The Chicago White stunned the baseball industry Monday morning when they announced the firing of manager Rick Renteria.
They could shock the world with their next hire.
The White Sox plan to reach out to one of the greatest managers in baseball history, who managed his last game in 2011, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame six years ago, and who is 76 years old.
The name: Tony La Russa.
La Russa retired after leading the St. Louis Cardinals to the 2011 World Series championship. After his managerial career, he went to work as a president of baseball operations for the Arizona Diamondbacks and was a special assistant in the front office for the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Angels. La Russa has declined several managerial opportunities in the past, but this job opening, well, has him quite intrigued.
Reallllllllly quick here. Wanted to give my $0.02 on the Nightengale bombs that have been dropping all morning regarding the White Sox interest in hiring Tony La Russa to fill their vacancy at manager. I guess I'll break it down in pros/cons
- 3x World Series champion, won 6 pennants
- Hall of Famer
- 3rd most wins in MLB history, behind Connie Mack and John McGraw
- 4x manager of the year
Blah blah blah. The dude has a GREAT managerial pedigree. Dude's as accomplished as any manager in history. But that doesn't mean he doesn't come with cons.
- 76 years old
- Is the old school managerial type
- His candidacy is being reported by Bob Nightengale, who's "allegedly" Jerry Reinsdorf's mouthpiece, so we have to take all of this shit with a grain of salt
- Rick Hahn said he wants a manager with "very recent post season success" - that's not Tony La Russa, he last coached in 2011.
I said it on Red Line Radio we just recorded that will drop tomorrow: I will not HATE a potential La Russa hire, I just wouldn't LOVE it. Like it or not, the game does pass players and coaches by. He's had what, 60ish years in pro ball? Ideas and methodologies have changed 10 fold over the last 20 years, and I'm not so sure Tony La Russa would necessarily be willing to adopt a mathematical, new aged approach. You know, the approach that has made the Dodgers, Rays, Yankees, Astros (ob cheated), Red Sox and Cubs so good over the last 10+ years.
Could I be wrong? Sure. He may very well be open minded to using every ounce of resources the analytics department provides him and could be the best of the best at blending math and a feel for creating a lineup and making a pitching change. I'm not saying that a manager has to be a robot and go by the book 10x out of 10, but I don't want to hear quotes like in any of the coming seasons:
But the Sox getting swept by the Indians in four tight games with a chance to put away the division crown and the days that followed into the 2-1 wild-card series loss to the Athletics were tipping points. Even before that, not all was seashells and balloons between Renteria and the front office. Renteria and his coaches, including pitching coach Don Cooper, pushed back not entirely but to a degree on the in-game use of metrics and data as supplied to them by the Sox’ baseball operations staff, sources said."
Yeah…. no no no. We are not going from Ricky Renteria to Ricky Renteria redux. No fucking thank you. Get with the times, White Sox. Maybe that's La Russa, but my gut tells me it's not.
Thank god Dan Bernstein came through with this Tweet, and by "thank god" I hope his sources are correct:
Rick Hahn and Kenny Williams have both done a masterful job getting Jerry Reinsdorf to go against his own personal grain, specifically with the Robert signing + tax overages, the scorched earth rebuild, the trading of Sale/Q/Eaton/etc., and the long term extensions to (very) young pitchers. It's well known that La Russa and Reinsdorf are very tight; I would bet every dollar to my name that the White Sox's interest in La Russa is more specifically Reinsdorf's interest in La Russa. If Bernstein is correct, then this could just be a show-me interview and Hahn actually has his sights set on AJ Hinch.
At least that's how I see this shaking out as of now. Gun to head, Hinch will be the manager of the 2021 Chicago White Sox, and I hope that's the case. Again, I wouldn't hate the La Russa hire, I just wouldn't love it. I would love a Hinch hire. LOVE it. It'd be the White Sox saying, "we're here to play with the big boys for a long, long time. Come get some"
Stay tuned or something idk