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Pujols upset with La Russa


Paul77

Kind of interesting, hopefully it will become a problem and a distraction in St Louis, though I doubt it will last more than a day or two.

 

ESPN "Pujols angered at La Russa"

 

SAN FRANCISCO -- Albert Pujols was angry about being left on the All-Star bench and the St. Louis slugger took aim at the National League manager -- who just happened to be Tony La Russa of his own Cardinals.

 

"It's the All-Star Game. He can do what he wants," Pujols said Tuesday night. "He does whatever he wants. If I wasn't expecting to play, I wouldn't have come up here."

 

Pujols, the NL MVP in 2005 and key to the Cardinals' win in the World Series last year, said La Russa didn't talk to him the entire game.

 

Pujols could only watch when Aaron Rowand flied out with the bases loaded to end the American League's 5-4 win.

 

"If he wants to get upset, he can get upset," La Russa said. "Whatever he wants to do, he can do. It's America. That wasn't the most important thing tonight."

20Fry : April 2006 - March 2012
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I agree. Pujols will get over this and things will be smoothed over between and him LaRussa but Pujols has a right to be upset. I personally think it was bad managing not having Pujols pinch hit in the 9th.
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It would have been nice knowing that if the Brewers make the Series, they'd have homefield. Just another reason for me to hate La russa.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"88.6% of all statistics are made up right there on the spot" Todd Snider

 

-Posted by the fan formerly known as X ellence. David Stearns has brought me back..

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Can you imagine the outrage the media would have spewed forth had it been Yost leaving Pujols on the bench in that situation? Like him or not, LaRussa has probably earned the right to be cut more slack but no doubt about it it was a poor decision on his part.

 

I agree, though, that this will smooth over in a day or two and things will be fine. Unfortunately.

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Didnt Pujols play outfield for a while too a couple years ago. That takes away that excuse.

 

That's why he didn't play, because La Russa felt that he could play OF or any infield position (yes, including third, short and second), and he needed to save someone for an extra inning game, especially since it was in an NL park and pitchers had to hit.

 

Given the need to account for an extra inning game, I can understand why La Russa did what he did. If he played Pujols, run out of position players later, and some pitcher had to hit with the NL down a run in the 12th people would have gotten on to him for not saving a real hitter.

 

Trying to get everyone into a game that "counts" makes managing an All-Star game a no-win situation with regard to roster management.

Chris

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"I guess underrated pitchers with bad goatees are the new market inefficiency." -- SRB

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Pujold should have pinch hit for Hudson, not Rowand. Sanchez would have moved to 2nd and Pujols could have played 3rd. The game was there to be won and LaRussa blew it.

 

By the way, the manager should not be from the World Series teams if this game counts. It should be the manager from the team with the best record in each division since those managers have more invested in this season than say someone like LaRussa has.

 

Hardy should have played more than 1 inning.

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LaRussa's decisions bothered me. As mentioned in the IGT, I wonder if Reyes had dirt on LaRussa. Why in the world did Reyes play so dang long when they could have used Hardy earlier. Hardy does lead all league SSs in homers... and then LaRussa sits Pujols.
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Saving your last position player down 1 in the bottom of the ninth is the right play. Also, that's a hack job article. No where does Pujols say "I'm angry I didn't play."

 

here's the rest of the quote:

"If I wasn't expecting myself to play, I wouldn't come up here," he said. "Believe me, if I couldn't play, I wouldn't show up here. I'd rather stay home with my family. But that's the way it is."

 

I think he's clearly answering the question, "did you expect to play?"

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So if the Brewers are down 1 in the bottom of the 9th with a resting Fielder the only one left available, its ok for Counsell to take the last AB?

Good question. In this hypothetical situation is Counsell hitting .310/.385/.478?

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Given the need to account for an extra inning game, I can understand why La Russa did what he did. If he played Pujols, run out of position players later, and some pitcher had to hit with the NL down a run in the 12th people would have gotten on to him for not saving a real hitter.

 

 

Gotta disagree here. You need to give your team a chance to reach the 12th (by driving in the tying run) before you start thinking about hypotheticals like this.

 

It's way more important to force extra innings than worry about what might happen later on. So a pitcher has to hit.....oh well, they're from the NL, they're used to it....maybe not so much the relievers, but they take BP too.

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So if the Brewers are down 1 in the bottom of the 9th with a resting Fielder the only one left available, its ok for Counsell to take the last AB?

 

Give Aaron Rowand a little more credit than that. Everyone expects that Pujols would have automatically won the game. He hasn't been that much better than Rowand this year.

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So if the Brewers are down 1 in the bottom of the 9th with a resting Fielder the only one left available, its ok for Counsell to take the last AB?

 

Depending upon the circumstances, I'd be inclined to be more upset with Yost for letting it get to that situation in the first place than saving Fielder.

 

Beyond that, Yost would have had some advantages La Russa didn't. Yost isn't shackled with the task of trying to get as many players into the game as possible, so it would be more difficult to get into that situation to begin with.

 

But, if Yost ever did get into the position where Fielder was the only guy left on the bench (he never would be- it would be Estrada or Miller, but anyways), he could always use him and use a starting pitcher to pinch hit for a reliever later. While hardly ideal, hitting Bush instead of Cordero is better than letting Cordero hit for himself.

 

La Russa was trying to play as many guys as possible while retaining a bench for an extra innings game and all the while trying to win. And while a manager might be able to get away with using a pitcher as a pinch hitter when managing their own games, I'm sure he'd get lambasted for doing so in an All-Star game. And it would have been even worse if that pitcher got hurt hitting.

 

I don't think that holding Pujols back was a no-brainer any more than playing him was. There was a solid reason for doing so, whether or not you agree with the decision.

 

It's way more important to force extra innings than worry about what might happen later on. So a pitcher has to hit.....oh well, they're from the NL, they're used to it....maybe not so much the relievers, but they take BP too.

 

I don't necessarily disagree with you, though it's part of a managers job to think about these sort of "what might happen if" scenarios. So, while it is important to get the tying run across, that doesn't mean you can totally ignore what will happen down the road. At the very least, the hypothetical 12th isn't so unimportant that it should be ignored.

 

And it's not like Rowand is a slouch, either.

Chris

-----

"I guess underrated pitchers with bad goatees are the new market inefficiency." -- SRB

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Can we stop talking about him batting for Rowand please? The guy he needed to pinch hit for was Hudson who is a weak hitting 2nd baseman. Granted he drew a walk, but we needed a big hit there and Pujols has delivered a whole lot more big hits than Orlando Hudson in the past. The fact the recent past MVP of the league and 2nd place vote getter at 1st base does not get into the game while Derek Lee gets 3 AB's is ridiculous.
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The game was there to be won and LaRussa blew it.

 

XM is reporting that Pujols was upset and had already changed into street clothes prior to the rally in the 9th. LaRussa wanted to PH with Pujols, but Pujols was not in the dugout. A Cardinals coach went to the clubhouse to get Pujols, but Pujols refused to come back out.

 

I missed the source of the story, but if I hear it again, I'll edit this post to include that info.

 

If that is the case, its hard to blame LaRussa. And besides, how do we know Pujols would have made a difference?

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Quote:
how do we know Pujols would have made a difference?

 

I would guess that his career .330 average and .418 OB%could make a difference. Call me crazy. Although he is down to a pathetic .310/.411 so far this year.

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Quote:
The guy he needed to pinch hit for was Hudson who is a weak hitting 2nd baseman.

I disagree. You PH Pujols for Hudson and you put yourself in a position where a hit ties it and sends it to extra innings with no reserves. Foot, meet bullet. Also Hudson is hitting .296/.380/.454. You PH Pujols for Rowand, the better call, and you put yourself in a position where a hit ends the game. You need to be able to PH for a pitcher in extra innings, that AB, and the upgrade from pitcher to hitter is just too valuable to spend it on the tiny upgrade from all-star hitter to all-star hitter.

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I would guess that his career .330 average and .418 OB%could make a difference. Call me crazy.

 

Okay Crazy. So, he has a 1-in-3 chance of getting a hit and a 2-in-5 chance of getting on base. In other words, in a one-AB situation, he is not much more likely to make a difference than anybody else that hit that inning. We can't assume that using Pujols in the 9th would have magically won the game for the NL.

 

I'm with you... I would have preferred Pujols with the game on the line (not over Rowand, but perhaps over Hudson). My point is, your fooling yourself if you think LaRussa lost the game by not using Pujols, IMO (and now we're finding out that Pujols may not have even been available).

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I'm not going to argue further whether there was a better chance of the best hitter this decade getting a hit instead of Hudson or Rowand. Remember nerves factor into a situation like this, also giving a big nod to Pujols. Also, not tying the game gives you zero chance of getting to extra innings for the win. There are 8 other all-star players in the lineup to have to worry about what you do if you happen to end up with the pitcher batting in a crucial situation.

 

I'm not saying that Pujols not playing lost the game. I'm just saying there was a much better chance of winning had he played.

 

What did the AL have left for position players?

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What did the AL have left for position players?

 

From the ESPN.com article:

 

Pujols and Texas shortstop Michael Young -- last year's All-Star Game MVP -- were the only position players who didn't get into the game. Ever since the 2002 event ended in an extra-innings tie, managers have tended to hold a hitter back just in case.

Chris

-----

"I guess underrated pitchers with bad goatees are the new market inefficiency." -- SRB

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