Muammar Gaddafi died an ignoble death yesterday afternoon at the hands of people he violently repressed for 42 years. However the storyline in the immediate aftermath was not so much his death but that he had been captured and shown still alive before being reported dead a little while later. “What brutality,” cried the pundits while wringing their hands. “He was a horrible, awful man but he deserved to be tried by a jury of his peers before a sentence was passed.”
To this I respond with the words of my good friend Mr. Lung and ask, “What would Tony LaRussa do?” No, seriously, what would Tony LaRussa do? If his team is up by five runs in the 7th with runners on 2nd and 3rd with no outs, is he going to be happy if they don’t score? Of course not. He’s going to go for the jugular. When you let up, you give the other team a chance to get back in the game. You give them hope. I’m no political scientist but knowing that there were still Gaddafi loyalists in Libya, it seems to me that keeping him alive only gave them something to rally around. It’s like your pitcher putting two people on and then coming back to get three straight strikeouts. You start to think there might still be a chance.
So, the Libyan people did what they had to do. They drove in those runners and then they scored a couple more when they got rid of Gaddafi’s sons and closest advisors. No lead is insurmountable, especially in baseball which has no time limit. But if you go up 20-0 on the other team, it’s going to be pretty hard for them to come back. Libya went up 20-0 over the memory of Gaddafi yesterday. I’m pretty sure Tony LaRussa would have done the same thing.