Tony La Russa Made His Closer Run the Bases in the 10th Inning Because He Didn't Know the Rules

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Tony La Russa Made His Closer Run the Bases in the 10th Inning Because He Didn’t Know the Rules

Chicago Cubs

This is just too on the nose if you were already predisposed to criticizing Tony La Russa, last a manager ten years ago, for being out of touch with today’s game. Today he sent his closer out to be the free runner at second base in extra innings … even though he did not have to.

In the 9th inning of a tie game, La Russa had his closer, Liam Hendriks, double-switch into the game to get the final out and send the game to extras. Mission accomplished. The problem? Because of the double-switch, Hendriks’ spot in the batting order was the last batter the previous inning … uh oh, that’s the guy who has to run out at second base in extra innings!

EXCEPT! The rule makes an exception in just this situation so that team’s don’t have to do something completely stupid like make a closer go out to run the bases.

EXCEPT! La Russa didn’t know about that part of the rule:

Hendriks, who did not score in the top of the 10th, came out and immediately gave up back-to-back hits in the bottom of the 10th to lose the game. Oof.

Meanwhile, La Russa’s opponent was quick after the game to pipe up with a, “oh well I knew it”:

Oof again.

Also, where were La Russa’s coaches to tell him what was up? Did nobody know the rule? Just a rough situation all around, especially when paired with the recent reporting about some in the clubhouse already growing impatient with La Russa.



Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.