An Extra Month of Baseball Makes the Players Tired? You F—ing Kidding Me?

Jared Diamond, in the Wall Street Journal, writing about “The World Series Hangover.” The Red Sox asked former manager Tony La Russa, whose teams won three World Series, to unlock the secret of doing it again. La Russa talked with former manager Jim Leyland, among other. From the WSJ story:

“There isn’t a team championship in whatever sport where the next season the frame of mind is not an issue that you have to overcome,” La Russa said. “That’s the major reason why repeating is so tough.”

La Russa’s offseason conversations only reinforced that point. He initially considered whether a physical component factored into the equation. He wondered whether an extra month of action—and a couple dozen extra innings on pitchers’ arms—affected players when they returned the next season.

Certain evidence swayed La Russa off that idea somewhat. Three recent World Series losers—the 2010 Texas Rangers, 2014 Kansas City Royals and 2017 Los Angeles Dodgers—all won the pennant again the next year, despite playing just as long as the winners. More important, a few of the people La Russa consulted downplayed that aspect, some more colorfully than others.

“You mean to tell me that you got done f—ing playing November f—ing first and by f—ing April 1 you’re not f—ing rested?” Leyland, a longtime friend of La Russa’s, said before last week’s All-Star Game in Cleveland. “I’m sorry, I don’t buy that.”

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