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Game 6 of the World Series was rained out in St. Louis on Wednesday night (it was rescheduled for Thursday night), which gave Cardinals manager -- and failed Bullpenfone user -- Tony La Russa a chance to see 'Moneyball.' Again. Since he walked out the first time.
For non-baseball fans, La Russa is not totally enamored with the idea of stats-over-scouts, nor with the concepts presented in Michael Lewis's famed book about Oakland Athletics GM Billy Beane. That being: on-base percentage (the act of getting on base via walk or hit or hit-by-pitch) -- and little manager interference -- is the path to winning baseball games.
Said La Russa to assembled reporters on Wednesday:
"On-base percentage is one of the most dangerous concepts of the last seven, eight years because it forces some executives and coaches and players to think that it's all about getting on base by drawing walks," La Russa said.La Russa -- who was the subject of his own hero-worship book by Buzz Bissinger called 'Three Nights in August' -- apparently walked out of the Brad Pitt-led Oscar contender the first time he saw it as a tribute to "the scouts and baseball people that were dissed" by the film.
"The fact is that the guys that have the best on-base percentage are really dangerous hitters whenever they get a pitch in the zone. So if a pitcher knows that, he works on the edges. So the question is do they get a good pitch to hit?"
When he saw it again on Wednesday night, La Russa didn't enjoy it any further. He was "offended by what the book represented," but did concede that the film version of 'Moneyball' featured "good acting."
As for Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington -- who appears in the film since he was the A's third base and infield coach until 2006 -- his review was more kind.
"To me it was a great movie about a manager hamstrung as far as dollars go. I realize it didn't mention [A's All-Star 3B Eric] Chavez, [2002 MVP Miguel] Tejada, [Tim] Hudson, [Barry] Zito and [Mark] Mulder. I liked the movie," Washington said. "And I am a big fan of Billy Beane's. He gave me an opportunity to be a coach. I think got this opportunity in Texas because of Beane's review. As I have always said, things you accomplish in life comes from other people extending a hand to help you."La Russa has won two World Series titles -- one with Oakland, pre-Beane, and one with St. Louis in 2006. Trailing 3-2 in the best of seven series, the Cardinals will try to come from behind to give La Russa title No. 3 starting tonight. Beane has never won a World Series during his tenure in Oakland.
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