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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“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)