White Sox hire Tony LaRussa as manager

bosockboy

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If my coach is a turd like La Russa then yeah, maybe I do. It’s not a stretch to think that the players have zero respect for him and maybe that’s something the owner should’ve considered before dusting his irrelevant old ass off to manage the team.
I’m not a fan personally, but the dude shits W’s. If they win 95 games and a division title, Reinsdorf doesn’t care. It’s about results.
 

BornToRun

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I’m not a fan personally, but the dude shits W’s. If they win 95 games and a division title, Reinsdorf doesn’t care. It’s about results.
I mean it’s easy to win when you’re managing the Bash Brothers and the 21st century Cardinals. He’s had talented teams.
 

EvilEmpire

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Respect goes both ways. Mercedes is a rookie off to an unexpectedly hot start. Ignoring a take sign and going on about "I'm always doing Yermin" sounds fun, but might not wear well over time. Does that extend to other guidance from coaches he might get when he deals with the rough patches that all players endure?

That doesn't excuse TLR airing it out publicly, but I think reining in a rookie is fine.

Fake edit: Yeah, I think winning in baseball is hard enough that knocking TLR's record because he had good players is nonsense. Lots of teams have good players and underachieve. I don't think it is ever easy to win.
 

Ford Frick's Asterisk

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It's almost like when LaRussa decided against benching Mercedes as punishment, he concluded he had to publicly shame him instead. I'm sure handling it in-house and making no comment to the media never occurred to him. He's always felt the baseball world needs to know his opinion and is hanging on his word for guidance.
 

BornToRun

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Well you can say that about any manager. Cora sucked in 2018 because we were loaded. Again he’s a dick but he produces results.
My point is that this White Sox team was incredibly talented, even having made the playoffs in 2020, before hiring TLR. They could very well be winning in spite of him because I don’t see a whole lot of people demonstrating why he should be getting any credit. We can point to the fact that the players seem to love Cora and that he seems like a smart guy who makes reasoned in game decisions. Has there been any indication that LaRussa has earned the same credit? From what I’m seeing, every player on that team is backing Mercedes.
 

Fishercat

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It's almost like when LaRussa decided against benching Mercedes as punishment, he concluded he had to publicly shame him instead. I'm sure handling it in-house and making no comment to the media never occurred to him. He's always felt the baseball world needs to know his opinion and is hanging on his word for guidance.
This LaRussa bluster really does ring hollow if he’s not going to bench the guy the next day to be honest. Like a boss who shames their employee in a team meeting then gives them the next big project anyway.

The White Sox were good last year and Mercedes is this year’s offensive star for them thus far, hard to buy what TLR is saying here.
 
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E5 Yaz

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Gee ... who would have figured that those two would have trouble communicating?

"I took several steps from the dugout onto the field, yelling, 'Take, take, take,'" La Russa recalled. "The way he was set up it looked to me like he was going to swing.
"I was upset because that's not a time to swing 3-0. I knew the Twins knew I was upset ... He missed a 3-0 take sign. With that kind of lead that's just sportsmanship and respect for your opponent."
"I'm always doing Yermin," he said. "For that reason I'm here right now. For that reason you guys are talking to me right now. If I'm not Yermin, if I'm not doing that, nobody wants to talk to me, nobody wants to know what I'm doing."
https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/31468198/chicago-white-sox-manager-tony-la-russa-upset-rookie-yermin-mercedes-not-showing-respect-your-opponent-victory
 

natpastime162

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I don't know if it's even the take sign on 3-0 that's the problem (though I agree the scenario didn't call for signs of any kind). The problem is airing it all through the media and making it into a way bigger deal than it deserves to be. I'm sure that Mercedes would likely respect LaRussa more if TLR went to him quietly in the clubhouse and told him he wasn't happy that he swung away in that spot. Mercedes might still disagree but at least he can respect someone that respects him.

This is Bobby Valentine publically calling out Kevin Youkilis' commitment level assholery, and it's totally unnecessary.
Bullshit, LaRussa responded to a player’s action(s). It’s not some imaginary/4d chess response to underperformance.

Posters have already mentioned ignoring signs. There was also a time where teeing off on an infielders 3-0 pitch would lead to a brawl at some point in the season. Those times are probably in the past, but that’s the baseball world in LaRussa’s mind. I have no idea if that mind can effectively manage a team in 2021 (gonna say no but with the talent it might not matter).

I guess what I’m saying is that comparisons to Bobby Valentine should be limited to attempts at establishing the bottom of the barrel.
 

PseuFighter

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If any good comes from this, I think it put Mercedes on the map at the national level, and that's a good thing. The White Sox are a super fun team to watch right now.
 

soxhop411

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It’s going to be interesting to hear what TLR has to say postgame as it’s pretty clear his comments before the game gave the twins implicit permission to throw at him.
 

Apisith

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LaRussa is such an embarrassment. Disrespecting the other team? If anyone is disrespecting anyone or any team then it’s the Twins for putting a position player in as a pitcher. Mercedes was right to smack that shitty fastball out.
 

grimshaw

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Regardless of LaRussa being a red ass or unwritten rules, if I'm a position player stuck pitching in a blow out, I want batters swinging at every pitch to gtfo of the game as soon as possible. Position players (not Astudillo who was just lobbing the ball) can be really sore after pitching and could hurt themselves.

Did any person in the ballpark want a walk to occur?
 

soxhop411

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It’s going to be interesting to hear what TLR has to say postgame as it’s pretty clear his comments before the game gave the twins implicit permission to throw at him.
as expected

TLR says "I don't have a problem with how the Twins handled it," in regards to Duffey throwing at Yermin Mercedes.

#WhiteSox
View: https://twitter.com/RyanMcGuffey/status/1394859229438173186
View: https://twitter.com/RyanMcGuffey/status/1394862475519070209

More La Russa on the Yermin/Duffey incident:

"What did they do? The guy might just have been trying to get a sinker in. You don't read minds. So, I'm not going to read their mind. I also don't second guess the umpire against his judgment."

#WhiteSox
dude is going to get thrown out and locked out of the clubhouse by the players at this rate.

also seems like there is already a divide In the clubhouse
Lance Lynn:

Lance Lynn on unwritten rules:

"If a position player is on the mound, there are no rules. Let's get the damn game over with. And if you have a problem with whatever happened, then put a pitcher out there."

#WhiteSox
View: https://twitter.com/RyanMcGuffey/status/1394861686130151424
 
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ngruz25

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The most offensive part of this whole debacle is the Twins pitching a guy who was lobbing in 45 mph slow pitch softball pitches. That's making a mockery of the game. The White Sox didn't need to swing at his junk, which was nowhere close to the strike zone, but they did in an effort to get the game over with.
 

Doc Zero

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LaRussa is such an embarrassment. Disrespecting the other team? If anyone is disrespecting anyone or any team then it’s the Twins for putting a position player in as a pitcher. Mercedes was right to smack that shitty fastball out.
Not so sure it was his fastball.
 

singaporesoxfan

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The most offensive part of this whole debacle is the Twins pitching a guy who was lobbing in 45 mph slow pitch softball pitches. That's making a mockery of the game. The White Sox didn't need to swing at his junk, which was nowhere close to the strike zone, but they did in an effort to get the game over with.
Yeah what the hell was TLR doing putting the take sign on against a position player pitching? You really wanted to work the count?
 

jon abbey

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La Russa won't finish the regular season IMO.
Yeah, to me there have been three obviously insanely stupid and inevitably doomed front office moves in MLB in recent years: Bobby V (sorry), Brodie the agent plays GM, and this one. Even besides the constant off field idiocy, there is a good chance that he will break Hendriks.
 

jon abbey

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Lance Lynn sums it up perfectly above, maybe he can be a pitcher/manager. Miguel Cairo is their bench coach, I'd say the sooner he gets bumped up, the better for CWS.
 

azsoxpatsfan

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My point is that this White Sox team was incredibly talented, even having made the playoffs in 2020, before hiring TLR. They could very well be winning in spite of him because I don’t see a whole lot of people demonstrating why he should be getting any credit. We can point to the fact that the players seem to love Cora and that he seems like a smart guy who makes reasoned in game decisions. Has there been any indication that LaRussa has earned the same credit? From what I’m seeing, every player on that team is backing Mercedes.
Cord makes reasoned game decisions? You spend much time in Sox game threads? /s

Lynn is absolutely right, if you’re gonna make a mockery of the game by having a position player toss out 45 mph slip, you can’t get pissed that the other team swings. Wackest thing about baseball is the thinking that “ok we give up, now the other guys gotta stop trying”
 

azsoxpatsfan

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Respect goes both ways. Mercedes is a rookie off to an unexpectedly hot start. Ignoring a take sign and going on about "I'm always doing Yermin" sounds fun, but might not wear well over time. Does that extend to other guidance from coaches he might get when he deals with the rough patches that all players endure?

That doesn't excuse TLR airing it out publicly, but I think reining in a rookie is fine.

Fake edit: Yeah, I think winning in baseball is hard enough that knocking TLR's record because he had good players is nonsense. Lots of teams have good players and underachieve. I don't think it is ever easy to win.
Respect absolutely goes both ways. I think a problem is that, when the manager and the players have vastly different ideas about unwritten rules, it’s going to be hard to fully respect one another. TLR has his ideas about swinging on 3-0, but I doubt yermin, Tim Anderson, and Moncada agree. I think Tatis last year fully destroyed the unwritten rule of not swinging at 3-0, and managers gotta keep up
 

Average Reds

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Respect absolutely goes both ways. I think a problem is that, when the manager and the players have vastly different ideas about unwritten rules, it’s going to be hard to fully respect one another. TLR has his ideas about swinging on 3-0, but I doubt yermin, Tim Anderson, and Moncada agree. I think Tatis last year fully destroyed the unwritten rule of not swinging at 3-0, and managers gotta keep up
The thing I can't believe after reading through this is that TLR is hung up on "respecting your opponent" in the context of a position player pitching in a blowout. It's the most ridiculous, ass-backward comment I can think of.

This has absolutely nothing to do with respecting the game or following a take sign. This is a chance for TLR to take a cheap shot and solidify his position with the owner and the traditional (old, white) fan base who will nod their head about talk solemnly about how important respect is and how younger players need to know "the right way to play the game." And nothing gets the heads nodding more than the "veteran coach breaking in a talented rookie who needs discipline in order to reach his potential."

It's like a scene from Hoosiers brought to life with the added bonus of not needing the Dennis Hopper character because LaRussa can play both the veteran coach and the drunken fool who dispenses sage wisdom like he's the Oracle of Delphi.
 

mauf

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Not backing his player when he got thrown at is a much bigger deal than calling that same player out the day before for swinging at a 3-0 pitch in a 15-4 game. TLR is in trouble when this team faces adversity.
 

BroodsSexton

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Here’s what I don’t understand. Why would you take on 3-0 anyways? To bring another batter to the plate so he can….walk or swing at a fatter pitch? It makes no sense at all any way you slice it. And then to make this the focus after a blowout win is just stupid.
 

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Not backing his player when he got thrown at is a much bigger deal than calling that same player out the day before for swinging at a 3-0 pitch in a 15-4 game. TLR is in trouble when this team faces adversity.
You can't artificially separate those two actions. Because LaRussa couldn't criticize the Twins after he told them his own player disrespected them.

He's a fucking cancer but Reinsdorf loves him because crusty old assholes who hate young baseball players who don't bow in reverence to their power have to stick together.
 

mauf

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You can't artificially separate those two actions. Because LaRussa couldn't criticize the Twins after he told them his own player disrespected them.

He's a fucking cancer but Reinsdorf loves him because crusty old assholes who hate young baseball players who don't bow in reverence to their power have to stick together.
Of course he could criticize the Twins, and defend his players. He would just lose a little face in the process, and he chose not to do that. His players won’t forget his decision anytime soon.

98-win teams don’t have chemistry problems, so if the Chisox continue to win it won’t matter.
 

Tuff Ghost

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This Jomboy video (YouTube link) on the subject of 3-0 pitch / unwritten rules covers my feelings pretty well (the video covers when Tatis hit a grand slam on a 3-0 pitch while up 10-3 last year). The unwritten rules of baseball are so absurd and make the game less interesting.

He says that this unwritten rule is because pitchers are "big babies" mixed with "toxic masculinity" where they can throw a 90+ mph fastball at you if you upset their fragile ego. People want to watch exciting young players play the game of baseball well, not take pitches so that they don't have to worry about getting beaned in the head later on.
 

B H Kim

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LaRussa is such an embarrassment. Disrespecting the other team? If anyone is disrespecting anyone or any team then it’s the Twins for putting a position player in as a pitcher. Mercedes was right to smack that shitty fastball out.
Not really relevant to the discussion, but I find it to be one of the more amusing stats of the season so far: Astudillo has a 4.50 ERA (even after the Mercedes home run). That's better than about half the Twins bullpen.
 

joe dokes

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Missing a sign is like a 10 dollar fine into the Kangaroo Court, according to the Old School Bible, which also says that "thou shalt keep matters in the clubhouse."

I wonder if ol' Tony had a problem with the Twins' "pitcher" throwing 45 when he could obviously throw harder. In other words, he wasn't even trying to play baseball. He's the one who disrespected the game.
As did ol' Tony, when he basically told the other team that it's a-ok if you intentionally throw at one of my best players. And if he gets hurt? Well he deserved it.

What's the MLB equivalent of fragging?
 

sean1562

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It is also the second time they have thrown Astudillo out there this season to pitch in a game like that. Sorry you suck so badly you have decided to punt two games by throwing your meme catcher on the mound to save your nonexistent bullpen, don't cry when he doesn't get another scoreless/hitless outing.
 

soxhop411

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La Russa won't finish the regular season IMO.
Yeah, to me there have been three obviously insanely stupid and inevitably doomed front office moves in MLB in recent years: Bobby V (sorry), Brodie the agent plays GM, and this one. Even besides the constant off field idiocy, there is a good chance that he will break Hendriks.
You can't artificially separate those two actions. Because LaRussa couldn't criticize the Twins after he told them his own player disrespected them.

He's a fucking cancer but Reinsdorf loves him because crusty old assholes who hate young baseball players who don't bow in reverence to their power have to stick together.
@Average Reds has bingo, in any other organization, he would be gone by the end of the week, but if I remember correctly, Reinsdorf forced his GM to hire TLR, and if the DUI shitshow didn't get him canned this wont,
https://www.southsidesox.com/2021/2/17/22287704/jerry-reinsdorf-buried-la-russas-dui-white-sox-carnival-of-media-mismanagement-continues

When the White Sox started the interview process with La Russa in October, he also told Reinsdorf of the [February 2020 DUI]. Reinsdorf didn’t share it with anyone.
 
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YTF

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FWIW, here's my take. A young player either misses or ignores a sign from his manager/coaching staff. That's an issue regardless of the result. Calling the player out for that in the press is also an issue IMO. If LaRussa's asked about it there are other ways to respond. A simple, "That's a conversation that we'll have and that's all I'll say on the matter." would more than suffice. I'm guessing old school Tony's also been a proponent of his players keeping in house issues, in house. He should respond in kind.
 

soxhop411

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good god he continues to make shit worse for his team
View: https://twitter.com/JRFegan/status/1395035024932708360?

“I’m willing to bet there wasn’t anyone in that clubhouse that’s upset that I mentioned that’s not the way we compete” said Tony La Russa about yesterday’s comments
#WhiteSox manager Tony La Russa on firestorm from yesterday: “I’m totally oblivious to that. I don’t pay attention to it.”
View: https://twitter.com/scotgregor/status/1395034063900086273
 

Comfortably Lomb

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soxhop411

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How is it possible that each quote we get from TLR is worse than the last one?
View: https://twitter.com/JesseRogersESPN/status/1395037957518680067

But I did like this line today, when told Lance Lynn basically said 'all bets are off' with a position player out there, lets get the game over with. Tony: "Lance has a locker, I have an office." Tony is either really tight with these guys or.....fill in the blank
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Surprise, surprise, surprise. LaRussa demonstrating again how out of touch he is with the players in his own clubhouse. He might still have the touch when it comes to writing the lineup or making timely pitching changes, but he's a fucking dinosaur.

Can someone refresh me as to why this job was vacant in the first place? They were 35-25 last year and got bounced in the first round of a goofy playoff format. The manager finished second in manager of the year voting. Seems like a team headed in the right direction and not in need of a dramatic change.
 

canderson

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The players should refuse to play, but that just hurts them any worse. MLBPA should slam LaRussa, hard. There's a strike (or lockout) coming up soon IMO, might as well get the ball rolling.
 

E5 Yaz

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"Lance has a locker, I have an office" is one of the great insecure, clueless, Queegian moments
 
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BoSox Rule

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He needs to go, the players need to just lock him out if the clubhouse and refuse to play until he’s gone. He’s so caught up in the unwritten rules that he can’t even bother staying awake drunk at red lights or learning new actual written rules.
 

lexrageorge

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Not backing his player when he got thrown at is a much bigger deal than calling that same player out the day before for swinging at a 3-0 pitch in a 15-4 game. TLR is in trouble when this team faces adversity.
If we wanted to give LaRussa the benefit of the doubt for sign-gate, he could have said in reaction to Duffey throwing at his player:

"I made it clear to everyone last night that Yasmin missed a sign on 3-0, and we took care of the matter internally. There was no need for the Twins to dole out vigilante justice against our player."

Instead, he's basically giving opposing pitches carte blanche to throw at his batters for violating whatever "unwritten rule" that can be conjured up out of the infield grass.
 

soxhop411

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He needs to go, the players need to just lock him out if the clubhouse and refuse to play until he’s gone. He’s so caught up in the unwritten rules that he can’t even bother staying awake drunk at red lights or learning new actual written rules.
Reinsdorf is like Dolan, I dont even think that would cause him to fire his "buddy"