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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) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: tony larussa

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   1. Howie Menckel Posted: April 29, 2021 at 08:54 AM (#6016077)
Adam Eaton added to the discomfort, reenacting the Stations of the Cross by falling down three times.

too soon
   2. The Duke Posted: April 29, 2021 at 09:25 PM (#6016227)
The job of the manager after a bad game is to redirect the criticism from his players to himself . He was a master at that in STL and this is what he is doing here. I can’t remember the sequence but didn’t the pitching coach go out during this sequence ? If so, did they just talk about the weather ? I presume Giolito said “I’m gassed and can’t make another pitch” NOT.

I read this all as Giolito said something dumb and TLR had to concoct a story on the fly to take the blame.

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