As for the title of this thread, slap yourself. I don't dislike TLR as much as a lot of people do, but if Herzog was managing this team, they would have won multiple WS titles over the past 15 years.
I love Whitey (not Whitty like in the thread title), he's my favorite manager of all time...great, great manager in his day. But players today couldn't play for him.
Whitey quit the game because he could no longer get "today's players" to buy into the style of ball he wanted played. Those are his words.
He'd ask guys to give up personal stats for the benefit of the team...like the bullpen by committee, tons of sacrifice bunts, plays designed specifically around advancing runners and not necessarily getting on base, taking numerous pitches so a guy can steal a base, slapping a ball to the right side of the infield so a guy can go from 2nd to 3rd, etc.
Get 'em on, get 'em over, get 'em in.
That was Whitey ball...and it worked nicely in that era.
But today, with crazy salaries, players don't want to give up at bats as much as Whitey would have wanted. That would mean less impressive stats and therefore less impressive contract offers.
When the salaries started to really take off...that killed Whitey ball.
He'd have to completely change his managerial style to have managed a team over the past 20+ years...and who knows how that would have turned out?
BTW...I'm a LaRussa supporter. He just wins. Sure, he makes controversial decisions sometimes, and sometimes they backfire but the vast majority of the time, they work.
LaRussa just wins and he wins a lot, and the end justifies the means every time in sports.
He gets more out of his players than any other manager by putting them in a position to succeed based on situational matchups. He's a huge stat and matchup manager, and it's worked for him.
If he returns next year, he will move into 2nd place in all-time wins. I'm not sure what else people want.
From my experience, most folks (not all) who think someone else could come in here and do a better job than LaRussa has done, are taking some personal bias way too far and not looking at the big picture at all.
We've been to the playoffs 8 times in the last 11 years, been to the WS twice and won it once.
I know some folks have come out and said they don't like him because he doesn't live in St. Louis and he's a "California guy". Wha? Who the F cares?
To put it bluntly, Cardinal fans who complain about LaRussa are spoiled brats. They don't know how good they have it.
They have obviously forgotten the era before LaRussa when we weren't very good.
In the 8 years prior to LaRussa, there were no playoff appearances. We only topped 80 wins 4 times, topped 70 wins twice... and had 62 and 53 win seasons the two years prior to LaRussa when Torre was manager.
The best thing for the Cardinals is for LaRussa to return next season. It's a shame that a lot of folks don't get that.
Sorry...just felt like ranting.