I agree that TLR gets a worse rap than he deserves. His results have been extremely solid. He still makes a lot of questionable, and even bad, in game decisions though.
LaRussa will make mistakes...every manager does. But I don't think he makes as many bad moves as other managers do.
LaRussa's moves are very calculated and based on stats, a player's history against certain players or in certain situations, and sometimes hunches. Most often, a fan at home may not realize why he is doing what he is doing and think it's a stupid move, but when LaRussa explains his moves, it makes sense in most cases.
I think where LaRussa gets into trouble sometimes is in situations when he takes out a reliever who looked good in retiring the first two guys he faces, to bring in a guy who has better numbers against the next batter. That's an easy one to get upset about because logic would tell you to stick with the guy who is pitching well...if it ain't broke, don't fix it. But when you play the numbers, you win more than you lose. And if you win more than you lose during the season, you'll see your fair share of the playoffs...and if you win more than you lose in a "best of" series you'll win a lot of playoff rounds...and he has.
LaRussa is also very short with the media during his press conferences...especially after losses when a member of the media will ask him a question about why so and so sucked. LaRussa won't answer questions like those and will sometimes go off on the media for asking those kinds of questions, and may even walk out of the press conference. He won't throw a player under the bus or criticize him publicly...aside from saying, "he needs to be better"... no matter what. Players appreciate that...but the fans dislike that. Fans need scapegoats and players to blame for losses or poor performances. If they can't get that acknowledgement from the manager, they turn on the manager...and that's what LaRussa wants. He'd rather the media and any fan negativity fall on him than on his players.