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.
Fans, and even some writers, tend to jump on umpires when they make bad calls, but rarely if ever point out when they make good calls on tough plays. Angel Hernandez is one of those umpires who gets a lot of flack — and I may suggest even deservedly so — but in the interest of giving credit where credit is due, he made a great call on a very tough play during Thursday afternoon’s game between the Phillies and Marlins.
With a runner on first base and two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning with the Phillies leading 2-1, first baseman Brock Stassi laced an Edison Volquez pitch down the first base line. Michael Saunders, who was on first base, came around third base and attempted to score. The relay throw from second baseman Dee Gordon beat Saunders, but Saunders slid expertly to the back of home plate, avoiding the tag from catcher J.T. Realmuto just long enough to slip his hand in and touch the plate. Hernandez ruled Stassi safe with no hesitation because he was in a great position to get a look at the play. In real time, it was a bang-bang play. The Marlins didn’t challenge the call.
The MLB.com video doesn’t have the best angle, but still shows what a close call it was in real time. This .gif from Meghan Montemurro of The News Journal provides the best angle:
Hernandez also made this nonchalant grab when catcher Andrew Knapp tossed it attempting to catch a foul pop-up:
The Mets and Braves are playing today and it’s not a great day for the Mets in the injury department.
First they scratched Noah Syndergaard with a “tired arm.” Now they’ve lost Yoenis Cespedes, who pulled up limping at second base following a double in the bottom of the fourth:
The team has announced that he has pulled his left hamstring.
Cespedes, of course, missed three games over the weekend due to hamstring issues. That was merely tightness, however, and following an off day and a rainout, Cespedes played last night without incident. But it now looks as though he’s going to miss some serious time.