— ST. LOUIS - Not that he ever was a fan of the book or the concepts it preached, but Cardinals manager Tony La Russa spent the rainout night seeing the movie 'Moneyball'.
"Good acting,'' he said.
Otherwise, he's not a big fan:
"(The movie) strains the credibility a bit,'' La Russa said. "(The A's) won 20 in a row, qualify for the playoffs and go two up on the Yankees, and there wasn't anything in the movie except a brief (scene) about Miguel (Tejada) and Eric (Chavez), or the three starters (Mark Mulder, Tim Hudson, Barry Zito) or Billy Koch.
"That club was carried by those guys, who were signed and developed the old-fashioned way. But the movie was about a couple of trades and moving Scott (Hatteberg) to first (base). That part wasn't enjoyable because it's a nice story, but it is not accurate enough.''
And while the sabermetrics crowd may cringe, La Russa is sticking to his old-school philosophies when it comes to how the game should be played on the field.
"A lot of those (new) stats and tools, they're helpful when you prepare,'' La Russa said. "But they eliminate to a great degree the human element, which is a big part of every day that you play.
"Some of those stats about you don't bunt … let me tell you something, (against) some of these (pitchers), you try to get three hits, and you're never going to score. And the better teams you play — like in the playoffs — you'd better find a way to advance the runner.
"Handling the bullpen, I can remember that the concept that there wasn't anything special about the ninth-inning pitcher. Well, the ninth is different. I don't know of any team now who hasn't gone back to the understanding that the ninth is different. (You have) your closer, and then you build around that.
"My opinion is that a lot of people — not just fans, but owners — gave (the Moneyball principles) way too much credibility as far as how you scout, how you develop, and then how you end up playing in the big leagues. It's a nice tool, but that's all it is. It's not as important as the human characteristic you have to think about all the time.''