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Thread: 3 nights in August

  1. #1
    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    3 nights in August

    I picked up this book a few months ago. We are all so very familiar with the Cards and LaRussa and their success. I've always been someone who wants to know why our rivals are so successful and wonder why my team can't be successful.

    There are several references to people in this book who are involved with the Reds like Dusty and Walt and I wanted to share these references with the folks who haven't read the book.

    I'll start with Dusty. "When Baker became available (after leaving SF) LaRussa was hoping that he would move over to the AL so that he might have to face him only in a World Series.... Baker may not be the greatest strategist, but the way the sport and its players are evolving, LaRussa also knows that how one manages during a game is becoming less important. What Baker is good at - superb at - is interacting with players. He can handle a ballclub as well as he handles the ever-present toothpick in his mouth; he knows better than anyone else in baseball how to manage the space between a player's ears. He is also masterful at deflecting attention to himself. He lets blunt and controversial remarks spill out of his mouth. But on closer analysis, they seem purposely designed to keep the media swarm buzzing around him. Better for him to get stung by clearly calculated outrageousness than his players."
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  3. #2
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: 3 nights in August

    I read this about a month ago, good book, ends weakly though.. but hey it's a book that highlights some facts that are not measured... nor measurable.. and that's an important fact that should be examined.

  4. #3
    All dyslexics must untie!
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    Re: 3 nights in August

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip R View Post
    I picked up this book a few months ago. We are all so very familiar with the Cards and LaRussa and their success. I've always been someone who wants to know why our rivals are so successful and wonder why my team can't be successful.

    There are several references to people in this book who are involved with the Reds like Dusty and Walt and I wanted to share these references with the folks who haven't read the book.

    I'll start with Dusty. "When Baker became available (after leaving SF) LaRussa was hoping that he would move over to the AL so that he might have to face him only in a World Series.... Baker may not be the greatest strategist, but the way the sport and its players are evolving, LaRussa also knows that how one manages during a game is becoming less important. What Baker is good at - superb at - is interacting with players. He can handle a ballclub as well as he handles the ever-present toothpick in his mouth; he knows better than anyone else in baseball how to manage the space between a player's ears. He is also masterful at deflecting attention to himself. He lets blunt and controversial remarks spill out of his mouth. But on closer analysis, they seem purposely designed to keep the media swarm buzzing around him. Better for him to get stung by clearly calculated outrageousness than his players."
    Those last few sentences remind me of Denny "the nutty Perfesser" Green's tenure with the Vikings. These guys have what it takes to get a team to the post season, but when it comes to the playoffs, you better not bet the house on them bringing home the hardware.
    Never overlook the obvious

  5. #4
    Senor Votto Degenerate39's Avatar
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    Re: 3 nights in August

    Can we have two managers? One that can strategize during the game and then have Dusty being the man who does whatever he does with the players?
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    Re: 3 nights in August

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip R View Post
    He is also masterful at deflecting attention to himself. He lets blunt and controversial remarks spill out of his mouth. But on closer analysis, they seem purposely designed to keep the media swarm buzzing around him. Better for him to get stung by clearly calculated outrageousness than his players."
    I'm from Indiana and a big IU fan and I always saw this as something Bob Knight did on purpose many times as well. Especially in the NCAA tournament, it seemed like he would get into that wisecracking mode during the press conferences so that the reporters were too busy worried about getting the next Knight gem to make the players feel additional pressure.

    Of course, what also helped was that Knight was a superior tactician. Unlike ol' Dusty.

  7. #6
    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: 3 nights in August

    Walt:

    "Jocketty had become the general manager of the Cardinals in 1994 after spending almost ll of his major league, front office career weith Oakland, so he knew LaRussa well. He was from Minneapolis originally, and the combination of that Minnesota accent, where every answer stil seems in the form of a curious question along with the white hair as finely woven as pasta, exuded Rotarian solidity. He didn't seem like someone who tried to BS his way through as a general manager - make up complete lies about the talents of players who needed to be traded - when some would argue that the whole point of being a general manager was to lie, make your BS better than the other guy's BS. Almost uniquely, he had survived, and survived well, by telling the truth.

    Jocketty's stye also reflected something else - an increasing anachronism in baseball today. He believed that direct commuinication with a manager and coaches on personnel decisions could only enhance the quality of a ballclub. He showed none of the tendency to treat the manager as middle manager, there to be seen in the dugout but never heard, a few steps up from batboy. He listened carefully to the evaluations of LaRussa and Duncan on possible players coming in and possible players to be shipped out. He respected their expertise and intuitions, which isn't to say that he always agreed with them or only listened to them exclusively. The decisions were Jocketty's, but LaRussa - similar to his experiences with Roland Hemond on the White Sox and Sandy Alderson on the A's - never felt deserted. But Jocketty was still a general manager.

    He was by nature a hyperbolist, an enthusiast who could put a good spin on anything, find truth and justice in a three-card monte."
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    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: 3 nights in August

    I'd love to have Dusty as my bench coach to help grease the clubhouse wheels. I just don't want him filling out the lineup card or deciding if a 22 year old starter should go back out for the 7th inning with 107 pitches already under his belt.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

  9. #8
    So Long Uncle Joe BoydsOfSummer's Avatar
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    Re: 3 nights in August

    I have this, it's a good read. Especially now that Jocketty and Baker are Reds men.
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  10. #9
    Waitin til next year bucksfan2's Avatar
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    Re: 3 nights in August

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    I'd love to have Dusty as my bench coach to help grease the clubhouse wheels. I just don't want him filling out the lineup card or deciding if a 22 year old starter should go back out for the 7th inning with 107 pitches already under his belt.
    How much does it matter? I am by no means a Dusty apologist. I think he gets overly criticized because of some of the things he says or does but he gets a lot of blame for stuff that isn't true. Lets look at last season, both Cueto and Volquez had fairly successful seasons and no arm issues. Votto and Bruce were inserted into the lineup every day no questions asked as the season rolled along. The same was true with Dickerson. He was in the lineup performing every day while healthy. The way Dusty handled Edwin is impressive because under the past regime he would have spent some time in AAA ball.

    Him leading off Patterson for part of the year was stupid and Dick Pole should have spoken up and not allowed Volquez and Cueto to pitch once they got to a certain pitch count. But he didn't make a stupid tactical decision during the game. He didn't pinch hit Castro for Hamilton. He didn't make any in game strategies that I will remember, except for the pitching.

    What Dusty does best is something we don't see as fans. We don't know the makeup of each player or how each player mixes into a team situation. The move to hit Phillips cleanup has been a hot topic but what if him and Edwin were in consideration for that spot. What if Dusty thought that Edwin would best off hitting 6th with less pressure. Phillips may have lesser numbers but the team would have overall better numbers. Having a team of 25 grown men together, a mix of different nationalities and languages is a very difficult thing to manage. Too often we over look that aspect of things because there are no way to measure that.

  11. #10
    RZ Chamber of Commerce Unassisted's Avatar
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    Re: 3 nights in August

    It's a curious combination... the GM who values input from the manager and the manager who is better at managing personalities and the media than games. Sounds like a recipe for putting together a team that's strong on clubhouse chemistry.

    Anything in the book on Castellini?
    Last edited by Unassisted; 03-16-2009 at 10:47 AM.
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  12. #11
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: 3 nights in August

    Quote Originally Posted by Unassisted View Post
    Anything in the book on Castellini?
    Not a thing. Though we all should note he owned a piece of the O's prior to the Cards.


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