The White Sox turned a lot of heads in the baseball world when they hired 76-year-old Tony La Russa as their manager this past offseason. La Russa was hoping to prove everybody wrong that he could still be a great skipper in this day-in-age. But so far, he’s doing just the opposite.
In the early-going of the 2021 season, La Russa has irked the Sox fan base with his reluctance to conform to new-school baseball, and his insisting on playing his veterans over talented prospects. Today, La Russa may have made a mistake during his post game presser, and fans will most definitely not be happy with this one.
La Russa was unaware of a new rule that would have given him the chance to not use closer Liam Hendriks as his runner in the tenth inning.
Hendriks was double-switched into the game in the ninth inning, and took to the spot of the player who had made the last out in the previous inning. The new extra-inning rule has the last out starting on second base, so that would be Hendriks. However, the MLB instated a clause that would allow the team to use the guy who got the second-to-last out if the pitchers’ spot was the last out.
“I didn’t know that,” La Russa said after the 1-0 loss via ESPN. “We all thought Liam was going to be the runner. I wasn’t aware Abreu could have run. I thought it was the guy that made the last out or the spot in that order.”
Fans were completely shook that a big league manager actually admitted to not knowing the rules of the game.
The White Sox are tied for the most wins in the AL Central and have the best run differential by a lot, but I would still fire Tony La Russa anyway. I really would. You’ve got a shot to do something special this year and your manager straight up doesn’t know the rules. See ya.
— Jared Carrabis (@Jared_Carrabis) May 5, 2021
At this point, if you are still defending Tony La Russa, it’s out of nothing but a stubborn refusal to change your mind when presented with new information.
— Patrick Nolan (@SoxMach_pnoles) May 5, 2021
Tony La Russa’s postgame presser today could — and should — be considered a fireable offense.
— Shane Riordan (@shane_riordan) May 5, 2021
Who could have possibly predicted Tony La Russa being an active detriment to this White Sox season, besides for everyone in the world?
— Ricky O’Donnell (@SBN_Ricky) May 5, 2021
Pausing the positive vibes only tour for a minute to take a piss and to say Tony La Russa completely blows and it’s disgusting that he was forced onto the front office, players and fans
— whitesoxdave (@barstoolWSD) May 5, 2021
La Russa doesn’t know the rules for extra innings. He’s literally a major league manager that doesn’t know how the game is played
This is not excusable pic.twitter.com/chNowkc0ky
— White Sox HQ (@WhiteSoxHQ) May 5, 2021
If you’re keeping tabs at home:
(1) La Russa does a double switch that puts Hendriks as the runner at 2b
(2) He doesn’t pinch hit for Billy Hamilton with a power guy like Collins on the bench. With 1 out and runners and 1st and 3rd.
— TheMoncadaArmada (@HashTagWhiteSox) May 5, 2021
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It’s safe to say that Tony La Russa’s age is showing so far, and that’s the worst case scenario for the Sox brass who knew he’d be under the microscope. It’s possible that baseball (a game moving heavily towards analytics) is just no place for a 76-year-old man. Who would have thought?
Luckily for La Russa and the Sox, there’s a long season ahead. Maybe he should brush up on his rules knowledge, though.
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