White Sox hire Tony LaRussa as manager

natpastime162

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For shits and giggles, WIkipedia has a written list of the unwritten rules (does that make them un-unwritten?)

Here are some:
  • Do not bunt to break up a no-hitter
  • Do not swing on a 3–0 count when your team is comfortably ahead
  • Do not spend your time admiring a home run you hit
  • Do not steal bases if your team is ahead by a significant amount
  • Do not work the count if your team is winning or losing by a significant amount
  • Do not walk in front of a catcher or umpire when walking to the batter's box
  • Do not stand on the dirt near home plate when the pitcher is warming up
  • Do not speak to a pitcher who is in the process of throwing a no-hitter
  • A pitcher who is removed from the game in the middle of an inning must stay in the dugout until the end of the inning
  • A pitcher should not indicate displeasure if one of his fielders commits an error

(and they also mention not mentioning "no-hitter" during a no-hitter)

I think bunting to break up a no-hitter is OK if the intent is to win the game. Not so OK if the only intent is to avoid your team's embrassment of being no-hit.

(What do we think of, say, some fictional baseball player yelling, "I got it!" as he runs from 2nd to 3rd during a pop-up?)

Some of these bring me back. I still find it hilarious how angry some of the D-backs got. Davis brought the tying run to the plate!
 
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cornwalls@6

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The “code” can go fuck itself. It’s professional athletics, players and teams should compete within the written rules however they see fit.

TLR had right to be annoyed that sign was ignored, but completely butchered his handling of it by publicly throwing a player under the bus.

He then compounded that by agreeing with the opponents when they threw at the player in retaliation. There’s a decent chance he lost the clubhouse with that idiocy.

Since this is all happening to a team I couldn’t care less about, with a manager who’s a bloviating asswipe dinosaur, I’m finding it all pretty amusing.
 

canderson

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The “code” can go fuck itself. It’s professional athletics, players and teams should compete within the written rules however they see fit.

TLR had right to be annoyed that sign was ignored, but completely butchered his handling of it by publicly throwing a player under the bus.

He then compounded that by agreeing with the opponents when they threw at the player in retaliation. There’s a decent chance he lost the clubhouse with that idiocy.

Since this is all happening to a team I couldn’t care less about, with a manager who’s a bloviating asswipe dinosaur, I’m finding it all pretty amusing.
I wanna do dirty things to this post.
 

OurF'ingCity

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Somebody needs to ask La Russa: if it’s not ok to swing on a 3-0 count in a blowout, what about 2-0? What about 1-0? In fact, based on La Russa’s logic, once the game is “out of reach,” shouldn’t batters just never swing at all? And if they get walked, shouldn’t they just stand off of first and allow themselves to be tagged out? Or, conversely, should batters swing and intentionally miss at every pitch? Why is trying to get a hit in some circumstances in a blowout ok, but in other circumstances not ok?

When you apply even an ounce of logic to La Russa’s thinking it instantly crumbles.
 

mauf

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For shits and giggles, WIkipedia has a written list of the unwritten rules (does that make them un-unwritten?)

Here are some:
  • Do not bunt to break up a no-hitter
  • Do not swing on a 3–0 count when your team is comfortably ahead
  • Do not spend your time admiring a home run you hit
  • Do not steal bases if your team is ahead by a significant amount
  • Do not work the count if your team is winning or losing by a significant amount
  • Do not walk in front of a catcher or umpire when walking to the batter's box
  • Do not stand on the dirt near home plate when the pitcher is warming up
  • Do not speak to a pitcher who is in the process of throwing a no-hitter
  • A pitcher who is removed from the game in the middle of an inning must stay in the dugout until the end of the inning
  • A pitcher should not indicate displeasure if one of his fielders commits an error

(and they also mention not mentioning "no-hitter" during a no-hitter)

I think bunting to break up a no-hitter is OK if the intent is to win the game. Not so OK if the only intent is to avoid your team's embrassment of being no-hit.

(What do we think of, say, some fictional baseball player yelling, "I got it!" as he runs from 2nd to 3rd during a pop-up?)
The last one is fine. Don’t embarrass your teammates in public. The rest are as dumb as dumb gets.
I’m ok with no SB attempts in lopsided games too, so long as the defense still holds the runner. There’s no call for a meaningless play that poses a relatively high risk of injury. But if the defense doesn’t hold the runner, take the base — no one’s getting hurt on a defensive-indifference play.

Edit: Of course, some self-appointed guardian of the unwritten rules will then decide you get thrown at for stealing in a 4-run game or something. So I’m down with ignoring these rules altogether.
 
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mauf

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Exactly to the bolded. I remember a couple games in high school where we up 10 or 12 runs in the 6th of a 7 inning game. Coach told us to go up hacking even if the pitcher was struggling to find the plate, because a ball in play was a chance for the defense to make an out and get the game over with. Walks don't help get us back on the bus.
A lot of these unwritten rules probably have their roots in situations like this, where the team winning by 10+ runs is light-years better than the other team and sportsmanship may well counsel not trying your hardest in the last inning or two. It’s applying those rules to the major leagues, where the worst team probably beats the best team at least one time out of four, where things get dumb.
 

grimshaw

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Until arbitrators come up with a better system of determining someone's market value, I have zero issue with players doing whatever the hell they want to compile stats.
 

ngruz25

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Was there anything stopping the Twins from forfeiting in the 9th inning?

If you haven't actually watched the video of the 45 mph eephus pitches that were being lobbed, I encourage you. That the Twins would field a "pitcher" like that is far, FAR more offensive than anything Yermin did.
 

PC Drunken Friar

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Was there anything stopping the Twins from forfeiting in the 9th inning?

If you haven't actually watched the video of the 45 mph eephus pitches that were being lobbed, I encourage you. That the Twins would field a "pitcher" like that is far, FAR more offensive than anything Yermin did.
Exactly. Harold Reynolds had a piece on this. He timed the AB. The dude threw the 4th pitch at the 23rd second mark. He was just getting the ball back and throwing right away. No time to look for the take sign. If that were ball 1, should he have laid off the next one as well?
 

Comfortably Lomb

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The idea that putting a position player on the mound is somehow insulting is about as dumb as the don't swing 3-0 thing. It's like people run around looking for ways their fragile egos can be bruised.
 

Average Reds

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The idea that putting a position player on the mound is somehow insulting is about as dumb as the don't swing 3-0 thing. It's like people run around looking for ways their fragile egos can be bruised.
I don’t think anyone is actually claiming that we should think of it that way. It’s silly about placing LaRussa’s bullshit “respect the game” comments in context.
 

ngruz25

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The idea that putting a position player on the mound is somehow insulting is about as dumb as the don't swing 3-0 thing. It's like people run around looking for ways their fragile egos can be bruised.
It's less about the position player pitching than HOW he was pitching. I would be embarrassed lobbing "ceremonial first pitch" pitches like that. It also placed the hitters in an awkward position of needing to swing at terrible pitches for the sole purpose of getting the game over with or not embarrassing the Twins further.

And to be clear, I don't care about the way the dude pitched in a blowout game that nobody should ever think about again. I only care because, for whatever reason, people seem to care about the way the White Sox acted in that inning. You can't finger wag at the White Sox while ignoring that the Twins had stopped even trying to play professional baseball.
 

Awesome Fossum

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The idea that putting a position player on the mound is somehow insulting is about as dumb as the don't swing 3-0 thing. It's like people run around looking for ways their fragile egos can be bruised.
Totally agree. Baseball is supposed to be fun. In a blowout, overweight position players throwing 45 mph lobs and batters trying to hit it to the moon is about as fun as it's going to get. And if we can't even do that without getting bent out of shape, we should just introduce a mercy rule. But it definitely seems like everyone taking themselves just a little bit less seriously would be the easier solution.
 

ngruz25

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He's a catcher, so he obviously has a bit of an arm. He's lobbing it because that's actually harder to hit than 82 mph fastballs with no movement.

His ERA+ for the season is 103, tied for third among Twins relievers.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CDsJCGcJcI&t=103s
But again, watch the video. These pitches were nowhere near strikes. And they were being thrown rapid fire batting practice style for the most part. Ignore GameDay because they weren't registering the pitches correctly. He threw exactly two eephus pitches anywhere near the plate (one popped up for an out and one hit for a home run). The White Sox were well within their rights to just wait for him to actually throw real pitches, taking walk after walk along the way. Instead, they swung away in an effort to get it over with.

This is all so stupid.
 

Doc Zero

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Remy was going on and on about "respecting your opponent" during the game last night, saying that Mercedes shouldn't have made the 3-0 swing, and it's just, like, c'mon, man...!
 

cournoyer

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Remy was going on and on about "respecting your opponent" during the game last night, saying that Mercedes shouldn't have made the 3-0 swing, and it's just, like, c'mon, man...!
It's really interesting hearing the differences between the two sides to me. For me, I''d consider myself a baseball purist that does take some stock in unwritten rules being a part of the game sometimes, so at first glance I found myself siding with LaRussa. I get it, especially if he was yelling "take" from the dugout and he basically said screw you and took him deep. That would piss me off as a manager, regardless of the situation. I think we know which direction Sosh will lean at times, and I get that too. There's been some really legitimate points being made, particularly about it just being a fun game. You have Astudillo, one of the few "characters" in the league tossing eephus pitches and daring guys to swing as hard as they can. That's just fun, no matter how you slice it. At some point you just have to realize that it's not the end of the world. They're having fun with it, you're allowed to have fun with it too. The game is over at this point, swing the bat and whatever happens happens.

With that being said, I'm not sure how to read the Twins' response to everything. If LaRussa doesn't open his mouth once, does his player still get thrown at? If the answer is yes, then I think LaRussa has a point and your issue should be with the game of baseball and not just bringing up the guy's DUIs for some reason and hating him because he's "old school". Reading the entirety of this thread, he has clearly been a disliked person on this corner of the internet from the moment he was hired. I just think if the Twins were throwing at his player for going yard on the 3-0 count regardless of what LaRussa says, your issue should be more about the game of baseball.
 

Spud

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Nov 15, 2006
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Remy was going on and on about "respecting your opponent" during the game last night, saying that Mercedes shouldn't have made the 3-0 swing, and it's just, like, c'mon, man...!
Remy was definitely up on his soap box last night. Ellis B. said he wouldn't have swung 3-0 but seemed more inclined to a position of "who cares" about the whole brew ha ha.

On that note, it's worth comparing the crap show that has developed out of this with the near universal sentiment of "have fun" when Rizzo struck out Freeman last month. I think La Russa hanging his player out to dry with the press is the primary difference between the two. Get over it!
 

The Gray Eagle

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The "rules" are unwritten because actually writing them out shows how dumb and vague they are.
  • Do not bunt to break up a no-hitter
  • Do not swing on a 3–0 count when your team is comfortably ahead
  • Do not spend your time admiring a home run you hit
  • Do not steal bases if your team is ahead by a significant amount
  • Do not work the count if your team is winning or losing by a significant amount
  • Do not walk in front of a catcher or umpire when walking to the batter's box
  • Do not stand on the dirt near home plate when the pitcher is warming up
  • Do not speak to a pitcher who is in the process of throwing a no-hitter
  • A pitcher who is removed from the game in the middle of an inning must stay in the dugout until the end of the inning
  • A pitcher should not indicate displeasure if one of his fielders commits an error
Surely everyone agrees on the exact definition of "comfortably ahead" and "ahead by a significant amount." Crystal clear. It's a lead of 8 or more runs in the 7th inning or later.
No wait, is it a lead of 7 or more runs in the 8th inning? Or is it a lead of 6 or more in the 7th? What about a 5-run lead in the 6th, but the pitcher is really cruising and is unlikely to blow it?
Or is it only double digits in the 9th inning?

Whatever kind of lead meant you were "comfortably ahead" in 1968, it should have been a different, larger number in 2000. Now it should be a slightly smaller lead than in 2000, but bigger than whatever it was in 1968.

What if a team is up by 4 with 2 out and no one on base in the 9th and a really good pitcher on the mound? 4 runs isn't that many, but it's really unlikely that they will come back.

What if a team is up by 7 in the second inning, but they have a spent bullpen and the other team already has 4 runs and has the bases loaded with no one out-- is the first team "comfortably ahead"?

How much time is a player allowed to spend admiring his home run before it's a rule violation? 0 seconds? A half second? 1 second? Do you time it from when his swing is completely finished until he starts running down the baseline? What if he trots right away but celebrates as he goes? What if he stares at the flight of the ball as he trots? Can he brag about how awesome he is as he rounds the bases? Is that offensive?
What counts as admiring? Can he raise his hand or pump his fist? Can he do those things sometimes but not others?

That hitter had better not trot too slowly around the bases, that is horribly insulting to the other team. No one times it as it's happening, but you can just tell when a trot is so slow that it's meant to be insulting. Except if the batter is really old or has an injured leg, then he can take his time. Unless he is faking it. You can just tell when a guy does that.

When the pitcher is warming up, you can stand on the grass that borders the dirt near the plate, that's all good, no problem. But if you are 6 inches closer and standing on the dirt itself, that is a violation and swift payback must be administered.

A pitcher is in the process of throwing a no-hitter when it's the 8th inning or later and he's allowed no hits. Also the 7th, and the 6th. But NOT the first inning, that would be dumb. Or the second or third. But if it's the 4th and there are 2 outs, that's actually almost halfway through, so no one should talk to him from then on. But if he's walked a bunch of guys and it's the 5th inning, you can talk to him, because you just know he's never going to finish it. It's all just common sense.

A pitcher indicates displeasure with a fielder by rolling his eyes. Or waving his hands in the air. Or muttering in a whisper, or flipping him the bird. If he claps sarcastically, that is really offensive. But if he claps sincerely, then he is being a good teammate. It's easy to tell the degree of sincerity in a guy's clapping, anyone can do that, it's obvious.

If he stomps his feet or punches his own glove, he is clearly just being mad at himself and isn't showing anyone up. But if he yells "Come on, let's go" after an error, then he is obviously indicating displeasure. Or possibly being encouraging, depending on the look in his eyes, or his tone of voice, which almost no one can hear.

These violations are all so clear that no one could possibly misunderstand them.

The penalties for each violation are even more clear, that's why they aren't even mentioned in the unwritten rules.
 

Mystic Merlin

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The unwritten rules premised on the amount of a lead are especially stupid since it’s an untimed sport where no lead is theoretically safe enough to essentially pack it in so as not to upset the delicate sensibilities of the other team (or, it would appear in some cases, your own manager).
 

ledsox

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He's a catcher, so he obviously has a bit of an arm. He's lobbing it because that's actually harder to hit than 82 mph fastballs with no movement.

His ERA+ for the season is 103, tied for third among Twins relievers.
He was also throwing “fastballs” in his outings and he retired 5 in a row on only 12 pitches before the HR of disrespect.

The other one that got me scratching my head was the Dodgers getting upset that an Angels batter bunted for a hit against them while LA was up 13-0. The bunt failed but I just don’t get some of these attitudes. Kershaw was yelling “stupid play”. I mean the guy was trying to get on base That game ended up 14 to 11.
 
How much of this thread's output in the past week is fundamentally driven by what LaRussa did, and how much of it is driven by who LaRussa is? I don't like what has happened, and I don't like LaRussa...but if, say, Brian Snitker had done what LaRussa has done, would people really be up in arms about it to this extent?
 

JimD

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I'm not the biggest John Tomase fan, but he's absolutely spot on here - Alex Cora would have been the perfect hire for the White Sox and they didn't even try:

Before the Red Sox could win it all in 2004, they needed to jettison Grady Little and replace him with a new-school manager seeking a second chance. Terry Francona delivered and then some, leading the club to a pair of titles.

Fifteen years later, the Chicago White Sox faced a similar crossroads. The 2020 club led the American League Central nearly all season, the culmination of a patient rebuild finally bearing fruit, before stumbling at the finish and losing the wild card series to the Oakland A's.

They fired the popular Rick Renteria just days before he finished second in the AL Manager of the Year race, recognizing the need for someone younger and more dynamic to take their talented core to the next level. So it came as no surprise on Halloween when they introduced Alex Cora as their 41st manager, capitalizing on the end of his season-long suspension to offer him a shot at redemption while showing the next generation how to win it all.

"In the end," said White Sox GM Rick Hahn, "this was simply too perfect an opportunity to ignore, and while many may disagree with our decision, we're confident that Alex has learned some important lessons over the past year. He's been humbled, and we know he's as hungry as we are to raise our first banner since 2005."

Except that's not what happened.
Tomase: La Russa's act a reminder White Sox should have hired Cora
 

jon abbey

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How much of this thread's output in the past week is fundamentally driven by what LaRussa did, and how much of it is driven by who LaRussa is? I don't like what has happened, and I don't like LaRussa...but if, say, Brian Snitker had done what LaRussa has done, would people really be up in arms about it to this extent?
I think part of the point is no other current manager would have done what he did, calling his player out publicly (and being wrong about it) and then doubling and tripling down on it.
 

Just a bit outside

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How much of this thread's output in the past week is fundamentally driven by what LaRussa did, and how much of it is driven by who LaRussa is? I don't like what has happened, and I don't like LaRussa...but if, say, Brian Snitker had done what LaRussa has done, would people really be up in arms about it to this extent?
I think if any manager said it is a good idea to throw at a player on his team there would be outrage. I can’t imagine another manager doing it.
 

YTF

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I think part of the point is no other current manager would have done what he did, calling his player out publicly (and being wrong about it) and then doubling and tripling down on it.
Yep, doubling and tripling down on shit only works when it strengthens your argument. Quite often it has the opposite affect and in many cases there is a good reason for it.
 

jon abbey

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Didn't Tingler just do something similar to Tatis last year?
No, it was the same situation (although it was a pitcher pitching, not a position player, and just a 10-3 lead) but Tingler handled it way way better:

After he missed a take sign on 3-0:

"He's young, a free spirit and focused and all those things,'' Tingler said. "That's the last thing that we'll ever take away. It's a learning opportunity, and that's it. He'll grow from it."

"I'm happy the 21-year-old missed the sign there and opened up the game," Tingler said. "I'm glad he missed this one."

After he was thrown at the next night:

"That whole stuff is just tired, throwing at players and throwing behind them. It's just tired."

https://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/sports/padres-fernando-tatis-jr-gets-heat-for-hitting-grand-slam/2387461/
 

jon abbey

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On top of everything, LaRussa is always talking down to everyone around him, the press, his players, everyone. I still can't get over that office/locker bullshit to Lance Lynn.
 

OurF'ingCity

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The "rules" are unwritten because actually writing them out shows how dumb and vague they are.
  • Do not bunt to break up a no-hitter
  • Do not swing on a 3–0 count when your team is comfortably ahead
  • Do not spend your time admiring a home run you hit
  • Do not steal bases if your team is ahead by a significant amount
  • Do not work the count if your team is winning or losing by a significant amount
  • Do not walk in front of a catcher or umpire when walking to the batter's box
  • Do not stand on the dirt near home plate when the pitcher is warming up
  • Do not speak to a pitcher who is in the process of throwing a no-hitter
  • A pitcher who is removed from the game in the middle of an inning must stay in the dugout until the end of the inning
  • A pitcher should not indicate displeasure if one of his fielders commits an error
Surely everyone agrees on the exact definition of "comfortably ahead" and "ahead by a significant amount." Crystal clear. It's a lead of 8 or more runs in the 7th inning or later.
No wait, is it a lead of 7 or more runs in the 8th inning? Or is it a lead of 6 or more in the 7th? What about a 5-run lead in the 6th, but the pitcher is really cruising and is unlikely to blow it?
Or is it only double digits in the 9th inning?

Whatever kind of lead meant you were "comfortably ahead" in 1968, it should have been a different, larger number in 2000. Now it should be a slightly smaller lead than in 2000, but bigger than whatever it was in 1968.

What if a team is up by 4 with 2 out and no one on base in the 9th and a really good pitcher on the mound? 4 runs isn't that many, but it's really unlikely that they will come back.

What if a team is up by 7 in the second inning, but they have a spent bullpen and the other team already has 4 runs and has the bases loaded with no one out-- is the first team "comfortably ahead"?

How much time is a player allowed to spend admiring his home run before it's a rule violation? 0 seconds? A half second? 1 second? Do you time it from when his swing is completely finished until he starts running down the baseline? What if he trots right away but celebrates as he goes? What if he stares at the flight of the ball as he trots? Can he brag about how awesome he is as he rounds the bases? Is that offensive?
What counts as admiring? Can he raise his hand or pump his fist? Can he do those things sometimes but not others?

That hitter had better not trot too slowly around the bases, that is horribly insulting to the other team. No one times it as it's happening, but you can just tell when a trot is so slow that it's meant to be insulting. Except if the batter is really old or has an injured leg, then he can take his time. Unless he is faking it. You can just tell when a guy does that.

When the pitcher is warming up, you can stand on the grass that borders the dirt near the plate, that's all good, no problem. But if you are 6 inches closer and standing on the dirt itself, that is a violation and swift payback must be administered.

A pitcher is in the process of throwing a no-hitter when it's the 8th inning or later and he's allowed no hits. Also the 7th, and the 6th. But NOT the first inning, that would be dumb. Or the second or third. But if it's the 4th and there are 2 outs, that's actually almost halfway through, so no one should talk to him from then on. But if he's walked a bunch of guys and it's the 5th inning, you can talk to him, because you just know he's never going to finish it. It's all just common sense.

A pitcher indicates displeasure with a fielder by rolling his eyes. Or waving his hands in the air. Or muttering in a whisper, or flipping him the bird. If he claps sarcastically, that is really offensive. But if he claps sincerely, then he is being a good teammate. It's easy to tell the degree of sincerity in a guy's clapping, anyone can do that, it's obvious.

If he stomps his feet or punches his own glove, he is clearly just being mad at himself and isn't showing anyone up. But if he yells "Come on, let's go" after an error, then he is obviously indicating displeasure. Or possibly being encouraging, depending on the look in his eyes, or his tone of voice, which almost no one can hear.

These violations are all so clear that no one could possibly misunderstand them.

The penalties for each violation are even more clear, that's why they aren't even mentioned in the unwritten rules.
Excellent post. And you didn't even mention the "don't bunt to break up a no hitter" rule, which is equally if not more stupid. Does that mean you can't bunt in the first inning if the pitcher hasn't given up a hit yet? And if not, when does it switch from "bunting to get a hit" to "bunting to break up a no hitter"? Fifth inning? Sixth? Ninth? And what happens if someone is throwing a no-hitter in the 9th but the game is 1-0 (or even 2-0, 3-0, or 4-0)? If the batter thinks his best chance of getting on base is to bunt (which actually might make more sense if the pitcher is throwing really well), the batter is just supposed to intentionally harm his team's chances to potentially win? It's all so stupid.
 

Van Everyman

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As always, Eck has the best take:

Eckersley was La Russa’s Hall of Fame closer for many seasons with the Oakland A’s. Eck was often demonstrative on the mound, celebrating after punching out his victims. He is 66 years old, remains loyal to La Russa, and sees both sides of the argument, but said, “Once you put a position player out there to pitch, everything seems to go out the window to me a little bit. If somebody’s throwing lollipops out there, who gives a [expletive] what the hitter is doing? I’m kind of not with Tony on this.

“The problem is that if the manager gives him a take sign, the batter is supposed to take regardless.”

Eckersley doesn’t push back on bat flips after home runs.

“I gave up enough homers,” he said. “I got you, you got me, whatever. I didn’t really mind. When you give up home runs in money time, that’s life. They’re happy. They’re glad. You can do whatever you want to do. It’s the ninth inning, for [expletive] sake.”

What about the unwritten rules of diamond decorum?

“I think time has sort of made them fade away,” said Eck. “But what rules? This one in particular, this 3-and-0 [expletive]? What I don’t know is if Tony talked to the player before he went off on him with the media. He must have said something to him about the take sign before he talked to the media.

“But these days it gets out of hand with the players’ Twitter accounts and whatever. How do you control that? It’s a tough job to manage today.”

As for for Lynn thing:

When Lynn came to the defense of Mercedes, La Russa responded with, “Lance has a locker, I have an office.”

“Tony used to say that to me,” Eckersley said. “I love that line. Basically, he’s saying, ‘Shove it. I’m the [expletive] boss.’ And that’s where we come from. That’s where I come from. Do what the manager says. And he did give you the take sign.

“I go both ways on this,” Eck said with a sigh. “Sometimes I wish I didn’t pay attention. Being oblivious can be a beautiful thing.

“I know nobody wants to hear us say, ‘Poor Tony’s getting buried.’ But he is old — and so are we! That’s the message here: If you’re old, you’d better duck!”
https://www.bostonglobe.com/2021/05/21/sports/getting-dennis-eckersleys-take-tony-la-russa-flap-other-thoughts/
 

Van Everyman

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Not an enormous fan of Deadspin anymore (Deadscab? Reanimated-Spin?) but apparently TLR messed up the bullpen strategy last night as well:

La Russa is still managing like it’s 1989
38 minutes ago

Dennis Eckerlsey is not walking through that door.
Dennis Eckerlsey is not walking through that door.Image: Getty Images
The Yankees and White Sox combined for 26 strikeouts in a nine-inning game. In 2012, that’s not so surprising. What is a bit of a stunner is that Aroldis Chapman didn’t get any of those K’s. Carlos Rodón fanned 13, Jordan Montgomery punched out 11, and Michael Kopech added two whiffs out of the Chicago bullpen.

Why didn’t Chapman have any strikeouts? Because with runners on first and second in the top of the ninth inning, Andrew Vaughn hit into an around-the-horn triple play.
In the bottom of the ninth, Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa declined to insert his warmed-up relief ace, Liam Hendriks, instead leaving Evan Marshall and his 1.51 career WHIP in to face the meat of the Yankees’ lineup: Aaron Judge, Gio Urshela, and Gleyber Torres.

Judge ripped a 107 mph single over second base, Urshela lined a single of his own to right, and Torres sizzled a ground ball through the left side of the infield for a walkoff single.

So, it’s not just the culture of today’s game that makes La Russa look like a dinosaur. Apparently he missed the shift in strategy where managers have tended more toward having their best pitcher face — get this — the opponent’s best hitters, rather than wait to protect a lead that might never come.

The fallacy of managing to the save statistic, which La Russa helped popularize with his strictly-defined bullpen roles for the 1980s A’s, was exposed most clearly in the 2016 American League wild card game, when Orioles manager Buck Showalter never got Zack Britton into an 11-inning game and Baltimore’s season ended on an Edwin Encarnación three-run homer off Ubaldo Jiménez.

La Russa probably was too angry about how Encarnación and the Blue Jays celebrated.

Then again, this is a guy who couldn’t be bothered to learn the rules of the season he’s currently managing in, so who knows what he was doing in 2016.
Also, h/t for the nice shade of including a pic of TLR also being incapable of wearing a mask properly.
 

jon abbey

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Yeah, I was pretty confused watching that game. I knew Hendriks was totally warm before the inning and it took me two batters to realize Marshall was still in, that possibility didn't even occur to me.
 

Ford Frick's Asterisk

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That's the least surprising thing to happen in 2021. Expecting the guy who basically branded "managing to the save statistic" to move beyond that strategy is like asking him to abandon his child.
 

Sandwich Pick

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On top of everything, LaRussa is always talking down to everyone around him, the press, his players, everyone. I still can't get over that office/locker bullshit to Lance Lynn.
I think a lot of this is rooted in the fact that, to him, it's a basic truth that he's the smartest and most important guy in the room. And he's really struggling with the reality that he's not.
 

jon abbey

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The White Sox have 3 sacrifice bunts today, first time an AL team has done that in a nine inning game since 2017.

In related news, they have no runs and are down 1-0 after 7.
 

BornToRun

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The White Sox have 3 sacrifice bunts today, first time an AL team has done that in a nine inning game since 2017.

In related news, they have no runs and are down 1-0 after 7.
Listening to the game on the radio as I work and I think the first one was pretty dumb, 2 on no out.

the next one was Billy Hamilton with a guy on first and none out which I can see. He sucks at hitting and laying one down is his best bet to reach. Last one was same scenario but with the catcher up and I think it might’ve been lefty-lefty but I don’t know what the splits are.
 

jon abbey

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Yeah, I just really dislike LaRussa so I’m quick to mock, it’s probably not always totally fair but I think usually it is.

Yermin Mercedes has stranded 10 runners in 4 ABs today, yikes.