La Russa appreciated the information generated by computers. He studied the rows and the columns. But he also knew they could take you only so far in baseball, maybe even confuse you with a fog of overanalysis. As far as he knew, there was no way to quantify desire. And those numbers told him exactly what he needed to know when added to twenty-four years of managing experience.
Sabermetricians – those number-crunchers who have come to dominate thinking about strategy the last few years – believe that they have debunked clutch situations as statistically irrelevant. La Russa has read the various studies. Based on his own forty years plus of experience, he believes those studies to be bunk of their own.
La Russa respected [Bill] James, but based on managing nearly 4,000 games, was convinced James was wrong.