Tony La Russa was, unquestionably, a very good and successful Major League Baseball manager in his day, amassing a .533 winning percentage across three organizations, winning six pennants, and three World Series. The guy was old school, he annoyed the crap out of me on the Cardinals, but he was very successful.
That said, he now 76 years old and has not managed in nine years. He hasn’t been completely disconnected from the game in that time (he’s been an advisor in the Diamondbacks, Red Sox, and Angels organizations), but he hasn’t been in a dugout in nearly a decade.
So this report, from Bob Nightengale, gets a huge wut from me:
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) October 12, 2020
La Russa began his managerial career in 1979 with the White Sox, so there’d be some full circle appeal, but is he really the right guy to lead a team now?
Apparently La Russa and White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf are still friends (and if I know anything about baseball operations, it’s that you definitely want your 84-year-old owner picking the team’s manager), and this is the first job in a while that has intrigued him. It just opened up like five hours ago, mind you, so I’m thinking someone had a line out to Nightengale to get this report out for some reason.
All that said, I think everyone is expecting the White Sox to go with one of the now-available-to-come-back managers who were suspended in the fallout of sign-stealing scandals: former Red Sox manager Alex Cora, or former Astros manager A.J. Hinch. Many think Cora actually just returns to the Red Sox now, so if it’s Hinch, that would make a whole lot of sense for the White Sox if they really want to push right now. And, for what it’s worth, although Hinch will forever wear the stain of the scandal, he definitely did not come off as one of the main villains.