I've never been a fan of Tony Larussa. I'm pretty sure I've said that. He's the National League's version of Terry Francona - that other manager I REALLY don't like - though it should be said that at least he's not just letting Bill Dewit pull his strings; instead, he's a surly dinosaur who tries to be "outside the box" with ideas like batting the pitcher eighth. Really.
If I had to think of a manager that I like, it would have to be Ozzie Guillen, who at least has the heart to call out his players when they need it. He doesn't pull punches, and a lot of the time, his guys get the job done - even though there aren't that many very good to great players on the team (Mark Buehrle, Paul Konerko, Carlos Quentin, Adam Dunn (done for, more like it - he's batting .184 with 3 home runs), and Jake Peavy (remember him?) make up the core of Chicago's 2011 team.
Hell, if you're a White Sox fan (real or pretend, Mr. President), you've got a closer named Sergio Santos. Gavin Floyd and Philip Humber are your star pitchers. You hope Alexi Ramriez makes the transition to the bigs, and you still get happy when AJ Pierzynski is a jerk (but at least he's your jerk - like that ALCS stunt he pulled in 2005).
You rememer names like Minnie Minoso and Shoeless Joe Jackson. You may even remember a player like Eddie Cicotte. You don't really have much to remember lately except Harold Baines.
But nonetheless, at least you have Ozzie... a colorful manager who makes a difference.
In St. Louis and with no harsh feelings regarding our feelings towards him for his mis-management, Larussa has never been a colorful manager. But now that he's currently on medical leave, we come to understand how difficult his life has been lately since he has just been diagnosed with the shingles.
Most people don't know what the shingles are. Actually, they're caused by the herpes zoster virus, which has nothing to do with herpes that a person gets stung with sexually. It actually is a very nasty skin rash that people could get from someone who has it if they didn't get chicken pox as a kid. That said, if your parents made you pal around with the kid who had chicken pox to get this virus out of the way, you might want to thank them for it. As for me, I had chicken pox twice, so I'm a rare and special case, but all the same, I'm glad I don't have to worry about that aspect of it. Nevertheless, there is a way that the chicken pox virus reactivates and causes shingles in people. Apparently, nobody understands how this happens, but it does.
Nevertheless, if you do get them, they're a nasty skin rash that takes quite some time to heal and that can be worse if you're older when you get them. They do have rare complications that can affect a person's vision permanently. Let's hope that Tony doesn't face that.
Here's to a quick recovery and some time to think about how to be nice to Colby Rasmus and to help Albert Pujols regain his swing while getting Chris Carpenter some wins.