time great manager. Honestly. He’s one of the best if not the best in my baseball-watching lifetime, and no one can argue the point.  A Hall of Famer if he had retired years ago, and a giant in the game no matter what your opinion of his style happens to be.

That said, he does drive me nuts, and no amount of success he has changes that.  And really, what’s got me fairly annoyed this morning are people on Twitter defending La Russa’s actions yesterday with “hey, he’s got more win than you do, pal!”  Well, no crap.  That’s totally beside the point.  I’m not arguing against his success, I’m arguing against his behavior and his style, which is often idiotic in spite of his success.

Or are we expected to give La Russa a free pass because he has won a lot of games?  “Well, Mr. La Russa, normally killing a hobo with your bare hands on the warning track is frowned upon, but seeing as though you’ve won championships in both leagues, our hands are tied to punish you.”

Nonsense. Dude acts like a knucklehead, he’s a knucklehead, and I don’t care how many wins he has.

Oh, and if you just can’t get enough of the La Russa bashing, here’s something worth perusing.

Kyle Schwarber is on a private plane en route to Cleveland

PHOENIX, AZ - APRIL 07:  Kyle Schwarber #12 of the Chicago Cubs bats against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the MLB game at Chase Field on April 7, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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This is happening, people.

Earlier we heard Joe Maddon being non-committal about Kyle Schwarber joining the Cubs for the World Series. Now it seems pretty clear that the Cubs are committal indeed: Jon Morosi reports that Schwarber is en route to Cleveland from Arizona on a private jet and that he’s expected to DH in Game 1 tomorrow night.

Schwarber hasn’t played in a game that counted since April 7. His potent bat is could be a windfall for a Cubs team that didn’t have a game-changing option at DH in the American League park.

Schwarber lost the whole season due to a knee injury, but he hit .246/.355/.487 with 16 homers and 43 RBI in 69 games as a rookie in 2015. His big coming out party was in the playoffs, however, when he hit three homers in five postseason games while going 7-for-13 with two walks in five games.

Carlos Santana in left field? Sure, OK.

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 15:  Carlos Santana #41 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates after hitting a home run in the second inning against J.A. Happ #33 of the Toronto Blue Jays during game two of the American League Championship Series at Progressive Field on October 15, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
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Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that Indians First Baseman/DH Carlos Santana shagged some flyballs in left field during the Indians’ workout today.

Sure, why not? Santana has played one game in the outfield in his major league career and that was over four years ago, but the Indians will have to play in Chicago without the DH, meaning either losing Santana’s bat or that of Mike Napoli.

It would be up to Terry Francona to decide if that happens, but ultimately I don’t think he’ll make it real and, rather, will just forget about it, because Santana’s defense out there would in no way be smooth.

I’m sorry. I’m sick today and I’m on a lot of cold medicine.