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

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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.

Video: J.D. Martinez hits league-tying 23rd home run

Seattle Mariners v Boston Red Sox
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The Red Sox and Mariners left nothing on the table Friday night, going head-to-head in a series opener that eventually ended 14-10 in the Sox’ favor. Led by Steven Wright and Wade LeBlanc — neither of whom made it past the fifth inning — the teams combined for 34 hits and four home runs, including two moonshots from Seattle’s Nelson Cruz and a five-run rally that gave Boston the edge in the seventh.

In the sixth inning, however, the Red Sox were still scrambling to make up a four-run deficit. Left fielder J.D. Martinez cut it in half with one swing, pouncing on an 89.5-mph fastball from Seattle right-hander Nick Vincent and posting it to dead center field for a two-run shot.

The 427-foot blast was Martinez’s 23rd of the season, tying Mike Trout for the most home runs in the league this year. While he still has a ways to go before eclipsing the career-best 45-HR mark he set in 2017, he’s off to a strong start this season: Entering Friday’s game, the 30-year-old slugger was batting .315/.386/.623 with a 1.009 OPS and AL-leading 55 RBI in 308 PA. He finished Friday’s game 4-for-5 with five RBI, just one triple shy of hitting for the cycle.

Heading into the All-Star Break, both Martinez and Trout still have some competition for the home run title. Jose Ramirez is sitting at 22 homers, while Nelson Cruz and Khris Davis are tied at 20 apiece.