You heard it here first: It sucks that the White Sox failed to win the World Series this year.
Buried in the pile of benefits of your favorite team winning just its fourth-ever championship, it was the only way to peacefully resolve the Tony La Russa hiring. Those who celebrated La Russa’s return could take a victory lap, and just about everybody who railed against the hiring would be too busy celebrating to care about that particular scoreboard.
And then La Russa might decide to retire. Having passed John McGraw for sole ownership of second place on the all-time managerial wins list, and having won a fourth ring for the franchise that gave him his start in the field, there’d really be no more worlds to conquer.
Alas, unfinished business remains, and because La Russa is 1) a White Sox manager and 2) a favorite of Jerry Reinsdorf’s, everybody involved can’t help but chart the future of the dugout in the most convoluted fashion. La Russa made it sound like an open question after the game …
“You don’t want to come back [just] because you got a contract,” he said. “I would just leave if they don’t want you back.
“If they say yes, then you ask the players. You know? They should choose whom they want to manage.”
We’re to believe the Sox players can essentially fire La Russa?
“If the players don’t want you,” he said, “then you walk away.”
… and if he were fishing for compliments, then he caught his limit. José Abreu praised him after the Game 4 loss, and Tim Anderson went even further:
“Huge impact,” said Anderson of La Russa. “Everybody thought we weren’t going to get along, but we were talking behind the scenes the whole time. For him, the players come first, and he makes that known. We’re one big family, but he did a great job coming in and being a part of what we’re trying to do.
“I couldn’t be more happy with what he did. The relationship was great, overall, with the players. Everybody was just getting along with him. He came in and did what he was supposed to do, and hopefully he can step right back in and continue to push us next year and make these decisions that he did. I was very pleased with how he handled it.”
With the Cardinals firing Mike Shildt on Thursday, one could supposedly connect some dots between La Russa’s uncertain future in Chicago, given that the Cardinals haven’t been able to find a La Russa replacement who can stick. But for the second time in as many days, Bob Nightengale came in to deliver word from on high.
Nightengale might have to report to the principal’s office for revealing the contract length of a White Sox manager. Rick Hahn has refused to do so for the last three hires for reasons that escape everybody. Perhaps it’s because it risks inviting accountability above the player ranks?
* * * * * * * * *
Given that I just wrote a lot of words about some La Russa managerial shortcomings in the ALDS less than a week ago, I’m not in any rush to get back into a nuts-and-bolts discussion of his decision-making. Perhaps there will be an opening if and when the White Sox announce coaching staff changes, or a lack thereof.
But seeing La Russa try to get himself ejected in Game 4 of the ALDS brought to mind Rick Renteria getting booted three times over a five-game stretch late last year, and how it wasn’t what you wanted to see from a guy managing under pressure for the first time in his five years on the job.
La Russa was heated for Kendall Graveman’s plunking of José Abreu in the top of the ninth inning. Looking at the sequence without bringing the context into it, and it appeared to be yet another case of a pitcher being a little too comfortable missing well inside on Abreu, but the seventh pitch generally isn’t the time it’s done. Now, add in Ryan Tepera’s insinuation about the Astros cheating, the crowd’s raucous applause of a Jose Altuve HBP earlier in the game, and the delight the Astros took in running up the score every other way, and you can’t exactly rule out intent.
Anyway, La Russa used his postgame session to lecture the Astros …
“I only care about sportsmanship so far. And I have a limit,” La Russa told reporters. “They beat us. They played better. We’re disappointed. That was intentional. I don’t understand why. I don’t understand how they got away with it.” […]
“It will be a good test of the character and credibility,” La Russa said. “They did hit him intentionally. I’ll be really curious. They should have the guts to admit that they did it, why they did it.”
… which would be fine, except this is the same guy who couldn’t detect intent when Tyler Duffey threw at Yermín Mercedes earlier in the season.
La Russa spent the entire postseason being an unreliable narrator. The guy who said “I don’t believe in gamesmanship” pretended his Game 1 starter was open to debate when Lance Lynn said he was informed the week before. He waited until the last possible moment in submitting the first lineup of the series, as if Abreu would be kept out of an ALDS game when healthy. He listed Michael Kopech as the only pitcher unavailable for Game 4, then used him first out of the bullpen.
(I half-believed him on Kopech, because he wasn’t all that effective with his first 47 pitches in Game 3, and so he didn’t seem like a great bet to be meaningfully better two days later. I didn’t think he’d be out of the mix entirely, but only if the choices came down to him or Reynaldo López.)
La Russa’s shameless blend of hypocrisy and sanctimony is why the entire NL Central couldn’t stand his Cardinals in the aughts, although his complete disregard for any framing of events besides his own is a goofy byproduct of what’s made him a successful manager. He doesn’t care how he comes across if it advances his goals, especially to people outside of his chain of command. With the umpires issuing warnings to both dugouts after Graveman’s HBP of Abreu, perhaps La Russa was just irritated that the Astros worked the refs better than he did.
By and large, his players seem to respond to Tony La Russa at his Tony La Russest, but it’s the kind of thing that exacerbates the bitterness of defeat. All that sleight of hand, and they still gave up 31 runs over four games, and La Russa capped it off by grousing about honor.
Over the course of the season, there seemed to be an inverse relationship between what White Sox fans thought of La Russa and how closely La Russa was living up his reputation. All the problems over the first two months suggested he was out of touch. The ease with which the White Sox took the AL Central, and the moments where La Russa reflected the looseness of his clubhouse, forced even the chilliest fans to thaw a little.
As La Russa’s return to the White Sox becomes more than a one-year attempt to rewrite the past, I’m curious about whether a second season is going to have a more La Russa feel to it. It could be fine if you only care about the results — the Sox’s bigger needs involve the roster — but if you want other people to like the White Sox as much as you do, precedent says La Russa’s particular mark on a team makes it a much harder sell.
(Photo by Denny Medley/USA TODAY Sports)
TLR was a much better communicator with the players than I ever expected. TLR was a much worse game preparer and strategist than I ever expected.
It’s pretty much the inverse of what was expected.
When Jerry decided to hire TLR, over the objections of anyone with a workiing left side of the brain, he did what Jerry does, gave everyone the finger and let the world know this is his playground and only his.
Being a baseball owner is different than other sports, baseball has laws and benefits other sports don’t have, so they are handled as more of a public trust than Daniel Snyders football club.
Reinsdorf likes to be portrayed as extremely loyal…but to who? A bunch of millionaire ex-athletes? He doesn’t show the fans the same loyalty, because he knows that no matter what he does, the fans will always come back. This mis placed loyalty has been a sore subject for me for a long, long time.
Me, I can only take the finger for so long and then eventually, I’ll give the finger back and move on.
He’s not going to miss me and I’m not gong to miss him.
I’m not sure where you are coming from referring to baseball teams as public trusts.
I can’t think of any baseball teams that are anything more than fiefdoms of their owners. Some clubs do better jobs than others of spending the clubs money and putting their best foot forward. (.ie.Dodgers) The issue with Jerry is he doesn’t spend the clubs money in good faith. The team is run like a smaller middle market team when it really is not.
The best examples of sports team run as public trusts are European Soccer clubs that are owned by their supporters (i.e. Real Madrid, Bayern Munich). We unfortunately don’t have much of this in the United States. We have a culture where billionaire owners simply dictate.
One of those times when you wish the White Sox would be a little less White Sox.
My two thoughts on LaRussa:
I don’t see any point in firing him as Jerry will only conduct another convoluted manager search. Welcome Paul Konerko as your 2022 White Sox manager!!!
I really hope he can convince Jerry to spend. We know Hahn can’t convince Jerry to spend. I’m hoping LaRussa will tell Jerry straight out you can’t win with the amount of money you spending.
“you can’t win with the amount of money you’re spending”. There isn’t anything that describes the Sox primary issues better than that. Does not matter who manages until that changes significantly.
I dunno about that. Teams can win handily with payrolls like the White Sox have, but their issue there is they have a GM whose biggest weakness is finding productive free agents on a budget. What’s worse is that, barring a MASSIVE payroll expansion, he has as little room to work with as ever before.
They should hire AJ.
USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports that the White Sox will hire Paul Konerko as manager, install 26k square foot clubhouse.
I’d rather TLR weren’t the manager. A lot.
However, one potential positive is that I have to believe Jerry is likelier to spend to support TLR than he would be for any other manager. So maybe we should just hope for that.
One of my last managers was an absentee manager. Rarely attended daily, group meetings, had no first-hand knowledge of who was working or sleeping. He was very popular. That doesn’t mean that Abreu or Anderson are wrong but I would rather have the team just a little irritated because they were prodded to excel.
It’s funny that everyone loves him. I suspect it’s because he lets the students run the school.
I feel like that is the case, and it certainly is not because TLR hammers them for a failure to execute. Sticking Timmy 1st and Jose 3rd in the lineup, rain or shine, doesn’t hurt a perception. How did Robert feel batting 6th and 7th for all that time?
The Yermin Mercedes saga kinda puts a wrench in that argument or Lance Lynn office/locker quote. He’s probably looser than a lot expect but not totally out of control of the clubhouse.
TLR could do the fanbase a big favor if he helps lobby JR for a larger payroll.
How many wins does a manager add to a team? Two or three? I think they make a big difference in the postseason, but yes if Hahn does not address RF, DH, backup catcher, 5th starter esp if Rodon leaves, bullpen, hitting vs RHP, then LaRussa does not have a World Series winning roster. The teardown of this team began 5 winters ago. The core is at its peak. I know the CBA must be sorted out first, but 2022 is the year to go for it. However, I know better than to put my emotional health in the hands of Jerry Reinsdorf and Rick Hahn. We will see.
Just because the players are not publicly railing on him doesn’t mean he is the right manager for this team. They looked lethargic and not ready to play much of the 2nd half. That starts with the manager.
I’m hesitant to chalk up their struggles to lethargy and whatnot, because teams seldom look lively and energetic grounding into double plays. If the Sox can’t get the ball off the ground, there’s going to be a lot of flat baseball no matter who’s in charge.
Do you think the Sox were properly prepared to play everyday?
The only correct answer to that question is “hell if I know.” The rest is guessing off results, and no real idea of how properly prepared every team is on an everyday basis.
The White Sox won 93 games and the division by 13. If the did that without proper preparation on enough days then were they supposed to win 105 games? Nobody’s buying that. It didn’t seem like the rest paid off, but pushing players through injuries still seems like a bad idea. You could look at the ground-ball rate for the White Sox, the ground-ball rate of the Astros pitching staff, and predict a bad matchup, and that’s how it played out.
If anything suggested the Sox weren’t prepared, the number of singles that went through their infield defense is the biggest question I have, along with the thought process in Game 2. The others were rooted in flaws the Astros were built to exploit.
My point is, identifying lethargy or effort as a primary problem is trying to cure the symptom. A generally aggressive lineup that hits a lot of grounders is never going to look lively when it’s doing that, and trying to make it better is eyewash. Rick Renteria tried to command more effort on routine outs, and it was a waste of time and goodwill. Change the managers and keep the same lineup, and there will be the same complaints about lifelessness, because guys with average-at-best speed hitting grounders is always going to be a bore.
I called out several players, primarily after the AS break, for lack of hustle. I won’t call out names, but the jog down to first base by several of the fastest runners was annoying. Sometimes it was a 2-out/meaningless routine grounder – OK with that. Other times it was a tight game, not a routine grounder, men on base – not OK with that; a couple DPs that I can recall.
There was some jogging in the field as well, primarily Eloy. Has he been told to be ultra-cautious? I don’t know that. I do know after watching a few of the other playoff games that the LFers were much more aggressive in attacking singles/potential doubles. I have advocated keeping Eloy in the field in the past, pretty young to be relegated to DH. Now, I don’t know.
I guess my point is that in sports at the highest level, I don’t think you can switch attitude on and off easily.
The end result doesn’t equal the sum of its parts. The pitching staff was the best in the AL (at least until the ALDS), and the healthy lineup was touted by fans and informed media (there are a few of those0 as being very strong. Yet, the offense was anemic in almost half the post-AS games, and in the ALDS. Ground balls are a problem. Maybe a little over-confident? I don’t know what to make of it, hopefully somebody who is a WS influencer/decision maker has some ideas.
I think there’s some confusion about having the team ready to play each day and hustle. They aren’t the same and hustle is not the basis for question, it’s the mental preparedness each day to go do your best. An over the top example, would be the locker room scene between periods where Herb chastises McClanahan when he’s got a bad bruise. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6J4bEd-vYHo. He ends the scene saying, “That oughta get ’em going”.
My point with this corny reference, is that you can’t just let guys do their workouts, go through their routines and then roll the ball out and expect everyone to be at their best. The evidence for that is the whole season. Long stretches of offensive and defensive droughts, with seemingly no corrections. This takes management. TLR chooses to be the parent who wants to be their kids best friend, rather than the parent that concerns himself with making his kid the best he can be.
I’m buying the 105 game win. As a matter of fact a buddy owes me dinner because I picked 104 at the beginning of the season, (he picked 90 for the Cubs), I was closer. 9-10 vs KC? 10-9 vs Cleveland? There’s at least 9 games that should have been flipped from L’s to W’s, that makes it 102. All of a sudden, 105 doesn’t look like a pipe dream.
The Sox have put together the best lineup of my lifetime (63 years) and are squandering it so Reinsdorf can sooth his conscience at every one elses expense.
You can’t turn the locker room over to the players and just expect them to know what it takes to be prepared each day and what it takes to win. I believe a season full of evidence shows how unprepared this team was daily.
We are not as far off as you think. Hustle is part of attitude, as in, we’re going to beat you today, we have done everything we can to be ready, and we will work harder than you throughout the game.
I’m not a TLR fan, but I don’t think the team lacked effort in the second half
The Sox were 5 games over .500 in the second half and the mighty Astros were 9 over.
The Sox pitching clearly wore down and some of the semi-miraculous offense from unexpected sources fizzled as well.
I think you can criticize the approach to hitting…lineup construction…a supremely awful trade for Kimbrel…but I don’t think player intensity was obviously lacking.
Excelente analysis and discussion. You may bring King Kong as manager and you won t win because the problem is the payroll. Good young talent available but still green, not yet rípe. Management didn t much to strengthen the team before July 31st. Next season could be the same if owner s approach does not change.
9 seasons into Rick Hahn’s tenure with 0 playoff series wins, can anyone really explain to me why he is so immune from criticism ??? Doesn’t he need to take some heat at some point?
I’m not saying he should be immune to criticism, but he can’t get the players they need through free agency until the owner lets him spend. The fact that he had to settle for Eaton rather than Springer last winter is on Reinsdorf, not Hahn.
Im not gonna defend Jerry and the payroll but lots of teams over the last 9 years have done more with less resources and we all know that.
The budget limitations are on Reinsdorf. The consistent poor results of evaluating whether existing MLB talent will be useful to the Sox is on Hahn and his staff. The Sox also settled for Eaton over Schwarber, Duvall, Pederson, and Brantley. Sure, Brantley would have been more expensive than Eaton, but the other three were in the same general price range. Eaton is the only one of those guys not to be on an active roster in late September.
How often is this front office going to keep getting the Jeff Keppingers and Adam LaRoches? That problem is not exclusively budgetary.
I suspect that, at least until recently, much of the staff was old-school, but were loyal employees, thus JR might have had their back. I believe they were one of the last teams to embrace analytics. Think Coop. Maybe this applied to the scouting staff as well.
It could well have taken some time to convince JR that change was more important than loyalty.
The staff has been insular. (This includes Hahn, who claims the Sox are doing a lot with analytics.) The one major accomplishment I credit Reinsdorf with over the past decade is going through with the hire of Marco Paddy. Paddy came from outside the organization, and outside of the organization’s habits and practices. After he came on board, the organization’s international scouting went from being the joke of the industry (and FBI) to a pipeline of (mostly Cuban) players who have been integral to the team’s recent success. Paddy’s hiring came from a distinctly different process than the ones that put Williams, Hahn, Guillén, Ventura, Renteria, and La Russa in their jobs.
Maybe Paddy’s success in that role convinced the Reinsdorfs to give organizational outsider Artūras Karnišovas control of Bulls’ basketball operations. That’s been a welcome change from how that franchise has operated in the post-Jordan era. The White Sox have yet to see such a change in their organizational culture. I suspect that won’t happen under current ownership.
Great points. I usually reflect on them getting Eloy, Cease, Moncada, Kopech, Giolito, and Lynn for Quintana, Sale, and Eaton (since they got Dunning in the Eaton deal and swapped him for Lynn). You almost can’t do better than that.
You are right though, he has certainly made some mistakes as well. But Springer trumps all alternatives they could have gotten to Eaton. If Hahn is forced to operate like a mid market team and compete with teams like the Astros with a 55M gap in payroll, postseason success is going to be very difficult and unlikely. It doesn’t mean that spending money by itself will guarantee success, but if he does not have the resources to get the first choice players like Springer that fans would be excited about, I’m afraid most of their postseasons will probably look like the last two, even if Hahn makes better choices with little $$ allowance. Duvall, Pederson, Bradley and guys in that category are not going to get the Sox to the next level if that’s all Hahn has to choose from.
Schwarber hasn’t done much, nor has Pederson until this week. But Eaton was a mystery; I guess the team hoped he would be the 2019 player he was. Brantley or Springer or Harper would have filled the RF hole a lot better, true, but at what cost, both in terms of money and contract term, and opportunity cost to signing other players, including our own guys?
Schwarber is a left handed bat who put up a 0.928 OPS (148 OPS+) with 32 home runs. You say he didn’t do much. If so, I’d love a whole bunch of players in the Sox lineup not doing much.
I mean, Lance Lynn, Hendricks and Grandal looked pretty good. Once Hahn is allowed to shop outside the bargain bin, he can pick pretty good ones. No one is gonna have a good track record if you’re limited to signing cast offs from other teams.
Yes, signing at the top (or near the top) of the market gets quality, and the Grandal deal especially looks good. In terms of shopping in the bargain bin, I think a rigorous comparison of what the White Sox have done with cheap signings over the past decade vs. similar signings by the Giants, Jays, Rays, Braves, Brewers, and Astros would leave this organization wanting.
Look at how the Giants built a 107-win team. So much of that success has to do with identifying ways to get the likes of Mike Yastrzemski to succeed, whether though changes in the player’s approach or changes in the player’s usage. Yes, they got Kris Bryant at the deadline, but the team’s success relied upon a whole bunch of cheap players making major contributions. How and why that is the case should be something this organization scrutinizes, because James McCann is the one diamond they found in the bargain bin.
Which cheap players? How is Mike Yastremezki different from say, an Evan Marshall or an Adam Engel? The San Francisco Giants were built on their big money veterans turning in vintage performances and their drafted prospects providing value to the team around them. The one really good cheap free agent signing I would say they made was Darin Ruf. Everyone else was drafted by the organization.
This just might be a case of confirmation bias. We see the crappy minor league deal lottery tickets day in and day out and it makes a strong impression in our minds. We don’t pay attention to what most other teams are doing with their rosters unless they’re major moves so we don’t notice these cheapie signings be quietly outrighted or DFAed.
Like, the Giants signed and then DFAed Matt Wisler with his poor 6.00+ ERA just for him to shine with the Rays. Or how Mitch Moreland was signed on the cheap by the A’s only for him to play twice as many games as Jake Lamb did for the Sox while putting up negative WAR.
I want none of those guys outside of maaaaaybe Duvall playing RF for us though. Saying we could have signed Brantley to play RF for us is like saying Jose Abreu is an infielder so why didn’t we just shift him over to play 2B for us when Madrigal went down.
The organization should take serious heat for the results since 2008; Reinsdorf the most because the buck stops at his desk – but I doubt he cares about public opinion.
Hahn has been GM since 2012; however, that title alone doesn’t instill full authority to make unilateral decisions that most of us might assume he should have. The organization has shown several signs of dysfunction since then. Kenny has appeared to be the primary spokesperson on several occasions. Reinsdorf went over everybody’s head to bring TLR on board, and Hahn clearly was not supportive. I thought there were signs that real authority had been transferred to Hahn, but then along came TLR.
I’m not excusing any of Hahn’s actions, but it’s hard to be effective in a dysfunctional organization.
I’m not playing that game, if this organization wants to go all cloak and dagger over who hired who and who is in charge of what and run shame managerial searches etc etc etc. I will hold them all accountable and that certainly includes Hahn. 9 years without winning a playoff series is too long, and all that has happened in that tenure for the front office is status que or promotions…
I think there is a few factors in play here.
1) We know from Reinsdorf’s history that once you get in his c-suite he rarely fires anyone. (i.e. John Paxson) We can say lets fire Rick, but it won’t likely happen anyways.
2) I think we can see a path to win with the core Hahn has assembled. We don’t know if Jerry will augment it with spending, so there is an element of wait and see. In a sense the jury isn’t completely in on Rick Hahn
I think the cold hard reality is by the end of the offseason we will know where we stand. If Jerry elects not to spend we will know we are likely in baseball purgatory until he is no longer the owner. If he doesn’t want to augment a rebuild with spending there really isn’t a path forward with him as owner.
So now given 10 years, say a 175 mil payroll the job security to completely rebuild, if Hahn doesn’t get this team to win a playoff series then he can take some heat?
All of a sudden this is turning into a big thread and it was suppose to be about TLR i just am hoping a little more heat gets applied to rick, they have given him a hell of a lot of rope even if they havent always given him the payroll.
I think if he is allotted a higher payroll and he doesn’t come pretty close to winning a world series he should be fired.
I guess I just assume Hahn will be gone when the new owner comes along.
We short of followed the road map of the Astros and Cubs with this rebuild and they both won titles. If Hahn can’t execute on that road map than he should be replaced.
Both those teams had massively higher payrolls than 15th when they won.
That is exactly why I have been pounding the table to spend more money. If we are going to follow their plan we have to spend more money as well otherwise we should have gone a different direction.
I know there are a lot of subtle disagreements on here, but I don’t think anybody can argue with your point on that.
This winter will really determine how much I will pay attention to this team next year.
He’s not immune at all. Certainly not from the fans. But we are not 9 seasons into Hahn’s tenure. He may have had the GM title, but KW was making the decisions until the Shields trade blew up. KW lost his power then, and then Hahn could do things his way: amateur drafting, international signings, MLB scouting, stats, minor league development. When was that? 2016, right? So Hahn’s five years in and I think generally on track, although TLR clearly was not his choice to be manager. Hahn can see that some of his moves didn’t work as intended and he can see the holes in the roster. If the CBA wasn’t up Dec. 1 I would expect the Sox to be aggressive to fill those holes to win sooner than later. But the new CBA may change a lot of the calculations so I don’t expect much to happen until one is negotiated. That could take months. And then there is going to be a scramble, if the season starts on time or at all.
The Shildt firing over “philosophical differences” is fascinating. I look forward to seeing the fallout.
I am most interested in seeing not if the Sox will change their manager (as that only happens after an estate sale) but change their game management. What I mean by this is whether any changes to strategy, use of data, use of scouting, or even composition of the coaching staff is on the cards.
The White Sox had a very successful rotation in the regular season. The rotation performed poorly in the playoffs. Does Ethan Katz have theories about that which might affect pre-game preparation in 2022? Does the team think the bullpen’s preparation in both the regular season and post-season needs tweaking?
The Sox rarely shifted, and that was commented upon as the Astros kept racking up hits. Will that lead to an adjustment next year? La Russa had a learning curve as the season progressed; will he do anything differently next year as a reaction to what happened in 2021? Will he be open to ideas or process he didn’t rely on in his first year back? Will we have a better sense of what Shelley Duncan and Miguel Cairo actually do next year? Will any coaches be added or released?
A thousand times this. I first realized this tendency of La Russa when he proposed deliberately losing games in 1981 to gain maximum advantage in reaching the postseason due to the bizarre split-season rules (which prevented the Reds from going to the playoffs despite having the best overall record in their division). Then his beanball antics in Oakland really made it impossible to ignore, which is why his outburst over Mercedes is hard to stomach.
If the White Sox have to play more than four meaningful games July-October 2022 I think the conversation around TLR being a bad fit will start to gain more attention around baseball. He didn’t have to reinsert himself into the games until they mattered again in October and what little influence he had in a lopsided series only made it more lopsided.
Of course he’ll still be managing the team in September 2023 no matter what so what are gonna do ????????♂️?
If TLR wasn’t tired and frustrated in the 9th of Game 4 he wouldn’t be human. And Jose has been hit so many times this season, and with the Astros in no danger from a HBP, TLR is probably right to make a stink. Or not, who cares at this point?
Contract or not, should TLR be back? He’s got a year’s experience with the team plus the up to date version of ML baseball. I will assume he can learn from his mistakes, or the rest of management, including JR, might remind him of some so he will learn. The sabermetricians will weigh in with their analysis of his performance in a few weeks. But if the leaders of the team are cool with TLR, I guess I am, too. I really don’t want to start with someone new, especially among the names being mentioned for the SD job.
So you honestly believe this fossil of a manager has the capability to learn? He didn’t even learn the lessons that he said he already knew, that Kimbrel was not the right guy to pitch any inning but the 9th….and then there he was, putting Kimbrel in, in the 8th.
I would respectfully say the evidence is contrary to his ability to learn.
Seriously, I thought the Russa liked our players getting hit. Pick a lane Tony.
McCullers out. Timing is all….
I had the same thought.
It’s pretty clear what he means. He’s still operating under old-school rules ie “I won’t let my players swing at a 3-0 pitch in a winning game so you better do the gentlemany thing and not throw high and in fastballs to my first basemen”.
Tony should realise its more ruthless out here now, no one is gonna be considerate to you for putting a fig leaf over their failures. Pedal to the metal, run up the score every game possible.
I lost a ton of respect for LaRussa during the Yermin fiasco, and it really showed his true colors. He was incensed at his own player breaking some weird unspoken rules of competition while the opponent was making a mockery of the same. Seems like the definition of hypocrisy. The Lynn locker comments sent the message that he was the boss and his opinions were not to be challenged.
That being said, I feel that LaRussa has been the appointed fall guy since the day he signed the contract. His every move in the postseason has been analyzed and criticized ad nauseum. While much is deserved, the fact is the Sox drew a bad matchup and didn’t play well at all. More attention has been given to LaRussa’s bullpen decisions than how the best rotation in the league crapped the bed from the jump. LaRussa was far from perfect, but was better than Renteria. He had his team prepared for the playoffs, unfortunately the players just let him down.
Err….what’s hypocritical about it? He would be a hypocrite if he himself espoused old-school unspoken rules but did nothing to punish his own players when they broke them, and we all clearly see that he DID enforce these rules.. He doesn’t have control over the actions of other teams and they have no relevance to whether he was a hypocrite or not.
Well, the Astros won game one of the ALCS. I was surprised by how viscerally I was rooting against the Astros. Altuve, Correa, Bregman, and Gurriel are all still there being lauded as the Astros’ “core four” as if none of the cheating happened and it infuriates me. I usually don’t get fully emotionally invested in baseball games not involving the Sox (except for rooting against the Cubs when they make the post season).
On a different note, I learned what loanDepot is during the game. They are the “presenting sponsor” of the ALCS and they are a lender as one might guess from their name. I never figured out what business good sam was in when they were the “presenting sponsor” of the ALDS. I realize I could google it but not knowing feels like a small victory over the mlb corporate sponsorship machine.
FWIW, good sam is owned by a Chicago area company.
All still better than having umpires sponsored by a crypto company, IMO