Friday, October 09, 2009

Isn't that Manager a Genius?

The division series between the Cardinals and the Dodgers features two of the most successful managers in the history of baseball: Joe Torre and Tony LaRussa. Both are prized for different reasons. LaRussa is the mad genius who makes all the right moves and thinks of things nobody else would. Joe Torre is the calm in the storm, the man you follow into battle, the kindly respected man who gets his team to play for him. Each one of these supposed traits would be pulled out of the cliche bag depending on which of these great managers won the game.

When it comes down to the game and the series and the championship, all a manager can really do is put his best players out on the field and put them in the best position to succeed. Obviously, both managers are good at that. Ultimately, it all boils down to how the players perform when all the plans are put in motion.

At this point in the season, both managers have set patterns in place. They know who they want to come in from the bullpen in what situation. They know what match ups work best for what hitters and pitchers. There are no surprises. But it will be no surprise that since Torre brought in Broxton in the eighth and Sherrill in the ninth (which he has done several times this year based on match ups), Torre will win the genius award for this game and will have bested the great genius, Tony LaRussa.

The reality is that Broxton and Sherrill did their jobs and Franklin did not. No genius required.

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