If nothing else holds from the vote totals, the Milwaukee Brewers are sure to have one member of the All-Star Team representing the National League.
That man just happens to be second year manager Ron Roenicke.
Roenicke was named to the coaching staff today by Tony LaRussa – who retired as the St. Louis Cardinals skipper after winning the World Series. Apparently, there was news other than the fact that coaching the All-Star game is a tremendous honor – especially when the man choosing the coaches is one of the all-time greats.
Roenicke gave the press all the usual sound bytes – mentioning what a great honor it is to be coaching the National League and showering praise on the future Hall of Famer LaRussa, but there was an elephant in the room.
That elephant being that, in 2011, LaRussa and Roenicke just plain did not like each other.
Now I wouldn’t blame anyone for not liking Tony LaRussa, but the two managers went back and forth in every single series it seemed like. There were accusations of bean-ball wars (denied by both parties, of course) and a few on-field skirmishes involving Chris Carpenter and Nyjer Morgan. And who could forget the now-infamous “light tampering” discussion? It was a banner year for gamesmanship and general old-man grumpiness whenever the Cardinals and Brewers faced off, but it appears that the olive branch has been passed by LaRussa to Roenicke.
According to the Milwaukee Brewers website, the two NLCS managers hashed out a discussion of past grievances before LaRussa officially handed the job offer to Roenicke. I’m not sure how it went down, but if I’ve learned anything from watching LaRussa talk to umpires or the press I’m certain it was a lot of LaRussa shouting, and pouting, and giving stern looks with Roenicke silently nodding and fiddling with his phone while he waited for some semblance of logic and coherence to emerge.
At least that’s the idea he gave with these comments, when asked if there was in fact a discussion about the heated relationship:
"“We had some battles last year, yes. I’ll leave it at that…I talked about it, yes, and we’re going to talk some more about it.”–Ron Roenicke, via Brewers.com"
Now if that doesn’t sound like a high school freshman who just got grounded, I don’t know what does.
The whole thing makes me laugh because there’s no reason for a discussion – especially for a position that basically boils down to four days of work. Obviously Roenicke’s performance at the helm of the Brew Crew earned him this kind of recognition, and the fact that he needed to ‘discuss’ anything of the past with LaRussa as some kind of conditional entrance exam steals the moment from Roenicke and puts it squarely on LaRussa – a man who has undoubtedly stolen enough time from the American public’s exhibition of baseball.
I’m not sure if this is just me reacting to reporter’s needs for a story, or if LaRussa is that big of an arrogant old grouch that he felt the need to actually ‘hash out’ the working relationship of the pair – who again have not seen each other as coaches since October and will only be working together for about a week.
Regardless, this is a big deal for Roenicke and the Brewers. It is recognition for not only a brilliant 2011 campaign, but also the fact that Ron Roenicke is one of the best managers in the league. And who knows, he might even pick up a little gamesmanship from LaRussa.