Tony La Russa is the Perfect Hire for White Soxby Ben Fadden October 29, 2020 0 comments
It’s official. The Chicago White Sox are hiring Tony La Russa as their next manager. La Russa, a Hall of Famer, has an impressive track record as a skipper, though some fans don’t like the hire due to La Russa’s age.
Nevertheless, he is the perfect hire.
The White Sox fired Rick Renteria after the team was eliminated in the first round of the postseason. They believed they needed a new face to lead the team as they approach their window of contention.
Most people believed that the White Sox would go with a younger manager who has been in the league recently, such as AJ Hinch or Alex Cora. However, Chicago’s owner, Jerry Reinsdorf, is a friend of La Russa and clearly knows the championship experience that the 76-year-old would bring to a team that is ready to make a run at the World Series.
Fans on Twitter aren’t fans of the hiring. Specifically, the White Sox faithful has been quoted claiming La Russa’s hiring will scare away free agents, adding that the hiring provides “no upside.”
Hiring a Hall of Fame manager has no upside? Let’s fact-check that.
The Cardinals Years
The fact of the matter is that La Russa provides immense upside. The three-time World Series champion has experience managing young players and young teams. In 2011, he managed Adam Wainwright, Yadier Molina, and Albert Pujols in their primes.
The White Sox have their own core of three players like St. Louis had. Now, La Russa will get to manage Lucas Giolito, Tim Anderson, and Jose Abreu. Abreu will likely be coming off a top-three AL MVP finish in 2020, so his situation could mirror Pujols’s to a degree.
The fans’ notion that free agents won’t want to sign with the White Sox doesn’t make sense. Even if true—Marcus Stroman has already liked tweets about how the move will perturb prospective signees—the White Sox don’t need many free agents. Their lineup is nearly set; their main target should be a big-name starting pitcher.
Old School vs. New School
Trevor Bauer, anyone?
The hiring of LaRussa could easily benefit the White Sox in this situation because he’s an old-school manager that rides his starting pitching. Bauer has been vocal about wanting to pitch every fourth day and staying in games for seven or eight innings when his pitch count allows for it.
If Chicago went and hired a new-school analytics manager, perhaps Bauer wouldn’t be so inclined to consider an offer.
In the end, the narrative that LaRussa doesn’t welcome emotion, and players with a personality is false.
People had the same thoughts about Joe Girardi when he was hired by the Phillies. He was an old-school manager with the New York Yankees, but in his time off, he started to welcome the new age of baseball players while with MLB Network. It wasn’t an issue in 2020 with a team full of electric players, including Bryce Harper at the forefront.
La Russa realizes how talented the young crop of White Sox players is, so he isn’t going to get in the way. He has three titles and will bring heightened expectations to the city of Chicago.
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Main Credit Image: Embed from Getty Images