Podcast: Goodbye, Tony La Russa

Record Date: 10/2/2022

Rundown:

  • Jim and Josh discuss the reported retirement announcement for Tony La Russa
  • What does “accountable” mean to the White Sox?
  • Recap of the San Diego meetup and Petco Park
  • Final series preview of 2022 as the Minnesota Twins visit
  • Are these the last games we’ll see Jose Abreu in a White Sox uniform?
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Josh Nelson
Josh Nelson

Josh Nelson is the host and producer of the Sox Machine Podcast. For show suggestions, guest appearances, and sponsorship opportunities, you can reach him via email at josh@soxmachine.com.

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Shingos Cheeseburgers

Hiring Ozzie back is a terrible idea that would cause a ton of consternation within the organization which means there’s an extreme high chance of it happening.

As Cirensica

I doubt it will happen, and yet I still don’t feel like saying “phew…that was close to be a disaster” because the White Sox are known from jumping from the frying pan to the fire.

asinwreck

It would be lovely to have a process that looks around the industry and brings in information about how other franchises operate rather than working from personal relationships. I would especially want the White Sox to talk to five men lacking previous ties to the organization.
 
Guys looking for their first job:
Joe Espada
Matt Quatraro
Will Venable

Espada and Quatraro have interviewed a lot, and at the very least, you want to have conversations with them about the practices the Astros and Rays use. Venable is Alex Cora’s bench coach and the fact that Cora and Theo Epstein have both hired him makes me curious to learn what he’d bring to the job.
 
Guys looking for their second job:
Luis Rojas
Charlie Montoyo

Both men made mistakes their first time around, and I’d be curious to hear what they learned from those experiences. Rojas got thrown into a tricky position taking over the Wilpon-owned Mets before spring training 2020 when Carlos Beltrán was fired, but he sufficiently stabilized the team after both that and the atrocious Mickey Callaway era to stay on for a season after Steve Cohen cleaned house. He’s now the Yankees’ third base coach.

Montoyo spent a long time in the Rays’ organization before spending 3 ½ seasons managing the Blue Jays. He got fired with the team still in playoff position. I would want to learn what happened there and how that shapes the way he sees the job now.

Who do I want to see hired? I want the front office to have real conversations with these candidates about running a clubhouse, working with the coaches, working with the training staff, working on processing information from quantitative and qualitative sources, and all aspects about making sure the 26 players on the roster are put in the best position to win. I want the front office to learn from those conversations and select the candidate who gives them the best understanding of how a successful organization does business.
 
Such a process is foreign to Jerry Reinsdorf’s organization, so I am expecting AJ Pierzynski to get the job.

Last edited 2 months ago by asinwreck
GrinnellSteve

This is an excellent accounting of what sort of search should occur and why.

As Cirensica

We don’t want Montoyo. Believe me. He got fired because he lost the clubhouse.

funkerdan

I wish I went to SD but the cost of the flight after just having done Seattle, couldn’t make it swing so I guess I’ll wait for 2024. But I am thinking about doing a road trip to Cinci and on to KC. We’ll see. Already booked my trip to the Mets. The second game of the Pirates series will probably be my choice for that weekend that I’ll do. And maybe some surprise trips too.

upnorthsox

If Hahn isn’t a part of the news conference the only thing you can conclude is that he will be gone soon himself, like this week. If he is there, then it’ll likely be a short intro and a handover to Tony. The perfect storm is Tony retires and KW has decided to leave to pursue alternative opportunities, I ain’t holding my breath for that but I will hold out hope.

steelydan52

First, I wish La Russa well and good health. Secondly, I hope he’s not part of the decision making because that would probably eliminate my choices of Bochy, Ron Washington or any veteran manager who will choose not to work for the Sox under those circumstances.
Ozzie won’t be back just because, as has been noted, JR said in 2017 that Ozzie won’t manage the Sox anymore. I can’t imagine a change of heart.
Also, anyone affiliated with a cheating organization won’t be a part of interviews in my opinion. Even if TLR wasn’t hired 2 years ago I doubt it would have been Hinch because of the cheating. I still think Konerko will be interviewed if he so chooses and possibly offered the job.

Qubort

In Bob Nightengale’s last story, he specifically states that Hahn wanted Hinch. They had AJ Hinch on promotional material.

I think the Sox would be doing themselves a disservice if they don’t at least interview Beltran. They should interview lots of people and take the process seriously for the first time.

steelydan52

Yes, I remember that but I guess my point is if JR is involved I don’t think it would have happened. And he was involved. I wouldn’t have minded Hinch to be honest.
And I agree they should interview quite a few guys. I know I will get shot down but if he was interested I interview Ned Yost. And yes, all the guys I wouldn’t mind are up there in years, no one needs to remind me!

Right Size Wrong Shape

Ned Yost!

steelydan52

I believe he retired from the Royals but it would be worth a shot.

Right Size Wrong Shape

No offense, but that’s the worst candidate idea I’ve heard (maybe co-worst with Pierzynski).

Last edited 2 months ago by Right Size Wrong Shape
steelydan52

Ned Yost? No offense taken. I think he would be a fit for this team as it sits barring another rebuild.
He was managing some pretty funky Brewers and Royals teams and brought them respectability until another rebuild started.
Again, I think he retired. If JR makes the call it will be an ex-Sox and if Hahn is around and gets to make the call, who knows?

GrinnellSteve

If memory serves me, the Brewers fired him with 2 weeks to go in a season in which they were still very much alive for a playoff spot.

All right, I looked it up. In 2008 when they fired him, they were 83-67, tied with the Mets and Phillies. One of those 2 teams was going to win the East. The loser between them would duke it out with the Brewers and Astros (3 games back) for the 1 wild card.

Dale Sveum took over and went 7-5. The Phillies won the East and the World Series. The Brewers finished a game ahead of the Mets for the wild card. The Brewers got bounced in the opening round by the Phillies.

They had so little confidence that Yost could put them over the top despite being tied for the wild card, they removed him from the dugout. Let that sink in.

Did he learn and improve? Or did he catch lightning in a bottle? I have no idea, but his Milwaukee experience gives me pause. He does seem like a nice man, though. He always seemed gracious and humble.

steelydan52

I forgot about that but then he wins in KC and in all honesty, I don’t think you can catch lightning in a bottle doing that. I mean back to back World Series is a good thing!

abehickock

Typical White Sox behavior. They keep pushing the press conference back. Now it’s scheduled for 5:15pm.

steelydan52

I’m confused. I read La Russa’s statement on the Sox website and ESPN said about 15 minutes ago that Hahn said he was going to direct the interview process and would look for manager experience though the guys didn’t know if that meant bench coaches.

GrinnellSteve

Tony’s statement didn’t strike me as suggesting he would be involved with the team in some other capacity. If so, that’s great news.

steelydan52

Doesn’t sound like it which would be great like you said.
Hahn stating previous managerial success kind of dwindles some names. Another name I haven’t seen mentioned is Girardi. I doubt that would be popular in here but along with Bochy, Ron Washington, Mattingly, those are names you wonder about. Does that eliminate Beltran, Estrada, etc……………..? I doubt Girardi would be in the mix because I don’t think he would get along with the front office or owner.

Jeff

I just read Tony La Russa’s farewell address. Very classy. I wished him gone, but I wish him well.

steelydan52

Hahn stated the Sox would be more active in the trade market than free agency. Sounds to me like he’s coming back.