USA TODAY Sports̵
Phoenix-Chicago White Sox never seriously considered anyone else, and in the past three weeks persuaded him to withdraw from retirement, on Thursday appointed Hall of Famer and three-time World Series champion Tony La Russa as the new appointment manager.
The 76-year-old La Russa (La Russa) last managed in 2011 and has since reduced some management opportunities, but when they contacted the White Sox earlier this month, they couldn’t resist.
There are rumors in Chicago that AJ Hinch, the former manager of the Houston Astros, was the first choice after his suspension was lifted after the World Series, but a senior White Sox official told USA Today that he never gave an interview.
Due to the sensitivity of the recruitment process, the official spoke on condition of anonymity.
The only question is whether La Russa, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2014, is interested in returning to daily management.
In short, this opportunity can enable White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf (Jerry Reinsdorf) to inherit another championship-level club, thereby helping the White Sox win another World Series championship. It was too difficult for Russa.
Considering La Russa’s age (he will be the oldest manager in baseball), the time he no longer needs to manage, and the general shift to young, data-savvy managers, this will be criticized. However, some of the people who have worked with him in the past nine years say that his acumen has not disappeared.
La Russa said in a statement: “Since retirement, I have other management consultations. This opportunity for the White Sox brings together many important factors that make it the right time and the right place.”
White Sox was the team that provided La Russa with his first management job in 1979 and was fired by GM Ken “Hawk” Harrelson in 1986. Reinsdorf later called this the worst decision White Sox has ever made.
To fire La Russa?
“No, because Hawk was hired,” Reinsdorf said with a smile, “because he was the one who fired Tony.”
84-year-old Reinsdorf and La Russa have been best friends for many years, and when La Russa decided to retire at the end of the 2011 season, his decision was secret , Few people participated in his plan.
Well, on the night of October 28, 2011, when the St. Louis Cardinals of La Rusa defeated the Texas Rangers to win Game 7 of the World Series, guess who was soaked in the water on the court to celebrate the glory of La Rusa .
When the White Sox decided to fire Rick Renteria (Rick Renteria) after making a few big mistakes, causing them to lose the AL Central title and the first round of the Oakland A team, the White Sox I immediately contacted the Los Angeles Angels to obtain official permission to talk to La Russa, who was a senior consultant in baseball operations.
They made it clear to La Russa that this is his job if he wants to, and it took him a few weeks to decide whether he was ready to return to a strict management lifestyle.
In addition, there is heritage that needs to be protected.
La Russa won the third highest game in history with 2,728, second only to Connie Mack (3,731) and John McGraw (2,763). The older managers in baseball history are 87-year-old Mark and 80-year-old Jack McKean.
This was the only job that allowed him to retire, just to help realize Reinsdorf’s dream of winning at least one competition.
Besides, to be honest, La Russa is boring. He worked in the Major League Baseball (MLB) office for two years and helped Jor Torre conduct field training. He served with the Arizona Diamondbacks in May 2014 and served as chief baseball officer for three years. He served as the vice president of the Boston Red Sox for three years, and last year worked for the Angels.
However, he seriously missed the game on the playing field and told friends in recent weeks that he felt very young.
Reinsdorf said in a statement: “This recruitment is not based on friendship or what happened a few years ago, but on the fact that we have the opportunity to have the greatest game history in our group stage. One of the managers, we believe that our team is ready for great achievements.”
La Russa plans to retain most of the current White Sox coaches, although he is exploring the possibility of introducing Hall of Famer Halold Baines. Baynes was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2019 and served as the coach of the White Sox from 2004 to 2015.
La Russa also spoke with the 75-year-old long-term pitching coach Dave Duncan, but Duncan plans to retire. It is expected that the “White Sox” will train a sales coach within the organization to replace Don Cooper, who was fired with Renteria.
Can Reinsdorf and La Russa set foot on the sunset together, will the dream come true?
Time will prove everything, but for sure, it’s worth seeing.