I never took the rumors seriously, and shame on me for it. Because the White Sox really did it today, much to the surprise of the baseball world.
A 76-year-old former long-time manager, who hasn’t be at the top of a team in a decade, is taking over one of the youngest, most exciting, and most competitive teams in the game:
Tony La Russa, a member of baseball’s Hall of Fame, the third-winningest manager in baseball history, a three-time World Series champion and a four-time winner of the Manager of the Year Award, has been named the new manager of the Chicago White Sox. pic.twitter.com/RKP24rleHP
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) October 29, 2020
I don’t want to make this entirely about age, because if La Russa is in fine health, then why couldn’t he still manage for several more years? It’s not that. It’s more that you just wonder if being out of the dugout for so long AND being so much older than your players (heck, your coaching staff) is going to make for challenging communications issues.
Since we don’t really have a dog in the fight, I say whatever. It’ll be fun for us as outsiders to follow what happens, right down to inside dish rumors about whether this was owner Jerry Reinsdorf dictating the next manager – he’s friends with La Russa going waaaay back – or whether the front office was truly on board.
Oh wow, and just as I type that paragraphs … perfect:
The hiring of Tony La Russa has ruffled feathers in the White Sox organization. A number of employees have concerns about his ability to connect with younger players and how he will adapt to the field after being away 9 years.
This was a Jerry Reinsdorf decision. Simple as that.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) October 29, 2020