Wow: Ken Rosenthal Writes an Open Letter to Tony La Russa Telling Him Not to Come Back

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Wow: Ken Rosenthal Writes an Open Letter to Tony La Russa Telling Him Not to Come Back

Chicago Cubs

Any interest I have in the Chicago White Sox is limited to the broader baseball stuff, and then some intracity stuff with respect to the Chicago Cubs (not seeing them as “rivals,” but just that what happens with the White Sox does impact the Chicago market, which does impact the Cubs at the margins). So I don’t really have a dog in the fight about what happens with manager Tony La Russa, who has been away from managing the team for medical reasons.

In La Russa’s absence, the talented-but-underachieving White Sox have gone 10-4 under Bench Coach Miguel Cairo’s guidance, and have climbed to second place in the AL Central, just 3.0 games back of the Cleveland Guardians. To hear my White Sox friends tell it, the entire energy has changed since La Russa, an owner-driven hiring that was improvident from the start, left.

Clearly, it’s not just White Sox fans perceiving it. Here’s Ken Rosenthal writing an open letter to tell La Russa, effectively, get well soon but don’t come back:

Citing a wide range of reasons that the fit is just not right anymore, while of course wishing La Russa the best with his health, Rosenthal pulls no punches. A notable section:

Under Cairo, no longer are there occasionally bizarre in-game decisions that spark outcry. No longer does the club operate as a fiefdom where the manager’s word rules above all. And most important, no longer are the players underachieving the way they did for five months.

Meanwhile, the question looms over the club: Are you coming back? You might say, “That’s up to the doctors.” But really, it’s up to you. Your reputation has taken a hit during your second tenure with the White Sox, even though the team won the division last season, your first as a manager since 2011. By stepping down, you could exit gracefully, show dignity and do right by owner Jerry Reinsdorf, who brought you out of retirement as a way of atoning for firing you in 1986.

There, Tony. I’ll say it. You should announce that you no longer will manage the White Sox. That you want only what is best for the team. And that what is best for the team is Cairo continuing in the position for the rest of the season, with your complete support.

No subtlety there, and the whole column is a carefully-crafted discussion of (probably) why La Russa’s time with the White Sox was not working out. The game has changed so much. The players have changed. The relationship with the coaching staff has changed. And on and on – all the reasons (minus the DUIs) why it didn’t make sense to bring La Russa out of retirement in the first place.

Like I said, I don’t really have a dog in this fight, other than to watch the drama from the outside and be entertained.



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.