How was your week

Posted: June 11, 2022 by Sports Time Radio in sports

From 1986 until 2007 Tony LaRussa was considered one of if not the best manager in Major League Baseball.

LaRussa managed the Oakland A’s from 1986 until 1995 before moving to the St. Louis cardinals in 1996 and staying their until 2007. While managing the A’s LaRussa took them to three consecutive World Series appearances in 1988, 1989 and 1990 winning one. LaRussa also managed the Cardinals to three World Series appearances winning two of those.

Before managing the A’s and the Cardinals LaRussa managed the Chicago White Sox starting with the final 54 games of the 1979 season and managing until he was fired 64 games into the 1986 season. The White Sox made one playoff appearance with LaRussa as their manager in this stint.

After not managing for ten years LaRussa came back to take over the White Sox last season and led them to an American League Central title and a playoff appearance. The White Sox were eliminated from the playoffs by the Houston Astros 3 games to 1 in the American League Divisional Series.

The White Sox have had their issues to start the 2022 season. The White are currently in 3rd place in the American League Centra with a record of 27-29 which puts them 5 games behind the 1st place Minnesota Twins and game behind the 2nd place Cleveland Guardians. Now just 56 games into a 162-game season it’s not quite time for the White Sox to panic, but there might be some questions about LaRussa’s managerial ability.

This week during a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers LaRussa ordered and intentional walk to Trea Turner. Now there’s nothing odd about intentionally walking a batter, but at the time LaRussa ordered this intentional walk Turner had a 1 ball 2 strike count on him. I honestly don’t remember the last time I saw a batter intentionally walked when he had two strikes on them.

Obviously after the game the media had some questions about this especially since the batter behind Turner Max Muncy hit a 3-run home run.

During his interview LaRussa brought up an odd point about how Turner had a certain average with two strikes on him compared to Muncy’s average with two strikes on him. It was almost like LaRussa thought that the count Turner had would carry over to Muncy’s at bat after the intentional walk. Didn’t he realize that Muncy wouldn’t start the at bat with two strikes on him?

You may remember last season that LaRussa didn’t understand the runner starting on 2nd base rule and actually had closer Liam Hendricks start the inning on 2nd base because the White Sox had lost their designated hitter due to some lineup changes.

When Ken “Hawk” Harrelson was the White Sox broadcaster he used to say that a good manager would get his team five extra wins a season while a bad manager would cost his team five games a season. At this point in his managerial career, it looks like LaRussa might be costing the White Sox five game or more this season. With the way things are going for the White Sox LaRussa’s managing may even cost them a playoff spot.

Now this season we’ve already seen two well-known well-established managers fired. First the Philadelphia Phillies fired Joe Girardi and then the Los Angeles Angels followed suit and canned Joe Maddon. Would the White Sox actually consider firing LaRussa?

What may be unfortunate for White Sox fans is there’s no chance that LaRussa would be fired by the White Sox. LaRussa and White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf are very close friends, so a firing isn’t going to happen. About the best that the White Sox fans could hope for is that LaRussa sees the writing on the wall and that the game has passed him by, and he resigns, but I doubt that would happen either. I do think that LaRussa would walk away from the White Sox managers position of the team won a World Series, but that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen this season.

As always, I’m interested in your opinion on this. What did you think of the two-strike intentional walk? What are the chances that the White Sox would actually fire LaRussa?

I haven’t mentioned lately, but don’t forget that you can find me on Twitter @Burketime.

Comments
  1. I’ve been following baseball for 75 years and I’ve never seen that situation employed before. Muncy glared into the White Sox dugout after his 3 run shot and I can’t really blame him.
    And even the stats that LaRussa quoted were wrong. If it wasn’t for the Reinsdorff-LaRussa friendship, he would have already been fired.

    Like

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