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Further Complaining About Tony LaRussa

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It's interesting that when the Padres won 82 games in 2005, there was a huge uproar about how much of a joke it would be if they won the World Series. When the Cardinals win 83 games and sit one win away from the championship, there's not nearly as much backlash. Sure, there is some grumbling about how bad the team is, but I don't think "NL Calamity" is going to become a popular catch phrase anytime soon. I think the headline "Suppan follows Carpenter in Cardinals' 1-2 punch" pretty much sums up how good the Cardinals really are.

I came into this series looking forward to the myriad of tactical errors both teams would make, and I think LaRussa and Leyland have managed to exceed my lofty expectations.  LaRussa's decision to pinch-hit So Taguchi for Chris Duncan against a righty was the latest head scratcher. If a couple of average players were coming up, bunting might have been a good idea in that situation, as going from a runner on second with no outs to a runner on third with one out increases your odds of scoring one run. However, these weren't just average players.  Duncan hit .318/.390/.644 against righties this year, and while this was probably a fluke judging by his minor league numbers, he's shown he can at least be a solid hitter. Even if he, horror of horrors, makes an unproductive out, you still have Albert Pujols behind him, a guy who's probably more likely than anyone to drive in the runner from second. Scott Rolen's not too bad either.

It's a moot point since Fernando Rodney misplayed Taguchi's bunt, but I don't think I'll ever see a guy with a .900 plus OPS get pinch hit for in a situation like that any time soon, the next three days excluded.

In other news:

Gary Sheffield is upset that the Yankees, for whatever reason, would dare to pick up his 13 million dollar option. This brings a long running question I've had: why is Barry Bonds more hated than Sheffield? Sure, Bonds is an admitted roid user and an ass, but what about Gary? He's an admitted roid user (I had to link this since this seems to be largely forgotten), and an ass, but he's also threatened to let his play slack if the Brewers didn't trade him, complained about his contract when it was the highest in baseball at the time of its signings, and several other offenses. Nevertheless, this seems to go forgotten.

Lonestar Ball has a good post about a loophole in the new CBA.

At least when the World Series ends, there should be some more Dodger related news.