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Manager has different view

La Russa rips ‘Money’ approach

By Nick Cafardo
Globe Staff / October 28, 2011

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ST. LOUIS - Tony La Russa, film critic, did indeed watch “Moneyball’’ Wednesday night after Game 6 of the World Series was rained out.

“Good acting,’’ he said. “I’m serious. Good acting.

“I mean, I was offended because of what the book represented, and I know a lot of those guys who were portrayed - I knew a few of those guys as scouts.

“It strains the credibility a little bit. They won 20 in a row, qualify for the playoffs, go two up on the Yankees, and there wasn’t anything in the movie except a brief about Miguel [Tejada] and Eric [Chavez], the three starters, and Billy Koch.

“It was about a couple of trades and turning Scott [Hatteberg] into a first baseman. That club was carried by those guys that were signed, developed the old-fashioned way. That part wasn’t enjoyable, because it’s a nice story but it is not accurate enough.’’

La Russa went on to say why he thinks the statistical approach to the sport has cost people jobs.

“Scouting staffs have been reduced, their importance have been reduced,’’ he said. “I think about when I first came in the league years ago, and I had no experience, I was a lousy player with no managing experience, you had all these great guys who managed for years, so preparation was the only way that myself and my staff could survive. So we were looking for everything. I think a lot of those stats and tools, they’re helpful when you prepare.

“But they eliminate to a great degree the human element, which is a big part of every day that you play.

“Some of those stats about you don’t bunt . . . let me tell you something. Some of these guys, you want to sit there and try to get three hits, you’re never going to score. And the better teams you play, like in the playoffs, you’d better find a way to advance the runner.

“I think a lot of people - a lot of people, not just fans, but owners - they gave it way too much credibility as far as how you scout, how you develop, and then how you end up playing in the big leagues.’’

Staying Young

Texas general manager Jon Daniels was asked how glad he is that Michael Young wasn’t traded off. “It’s worked out,’’ Daniels said. “Michael almost won the batting title. Really provided Wash [Ron Washington] with as much versatility and flexibility to keep guys fresh, and when different guys went down during the course of the season - whether Adrian [Beltre] going down with the injury or Mitch [Moreland] struggling late - Wash was able to fill and we didn’t have to call somebody up and give an extra player extended playing time because of Michael’s versatility. That’s the on-the-field. The off-the-field part is obvious. Like I said, it’s worked out as well or better than we could have asked for.’’

Breaks of the game

Last night’s Game 6 came after two days off - a scheduled off-day and a rainout. It marked the first time since the 1989 “Earthquake Series’’ that the Fall Classic had a two-day gap. The ’89 Series was interrupted for 10 days . . . Game-time temperature was 40 degrees, the lowest for a Series game since 1979 when the Orioles-Pirates played Game 1 in 41-degree weather . . . La Russa had made 65 pitching changes this postseason through Game 5 of the World Series, surpassing the 2002 Giants, who made 62 . . . The Cardinals picked up a two-year, $21 million option on Adam Wainwright, who is recovering from reconstructive elbow surgery but is expected to be ready for spring training.

Nick Cafardo can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @nickcafardo.

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