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Tony Larussa Newsbeat

Sunday, June 06, 2021

La Russa passes McGraw on wins list as White Sox beat Tigers

Tony La Russa moved past John McGraw into sole possession of second on baseball’s career manager wins list, directing the Chicago White Sox to a 3-0 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Sunday.

It was win No. 2,764 for La Russa, who was hired by Chicago in October for his first managerial job since he led St. Louis to the World Series championship in 2011. It has been a bit of a bumpy ride so far, but the 76-year-old Hall of Famer has the White Sox on top of the AL Central.

Second on the list is almost assuredly the highest finish for La Russa, who also began his managerial career with the White Sox in 1979. The top spot belongs to Connie Mack with 3,731 victories.

La Russa watched as Chicago won for the 10th time in 14 games. Dylan Cease (4-2) struck out 10 in seven sparkling innings, and Tim Anderson had two hits and two RBIs.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 06, 2021 at 06:24 PM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: tony larussa

Monday, May 03, 2021

Spare Parts: The first whispers of Tony La Russa-related discontent

Some of Tony La Russa’s in-game decision-making has confused White Sox fans greatly, and well within the boundaries of knowledge mere fans possess. It’s hard to say he’s making moves on information only the clubhouse knows when Lucas Giolito tells everybody his fatigue went undetected by La Russa. Similarly, it doesn’t pass basic transitive logic when he subs in a player defensively, but doesn’t replace that player in situations where a bat is needed.

In his own monthly review of baseball — not to be confused with Month in a Box, exclusive to supporters of Sox Machine on Patreon — Jeff Passan highlights the key failures and says “patience in some parts of the White Sox’s clubhouse is growing thin.”

The latest came last week, when, trailing by three, with runners on first and second and one out in the eighth, La Russa allowed Billy Hamilton and Leury Garcia to hit, even though Robert was available on the bench. La Russa’s explanation after the game was that he was “looking for a single there.”

It wasn’t the only mistake he made that game. After an awful start in which La Russa let his best pitcher, Lucas Giolito, languish for seven runs in one-plus innings, Giolito had bounced back with a solid six innings. La Russa sent him back out for the seventh. Giolito wasn’t going to ask out of the game. That responsibility fell on La Russa, who after the game said he didn’t realize Giolito was gassed.

I’d caution against drawing wider conclusions based on this report. Passan isn’t particular enamored with La Russa and hasn’t been for the better part of a decade. It’s also tailored to feed the fears that many White Sox fans harbored since Jerry Reinsdorf arranged this marriage in a way that might exploit credulity.

Yet it’s definitely worth filing away, at least for starters.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 03, 2021 at 06:01 PM | 46 comment(s)
  Beats: tony larussa

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Tony La Russa’s bad night a mere part of a rocky start

Tuesday night’s game was La Russa’s 5,115th as a manager, but only the 22nd as the manager of a White Sox team this century. Everybody in his position, whether an icon or a total greenhorn, has some awkward moments in April as he makes playing time for the entire roster, tests skill sets and judges the likelihood of regression in either direction. To that end, part of the reason La Russa stayed with Giolito is because the bullpen has failed La Russa plenty this season, even when La Russa couldn’t have timed his pitching changes any better.

The raging against La Russa’s decisions on Tuesday was exacerbated by bigger issues. The offense couldn’t capitalize on five Detroit errors, going 0-for-13 with runners in scoring position because it continued its season-long issue of pounding too many low pitches into the ground. Adam Eaton added to the discomfort, reenacting the Stations of the Cross by falling down three times. None of these factors absolve La Russa, but they do make his part look and feel worse.

The problem pertinent to La Russa is that a game like this feeds the specific behind-the-times fears his idiosyncratic hiring generates. Every manager makes mistakes, but a guy like La Russa is not supposed to let a game overwhelm him the way it did Ventura, and he’s certainly not supposed to get the outs wrong. Then again, maybe it’s unfair to expect Tony La Russa to be Tony La Russa after nine years away, especially nine years where so much of the approach to the game shifted, especially if he has a different set of off-the-field problems that indicate he’s not keeping up. (He’s quoted in a San Francisco Chronicle article saying, “You can’t accomplish what we’ve accomplished when you’re toxic,” which is even more wrongheaded than relying on Hamilton and García.)

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 29, 2021 at 08:43 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: tony larussa

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

White Sox lose a head-scratcher to Tigers

This was a game with blowout written all over it, but the Sox were unable to cash in on the Tigers’ atrocious defense. Manager Tony La Russa opted to leave Giolito in the game in the seventh inning when Detroit tagged him for 3 runs on 2 hits and 2 walks.

Add it all up, and it was a tumultuous 5-2 loss for the White Sox.

“I didn’t have much left in the tank,” Giolito said of the disastrous seventh.

La Russa said he didn’t realize Giolito was out of gas.

“That’s my fault for not recognizing it,” he said. “If you remember, I think I relieved him in the sixth inning early in the season. He’s several starts into it, he’s stronger, but if he felt like he didn’t have much left, that’s something I should have recognized.”

Giolito blamed himself.

“The seventh was my inning,” he said. “I have to get the job done, I didn’t. It doesn’t matter how I’m feeling.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 28, 2021 at 12:19 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: lucas giolito, tony larussa, white sox

 

 

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