Tony La Russa dodges jail with reckless driving plea

27 July 2014: Tony La Russa waits to make his acceptance speech during the class of 2014 National Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the Clark Sports Center in Cooperstown, New York.

Tony La Russa’s DUI case was resolved in Arizona’s Maricopa County court this morning. As previously reported, La Russa pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of reckless driving, which is the biggest difference between this case and his drunk driving conviction in 2007.

It’s worth comparing the two, because the fact that already had a DUI conviction on his record — and this one had all the markings of a similar incident — makes this more than an isolated case of poor judgment.


  • 2020: $1,383
  • 2007: $678.50 ($872.29 in 2020 dollars)


  • 2020: One day in jail, commuted to home detention.
  • 2007: Six months’ probation.


  • 2020: 20 hours of community service (his lawyer claims La Russa completed treatment),.
  • 2007: Complete DUI school and any recommended treatment, 50 hours of community service.

La Russa paid more in cash this time around, but less in every other facet, especially considering everybody is serving some form of home detention these days without breaking the law. James Fegan says La Russa and the White Sox are supposed to speak more about the matter later today. For now, we can only compare quotes from La Russa’s defense…


Larry Kazan, 2020:

David Roth, 2007: “I accept full responsibility for my conduct, and assure everyone that I have learned a very valuable lesson and that this will never occur again.”

At least he’ll get an idea of what it’s like when his idea of “sincere” isn’t taken at face value.

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On a related note, thanks to everybody who purchased “Hall of Famer Baseball Person” t-shirts. There are still a few smalls left, but we figured this was as good a day as any to submit the proceeds to the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists, with a little added money to get to a nice, round number:

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Update: The White Sox released a statement:

“With today’s announcement, Tony La Russa accepted responsibility and has been held legally accountable for his poor behavior and the questionable choices he made last February. The White Sox understand the anger and concern expressed by some about hiring Tony under these circumstances.

Tony has expressed to us his remorse, and he understands he brought this on himself.

We understand that people make mistakes and exercise poor judgment in life. In this case, Tony is fortunate his decisions that night did not injure himself or anyone else. We also believe people deserve the opportunity, at all points in their lives, to improve. Tony knows there is no safety net below him. There cannot be a third strike.

Tony has a proud and productive history with the White Sox and Major League Baseball, which is why we are standing by him. He has done his job exceptionally well in the past. He has always shown an ability to inspire his players and to bring his teams to a championship level. We are confident that Tony will improve our team, while improving himself.”

La Russa also had some things to say, most notably that he doesn’t have a drinking problem. I’ll get to those as I process the conclusion of this chapter in a post tomorrow morning.

(Photo by Jerome Davis/Icon Sportswire)

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Good work Jim, creating something positive out of this mess. You make the soxmachine supporters proud by doing this.

from the attorneys statement,
“a straightforward, sincere man”
A little wordy there. I would’ve just said he’s legit.

Last edited 3 years ago by andyfaust

Well bravo to all of you then.

Shingos Cheeseburgers

One day of home detention, during a time when we all should be staying home for the greater good, is a fuckin joke.

Fantastic work on the shirts and subsequent donations. As many have said it makes the most out of a bad situation and allows for a means of silent protest.

As Cirensica

It is just one day. Not defending TLR but a 1 day in jail is just a moronic punishment for anything. Not worth the effort other than a tainted “jail time served” in his resume.

As Cirensica

The amount neg recs makes me think I needed to expand on my thoughts a little. I am not against jailing people for crimes committed.

Having said that, putting people in jail costs money (taxpayer’s money). There is administrative costs. You have to bullid jails and maintain them. You have to feed them. Provide clothing. A clean bathroom, etc. For one fucking day? Just type the guy served 1 day in jailed in his records, and send him home so they feed themselves.

I wonder how much money is costing to the state of Arizona to put a guy in jail for 1 day every time there is a DUI. The penalty they charge gets diluted stupidly. Nobody is gonna care to spend one meager day in jail. It won’t deter wrongdoers. Either increase the amount of days in jail or make the penalty very steep (or both).

Last edited 3 years ago by As Cirensica

Question for the press conference. What are you going to binge watch during your day of home retention?

As Cirensica

I also need ideas. I have nothing. I have been told Lost in Space is decent. And Borgen. So I have both on my list. Other than that. I’ve got nothing. New Archer season came up recently to Canada, but it was just merely 8 episodes, and I watched them all this past weekend. It was easily the worse Archer season ever.


Borgen is very good.


Some things we’ve watched and enjoyed recently…
Good Morning, Veronica – a Brazilian cop show
Barbarians – a German show about a Germanic rebellion against Rome
Space Force – a comedy about the Space Force
Never Have I Ever – an Indian-American coming og age story narrated by John McEnroe
Giri/Haji – a Japanese/British crime show
After Life – a heartfelt Ricky Gervais comedy about loss
Hap & Leonard – I don’t even know how to describe it
Babylon Berlin – a crime show set during the rise of Naziism
Occupied – Russia stages a bloodless takeover of Norway
Fauda – an Israeli special forces show

Your mileage may vary. I could go on.


Here are several series on Netflix you may enjoy:

Into The Night
Black Mirror
The English Game
The Kominsky Method


It’ll always be Kominsky to me.


I see what you did there. very good.


Given that he says he’s still drinking, should the question involve the word binge?


$1000! You should ask the Sox if they’ll match the amount.


Maybe the Sox will announce a big signing in the next day or two – you know how they like to change the narrative.


I’m curious about this bit from the team’s statement:

Tony knows there is no safety net below him. There cannot be a third strike.

Does that mean he’s fired if there’s another arrest? How will reporters get the team to expand on this comment?


White Sox going full farce with a cheesy “strike three” analogy, as if this is an offense that can allow for multiple slips.

Truly embarrassing how much time and resources our club has spent this offseason to try to justify this hiring, instead of the quick and correct action of terminating this bad idea and hiring one of the many candidates worthy of a first chance instead of a third.

Eagle Bones

So a couple of things here:

  1. Is his license not even being suspended? That seems like the minimum that should have happened here.
  2. I’m all for second chances, but this quote below rings hollow to me. Giving people second chances without asking them to first prove they have changed seems more like condoning that person’s actions rather than giving them a second chance. It also seems fair to ask whether certain transgressions should disqualify you from holding certain positions (i.e. a high-profile, highly paid position leading 26 young men in their 20s and 30s). I’m not saying Tony should be thrown in the gulag for the rest of his life, but maybe there is another role that would be more befitting of an actually rehabilitated LaRussa like speaking to people about the challenges he’s had with alcohol and trying to influence them to make these same changes in their lives that it appears he has yet to make himself.

We also believe people deserve the opportunity, at all points in their lives, to improve. Tony knows there is no safety net below him. There cannot be a third strike.

Shingos Cheeseburgers

Will he be able to manage games in Toronto?

As Cirensica

Any American that has a felony conviction on their criminal record may not be permitted entry into Canada unless they have received special permission from the Canadian Government. … The second option is Criminal Rehabilitation, which is Canada’s permanent solution for criminally inadmissible foreign nationals.


Last edited 3 years ago by As Cirensica

You guys hit the trifecta of grace, irony, and wit. Congratulations. Made me a little proud just to be a supporter.

Root Cause

It is simple math in the 4th dimension of wealth. Where there is no net, there is no floor.