Thanks, Tony "3:10 to Yuma*" La Russa
|Tony La Russa liked playing the long game.|
I had moaned earlier about the constant interruptions in NFL games when I realized that major league baseball has been becoming more like the NFL in recent years and decades: Tinkering with the rules to boost offense (the DH), increased specialization on the field (the DH), endless games, and so on, and I realized that baseball missed a chance to honor a man whose success did much to foster these trends.
Wouldn't it have been great if Tony La Russa had spoken for eight or ten minutes at his Hall of Fame induction in 2014, then brought someone in to speak for one minute, followed by a conference with the Hall of Fame board chairman? La Russa would then bring in a third speaker to offer a funny line because that's what that speaker is good at, followed by a specialist in touching heartfelt remarks for forty seconds, then another conference with the board chairman.
A fifth speaker, all around good at everything, would then come on, followed by another conference and, depending on how the audience seemed to be reacting, another speaker. La Russa would then bring on the final speaker, who can't talk for more than a minute but who is an absolute master at summing everything up with a memorable exit line.
La Russa's short speech would by then have swollen to forty-five minutes, and half his audience would have been asleep, but those who remained awake would have acclaimed it as one of the best speeches ever.
© Peter Rozovsky 2015