Tony LaRussa is a reasonable man

The Chronicle’s John Shea caught up with retired skipper Tony LaRussa a few weeks after the afterglow of winning yet another World Series. TLR said this about the A’s future:

Q: Your A’s teams often packed the Coliseum. What’s your take on A’s ownership’s desire to move to San Jose?

A: “The A’s should stay in the Bay Area with a legitimate shot to compete economically, and there are some real doubts it can happen in Oakland. The Giants got the (territorial) rights (to San Jose in the early ’90s) because (former A’s owner) Walter Haas just said ‘here.’ There was no reason other than to be real nice and fair and give them to the Giants. I don’t know what the grounds would be for the Giants to say it’s ours and not the A’s.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself. TLR clearly knows of what he speaks. He and his family have maintained their East Bay home all this time and run ARF out of Walnut Creek, so he’s still very much plugged into the Bay Area.

Later in the interview, TLR talks about having a role with one of the Bay Area teams, though he thinks there may not be room for him in either organization. There’s always room for TLR as an advisor, if I have anything to say about it.

46 thoughts on “Tony LaRussa is a reasonable man

  1. Watch the JoaKlanders start hating on TLR now…lol

    Would love to have TLR as possibly a special assistant to Beane/Forst. One thing that I wish they would beef up on is the “intangible” aspects of players and TLR could definitely do that. Melvin is in that mold and seems to have helped bring back the clubhouse.

  2. TONY! TONY! TONY!..

  3. Tony was the best. Then he started trying to defend and provide cover for cheaters. I respect the body of his work, but on the topic at hand (stadium), he is uninformed, to say the least.

  4. I’d say Tony has it right on the money. Haas generously just gave the Giants rights to Santa Clara County and now the A’s are stuck where they can’t get a new ballpark. No public funds for construction in Oakland + poor corporate environment in the East Bay = new Oakland ballpark not doable.

  5. As much as I dislike LaRussa for his continued defense of roiders, he makes perfect sense here. He’s still a bay area native and knows the environment here. He knows the game and what’s needed for the A’s to compete.

  6. He portrays Haas in a more saintly light than is probably correct (I don’t think he gave away rights simply because it was the right thing to do; he clearly had something to gain from the Giants moving out of SF). But the rest of it is spot-on.

  7. @dude- but he didn’t ask for the rights to sf in return- so not sure what the gain would have been- especially in light of the fact that sf proper is not a big sports city-

  8. Will the first poster of this thread just grow up. Paleeeez!!!!!
    I always liked TLR. He knows his baseball and his record proves it. I wish he would of stuck around. Everybody left or got fired when Schott bought the team from Haas.

  9. He didn’t need rights to SF for that to be a huge opportunity though. In our local case, territorial rights only pertain to location of the stadium. There’s nothing to stop either team from marketing to the other team’s territory, which they both do already. Having the Giants out of there would have made attracting SF businesses to his suites, etc much easier.

  10. @dude
    If Haas did it because he wanted S.F. To help his sales. Seeing that the Giants at the time couldn’t get a new stadium there shouldn’t he have told the Giants no to San Jose. Hoping then Giants would leave the Bay Area altogether. That would have really helped sales, just like the Giants are hoping now with the A’s.

  11. Tony isn’t in the know, just as none of us are, in regards to the Oakland side of planning. Of course there are doubts, that’s not news and it will stay that way until a concrete plan is put forth by Oakland. However, if a new stadium was guaranteed to be put up in either Oakland or San Jose, I think we all know where his loyalties would be.

  12. @eb–“if a new stadium was guaranteed to be put up in either Oakland or San Jose, I think we all know where his loyalties would be.”
    Couldn’t agree with you more. TLR and his family love the east bay, lived there for 25 years and his daughter Bianca is a Raiderette, NOT a Saberkitten.

  13. @EB- that is one of the most ridiculous comments I have read today- how you arrive at that conclusion is beyond me-

  14. A lot of former players have a soft side for the Town too. Reggie, Rickey and Stew have all publicly say they hope a new park can get done in the O. Only Fosse says he likes SJ, because of all the restaurants in DT SJ he can go to. So food close by is his reasoning, which is pretty weak.

  15. @jk- u and eb continue to try and bait people rather than comment on the actual post- getting old- bttm line is TLR is a supporter of the A’s stayingbin the bay area by his own admission SJ is their bet- just like many people who post on here- the Oakland only shit is getting old

  16. @GoA’s How am I baiting anyone? You really think it is a stretch that a man who managed, won a championship and lives in the same area would want the team to stay if the opportunity presented itself? Whether that opportunity presents itself, we’ll see. Insecure much?

  17. @GoA’s–We’re just as tired of the SJ only shit too (which is 80% of the posts on here) and the relenetless Oakland bashing (e.coli Coliseum).

  18. Not too many people that live in Alamo, or Danville, have much of an affinity for Oakland.

  19. @David – I’ll take TLR’s nearly fifty years in pro ball, twenty years of running an exemplary organization in the East Bay, his law degree, and his willingness to speak plainly on most subjects, over some homerish myopia.

    @all – An acknowledgement that there are doubts about Oakland is not bashing. It is a legitimate concern and only a fool would simply brush it aside.

  20. Wow, even TLR knows the future is brighter in San Jose for the A’s

  21. @EB- didn’t realize you and jk were TLR spokeperson’s and I find it humurous that an Oakland only guy is calling someone else insecure-

  22. ML- The current doubts surrounding Oakland are absolutely real, no question. It’s the “Jokeland” crap that typically follows posts like these that tint the whole thread with a “bashing” vibe. As for Tony, I loved him as a manager, enjoy his work with animals, hate that he’s an out and out liar.

  23. “homerish myopia”? I’m not the steroid denier. Also, I never got busted for DUI, while asleep at a red light.

  24. @GoA’s Dude, if you disagree with my post, okay, I accept that. Move on, I have.

  25. @David – You’re an unabashed homer for Oakland. I’ve got no problem with that. It makes your opinions short of fully credible, you have to admit. Especially when, trapped in a corner in a rhetorical debate, you resort to silly non-sequiturs like “It’s still our team!” Sorry dude, it’s my team too. You’re no more or less a fan than I am. BTW, If you want to disavow ’89, by all means go ahead.

  26. @ML – You’re an unabashed homer for San Jose. And I also have no problem with that. And the reality is the A’s play in Oakland. They will for years to come. That’s my opinion. I’ll let the other reader decide how objective and credible your comments are.
    .
    I have a 1989 World Series pennant in my classroom. All the kids love it!

  27. David,
    Did you say TLR was uninformed about the stadium situation…to say the least?! I’m completely speechless on that one. Anyhow..TONY! TONY!..

  28. I guess 2012, 13 and 14 do technically count as “years,” so for once I actually agree with a post from David.

  29. @David – Actually, it’s a fact that they will play in Oakland for at least three more years. After that, who knows? That’s what we’re trying to plan for. Why do you bother even reading this site if all you can see is the next three years? TLR = HoF. David = Meh.

  30. TLR is a legend in the game of baseball and a smart dude. He is far more educated than most baseball people in general.

    His comments are that of a “Bay Area guy” and not a Pro-Oakland or even Pro-San Jose guy. He wants what is best for the team economically and he is right Walter Haas gave away those rights for nothing.

    He did not even secure San Francisco in exchange for San Jose. Had the Giants moved to San Jose in 1991 they would still claim San Francisco as their territory if the A’s were to build privately at China Basin.

    Even if the Giants moved to San Jose the A’s would still be in the same quagmire they are right now. Except they would be asking for permission to San Francisco and not San Jose.

    The Giants selfishness is coming to an end by force. MLB will force them to take compensation and vote them off the island.

    If Selig is going to visit the Giants after all this time that signals he has the votes in a overwhelming fashion. Not 75%…more like a 29-1 vote. Only then would Selig try to force the Giants to do anything.

    He will sit them down and tell them “take this deal, or you will get voted off the island and get nothing”….It comes down to that alone.

    The Giants have lost….they just don’t know it yet.

  31. @ML – Don’t play that tired game, its as transparent as Wolff’s SJ fantasy. As for the personal attack, i’ll take the high road!

  32. @David – That’s why you’re in severe danger of losing the A’s. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

  33. i’m in danger of “losing the A’s” because I won’t get into some personal back and forth? I am one of the few Pro-Oakland contributors who doesn’t get personal on this board. “JoaKland” how is that an appropriate description of Oakland? Thanks for the warning. Not worried btw.

  34. @David – Oakland is in danger of losing the A’s in large part because of incompetence and a lack of vigilance in trying to keep the team. Dismiss it to your peril. It’s not personal at all. It’s purely business.

  35. @ eb / David – FTR: I have a specific distinction between pro-Oakland partisans and “JoaKlanders” (please spell it accurately as well). Folks as Columbo, I would classify as the former, but if you regard yourself in the same irrational, emotional, bitter and sensitive camp as whom the latter term is meant for, welp…can’t help you guys there! 😉

  36. One other thing:

    We would like to congratulate and celebrate LaRussa’s career by dedicating this blog to him. Tony LaRussa was a great fit for Walter Haas’s ownership, which gave back to Oakland and the whole East Bay community. LaRussa still resides in the East Bay and is involved within the community.

    Some day, we hope to have another great manager like LaRussa was here in Oakland. Until then, we will continue to celebrate the Oakland A’s tradition and rich history. Best of luck, Tony, and thank you for the great memories. We look forward to your Hall of Fame speech.

    A fine sentiment coming from the good folks at Baseball Oakland. I hope they don’t take it back once they read the Shea interview.

  37. While I still dislike TLR for his anti-Moneyball rantings, I agree with him on this issue.
    .

    I always liked TLR. He knows his baseball and his record proves it. I wish he would of have stuck around. Everybody left or got fired when Schott bought the team from Haas.

    TLR’s last three A’s teams sucked – they were a collective 186-233, a glorious .444 winning percentage. The only players of note to leave the A’s after Schott took over were Rickey (still good), McGwire (numbers tainted by roids), and Eck (career nearly done).

  38. Also FTR – I completely agree with eb (shock!) that TLR would choose the Oakland if somehow there was a similar proposal on the table as SJ. He definitely has hardcore roots in the East Bay. Unfortunately, he also understands the reality of the situation on an economically challenged and “depressed” area, hence his comments. Also – the name “E.Coli-seum” (please spell that right also), is not in reference to Oakland per se, but the decrepit state of the facility/stadium itself (lets start talking about urinal troughs again….not!) and the strangely sponsored name O.co which when you take into account of all the above, lends credence to the above nickname. For those JoaKlanders who take offense, please get a life… 🙂

  39. @ eb – i take it you’re classifying yourself as one of the ones in the “latter” group…lol ❤ X O X O

  40. Did you know that John Fisher was once on the Overstock (O.co) board? He resigned in 2007 after Overstock launched a $3.5 billion lawsuit against numerous trading firms. The company ended up with a $4.4 million settlement.

  41. Selig is supposed to do what’s best for MLB. The Giants only care – only care – about what’s best for the Giants and that’s to hog the two most lucrative areas of the Bay Area for themselves while leaving the A’s with the little that’s left. Six counties for the Giants to two for the A’s. It’s amazing MLB has allowed this travesty to go on for two decades but it has to end.

  42. @pjk “Six counties for the Giants to two for the A’s. It’s amazing MLB has allowed this travesty to go on for two decades but it has to end.” Arguments over the new stadium aside, I agree that the favorable hand the Giants have been given is a joke. I feel like MLB really doesn’t value the A’s as the historical and winning franchise it has been. At least the NFL promotes and pays respect to its franchises that have made a historic impact. The A’s are third in MLB championships, yet no one seemingly knows that.

  43. Back to Oakland a bit: it will be interesting to see what happens in the coming months to JQ. She’s already fighting for her political survival after the Batts and OO fiasco. If MLB throws the hammer down and declares SJ open, 40K Facebookers are not going to be happy!;) All kidding aside though, I wonder if that will be the final straw with the public for her? Being Asian as well, I was rooting for Quan to turn things around, but she just seems clueless and losing the trust of the public as well as her own supporters. Interestingly enough, with vice mayor Madison Nguyen (who i despise) possibly being groomed by Reed for his seat when he leaves, we could potentially have the 3 biggest cities in the Bay Area have Asian leaders…who would of thought of that a decade ago. O.o

  44. Mike – because he was not nearly as big a dick as the Giants’ owners. I didn’t say he was a selfish jerk and only gave the south bay to the Giants because of personal gain. I said he probably wasn’t solely motivated by simply doing the right thing. There was something in it for him as well.

  45. I miswrote that first bit. I didn’t mean to imply he was any kind of dick at all. From all indications, he was a really good man. I should have said: because he wasn’t a huge dick like the Giants’ owners.

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