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A HEAD FOR THE GAME
George F. Will
March 12, 1990
To Tony La Russa, the art of baseball managing is a mastery of the details
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March 12, 1990

A Head For The Game

To Tony La Russa, the art of baseball managing is a mastery of the details

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Duncan: "He'll try to shoot the ball that way. Be ready to go into the hole."

Player: "Doesn't he hit most of the balls in the air that way?"

Duncan: "He does. We're going to shade the leftfielder toward left center. Centerfielder is going to be on the rightfield side of straightaway. The rightfielder is going to be straight."

La Russa: "He's a hit-and-run threat, but you have a tough call playing second because of Burks and the stolenbase threat. Who is covering and how quickly do you leave?"

Lachemann: "Last year I got Barrett on tape—I don't know if he's still doing the same thing—putting on his own hit-and-run. He'd rub the end of the bat. That tells the runner on first."

Dave Henderson (a former Red Sox now playing for Oakland): "That's what I had with him."

Player (to Henderson): "Well, he won't count on you remembering.

There is general laughter, but the meeting returns quickly to the business at hand.

Duncan: "Greenwell: Lefthand hitter. Straight at third. To the middle strong at shortstop. Not a shift but strong to the middle. Second base play him a step to pull. First base is going to be straight on him. So Walter [Weiss, the A's shortstop], you just have to get strong to the middle on him. Horn: Lefthand hitter. All right, we're going to shift on him. Third base off the line. Walter, you get directly behind second base. Second base will be playing normal pull. First base straight pull."

Player: "What position does he play?"

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