Chicago White Sox manager Tony La Russa has won a lot over the course of his successful career, but in the last couple of years, his managerial style and some of his decisions have been questioned, to say the least.
He is earning a reputation as an old-school manager who may be getting behind in certain things; with his incredible attachment to the “unwritten rules” of the game being a clear example.
Recently, he had an incredible lapse (or a bout of bad judgment?) against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
He had his pitcher, southpaw Bennett Sousa, intentionally walk Dodgers shortstop Trea Turner with a runner on second base, but with a count of one ball and two strikes.
He did this to have Sousa face the lefty-hitting Max Muncy with the platoon advantage.
Sousa proceeded to concede a three-run home run to Muncy that gave the Dodgers a 10-5 lead in a game they eventually won, 11-9.
The decision to intentionally walk Turner with two strikes (when hitters are most vulnerable) to face the lefty-hitting Muncy was heavily criticized.
A Good Sense Of Humor
At least La Russa has a sense of humor: he openly mocked himself in his latest exchange with ESPN reporter Jesse Rogers.
“I asked Tony La Russa this morning if he heard fans yelling at him last night to walk Vlad with a base open. He deadpanned: ‘I didn’t think they liked walks.’ They didn’t walk him but did get him out and eventually won the game,” Rogers tweeted.
I asked Tony La Russa this morning if he heard fans yelling at him last night to walk Vlad with a base open. He deadpanned:
"I didn't think they liked walks"
They didn't walk him but did get him out and eventually won the game.
— Jesse Rogers (@JesseRogersESPN) June 22, 2022
The “I didn’t think they liked walks” line was legendary.
The White Sox are currently 33-33, a somewhat disappointing record considering early-season expectations, but they are just 3.5 games behind first place in the AL Central.