Just in case Mark McGwire thought that he would be the sole man in the Cardinals dugout honored as one of the 10 Most Disliked People in Sports, we’re sorry to burst his bubble.
A few days after we stumbled across the Forbes.com list that featured McGwire, Deadspin.com unleashed their Top 10 “Bad Guys In Sports” and McGwire’s boss made the cut…
Ignoring the fact that the write-up was crafted by Tommy Craggs, the one writer who feels it necessary to be blatantly pretentious while working for the sports version of OK! Magazine, his overall point isn’t totally lost on most Cardinals fans.
Now, it’s safe to say that the majority of us probably agree that it’s a stretch to brand Tony one of the “bad guys” in sports. And stripping him of any credit for the team’s success over the past 16 years is a bit harsh.
But those things aside, Craggs does highlight what Cardinals followers have experienced all too often. He calls it “a guy playing Chutes and Ladders who thinks it’s actually chess”, we’ll go ahead and call it “bringing in Pedro Borbon/Jeff Tabaka/Rigo Beltran/Ray King/Dennys Reyes strictly because a lefty is at the plate”. There are other minor tweaks LaRussa pulls out on a daily basis that can drive a fan crazy, but the lefty-on-lefty matchups being used regardless of the circumstances (i.e. whose pitching and whose batting) can serve as a symbol of the micro-managing fans see on a daily basis. Sometimes it works, a lot of times it doesn’t.
In other words, maybe if Deadspin breaks out the Top 10 Most Frustrating Managers to Watch From Your Couch, we can support Tony’s inclusion. Bad guy? We’ll call BS on that.