Tony La Russa
(Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)

Tony La Russa Represents Everything Bad About Old School Baseball

Tony La Russa has been around Major League Baseball for far too long. He should have hung up the spikes years ago but for some reason keeps butting his head. For some reason too, he thinks the world is stuck in 1979 when he first started as a manager of the White Sox.

Red flags were abundant at first. People were saying that Chicago hiring him was a mistake from the beginning, yet they made the fateful decision on October 22, 2020.

For starters, La Russa has always been outspoken on players breaking unwritten rules. When San Diego Shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. homered on a 3-0 count against the Rangers during the 2020 season, he had a lot to say about it. The Padres were up by a wide margin as well.

It’s just not sportsmanlike. The way it was described to me was, it’s team against team. That’s what our sport is, with these very talented individuals matching up. What it isn’t, though, is an exhibition of your talents. You swing 3-0 in that game, and you’re up by seven, you’re trying to drive in more runs.” – Tony La Russa.

This would be further reflected a year later when he was actually the manager of the Sox. On May 18, 2021, young Sox slugger, Yermin Mercedes, crushed another 3-0 pitch into orbit off of a position player in a blowout victory. The Sox won the game 15-4, and La Russa of course didn’t like it very much. The next day, the Twins threw at Mercedes.

I wasn’t that suspicious. I’m suspicious when someone throws at someone’s head. I didn’t have a problem with how the Twins handled that.” -Tony La Russa

This is not how you earn a team’s trust by condoning another team for throwing at your own player. La Russa received plenty of backlash from the internet for how he handled it. To make matters worse, Mercedes fell into a big slump and the team demoted him to AAA. He then suggested he was retiring but reversed his thought process.

Not only has he made comments about old-time rules but La Russa has also made controversial remarks concerning players who kneel during the anthem.

I would tell [a player protesting the anthem] to sit inside the clubhouse. You’re not going to be out there representing our team and our organization by disrespecting the flag.” -La Russa

With this statement, the public expressed reservation that he wouldn’t be making many friends with his players, like Tim Anderson who is especially outspoken for Black Lives Matter.

From what people have seen so far, is a particular distance between the South Side club and the 76-year-old. La Russa comes off like an old, grouchy boomer, rather than someone willing to adapt to the way baseball is now.

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