Post-Dispatch readers sound off with letters to the sports editor:
HEY, TONY: NO CARDS CAP, NO RED JACKET EITHER
Tony La Russa has every right to choose to enter the Hall of Fame wearing a blank cap.
However, if and when he shows up for an opening day in St. Louis, I hope he remembers to bring along his own sports coat, because the Cardinals certainly shouldn’t honor him with one of the red Hall of Fame coats that the likes of Schoendienst, Gibby, Brock, Ozzie, Sutter,and Herzog sport then.
Just one more reason why St. Louis always will believe that “Herzog is greater than LaRussa” ... well, that and the fact that Tony thought it was a good idea to bat the pitcher eighth.
Michael Szerzinski • St. Louis
DOES LA RUSSA REALLY BELONG IN THE HALL?
Please help me to understand why Tony La Russa is a Hall of Fame manager based on the following facts:
• 1. Career winning percentage of .536. He won 2,728 games and lost 2,365 games. That’s 363 games above .500. Based on 33 years that equals only 11 games over .500 per year.
• 2. He’s No. 2 behind Connie Mack for the most losses by a manager vs. No. 3 in victories.
• 3. He micro-managed with rapid/frequent lineup and pitching changes and batted the pitcher eighth.
• 4. He ran a drug-infested clubhouse in Oakland where he won one World Series. The jury still is out regarding his stint in St. Louis.
• 5. In 2001, if Bobby Bonilla did not get hurt Albert Pujols probably does not make the team because TLR hated to play rookies.
• 6. If he had a job in corporate America and had a success rate of 54 percent he would be out of a job in a year. Meeting 54 percent of your goals/objectives would get you a place in the unemployment line.
John Hogan • Ballwin
HOLIDAY HITS A HOMER
How refreshing it was to finally hear and read about Matt Holliday’s negative views on performance-enhancing drugs.
I have been waiting for someone in Cardinal Nation to speak up about it. I do not feel Mark McGwire should be honored in any way because his ball playing was not true, honest talent.
Susie Charak • St. Louis
MIZZOU IN DECLINE
Thank you, Mike Alden, for bringing Frank Haith to Mizzou. I believe that between the two of you the basketball program will continue to decline to the glory days of Quin Snyder.
This has been accomplished in about half the time I thought it would.
John Sutton • Cedar Hill
RAMS DON’T MAKE GRADE
In Jim Thomas’ Jan. 5 “Rams Season in Review” article his C+ grade for the Rams coaching this season seems substantially overstated.
Specifically, one wonders who on the staff was the talent evaluator who kept Zac Stacy on the bench for the first four games? And who missed the obvious receiving talent of Stedman Bailey until very late in the season? Talent evaluation has to be viewed as a preeminent factor in good coaching, especially in the NFL.
Then there’s the general lack of improvement in the young receivers’ production over the previous season. And the on-again, off-again run defense from week to week. Perhaps the most glaring coaching weakness of all was the inability to avoid the numerous costly, foolish, repetitive penalties, most especially by the special teams.
I can’t see how the coaching grade can objectively be any more than a D+, with the plus in recognition of coaching through the loss of quarterback Sam Bradford.
Larry Feuerstein • Wildwood