Tony LaRussa led the St. Louis Cardinals to the 2011 World Series Championship. Then he retired after the season. There is no taking away the end of season and post season run that he led the Cardinals on as they overcame a lot to win their 11th title. But why is he coming back to coach one more game?
Bud Selig announced that LaRussa will be back to coach the NL All-Stars in Kansas City this season. This will be the 3rd time he will lead the NL team (2005, 2007), and his 6th time overall.
It is not the first time a retired manager has come back to manage the Midsummer Classic, but it is the first time since 1972 when Danny Murtaugh managed the NL after leading the Pirates to the World Series in 1971. John McGraw was the only other inactive manager to lead a team in the All-Star game. He did it in the first All-Star game in 1933 after retiring after the 1932 season.
I know this isn’t setting any precident, and I understand that Tony LaRussa has done a lot for baseball but I am not a fan of the idea. Perhaps if the game was being played in the old manager’s stadium then it would be one thing, but it isn’t. After all doesn’t this game mean something now?
Either make the game what it is and should be, an exhibition or have everyone take it serious if you want to continue to make it mean something. To me this is just confusing the issue. It’s really frustrating to see how they have continued to screw with the All-Star game and make it a joke.
The All-Star game is an exhibition. Don’t have home field advantage to the winning team unless you want to change things. The players don’t seem to take it seriously and you have players from the Pirates and Royals determining the fate of the World Series. So here is how I would change the game if you want it to determine which league has the home field in the World Series.
1. Make the game mandatory unless players are hurt.
2. Have the best players play more – managers are too worried about having the lone Pirates player get in the game and so forth. If you let the best play longer then you won’t have to worry about running out of players.
3. Don’t let inactive managers manage – the result doesn’t effect them in the end so why are they there
However, the easiest way to fix everything is to eliminate the home field advantage from the All-Star Game. Let that go to the team with the best record from the regular season. Then we can stop giving these mixed feelings about what the Midsummer Classic really is.