There is a perception that exists among baseball fans that Tony La Russa over manages. It’s difficult to quantify the proper number of moves a manager should make in a game, and because it’s generally accepted that opinion is subjective (and looks to remain so for the near future), the accusation has always been somewhat lacking in definition.
Until recently, anyway.
MLB.com’s Matthew Leach contacted the ghost of bullpens past to find that:
With two Cardinals relievers pitching in Sunday’s 4-0 loss in Game 4 of the World Series, Tony La Russa has now made 61 calls to the bullpen in 15 playoff games this month. That is tops among all teams this postseason and is tied for second on the all-time list.
First is the Dusty Baker managed 2002 San Francisco Giants, who went to the bullpen 62 different times in 16 playoff games. This means that assuming Chris Carpenter doesn’t pitch a complete game tonight, the 2011 St. Louis Cardinals will at the very least tie a record, and give La Russa detractors a little bit more in the way of evidence to support their claims.