There is no one smug baseball writers love bashing nowadays more than Tony La Russa. No one. Search “Tony La Russa” on Twitter and you’ll find a litany of media members mocking his every misstep. They don’t approve of his age. Only young geniuses like them can possibly understand the intricacies of modern baseball. Dinosaurs like the 76-year-old Tony La Russa have no chance. They disapprove of the process in which he was hired to manage the White Sox. They’re upset he got a DUI and said dumb things to a cop early last year. They don’t like that he hasn’t managed since 2011. Yada yada yada.
Welp. Tony La Russa’s old, drunk ass is flipping a massive middle finger at you snobs. His first-place Chicago White Sox are the best team in MLB, thanks in part to their Hall of Fame manager.
Why Are We Surprised?
There were people doubting whether La Russa would be able to adapt to the modern game and the cultures of today’s stars. I’m gonna give these people (many of whom are paid to analyze baseball), the benefit of the doubt; I think they just don’t like him for the aforementioned reasons, and that clouded their judgment. You get a mulligan for that one. Because, people. What in the fuck were we thinking there?
This is a man who won three World Series titles in three different decades. He’s done it in the American League and the National League. Would he be able to adjust to today’s game? Guys, he is one of the people who invented today’s game. La Russa is among the game’s greatest innovators; a man who championed a data-driven approach all the way back to his days with Oakland in the 80s and 90s. You think Kevin Cash likes to think outside the box with his lineups and pitching staff management? La Russa’s been doing shit like that for decades. He is an elite tactician who stayed heavily involved with the game as a front office member after he retired in 2011, for the Diamondbacks, Red Sox, and Angels. Yet people still doubt him? C’mon now. Get outta here with the whole “the game has passed him by” bullshit.
Oh, and he also happens to be a master psychologist, arguably the most important job of a manager. You think it’s a coincidence La Russa always seems to get the most out of his roster? I guess it’s luck that the White Sox are getting breakout performances from guys like Dylan Cease and Carlos Rodón. José Abreu has already commented on the winning culture and and confidence La Russa has brought to the White Sox clubhouse. That’s the kind of thing managers must be experts at, as baseball is a mental grind that can wear down even the most talented team in the world if they’re not in the right environment. So far, it appears Tony La Russa has helped his players succeed, as he always has.
Enjoy Your Crow
Those predicting or hoping for the White Sox to flop this season are in for a tough 2021. Real bad break for you guys. The White Sox are quickly establishing themselves as a force in the American League, and have done so largely without two of their best players in Eloy Jiménez and Luis Robert. When those two come back? Oh baby. This could easily be a 100-win team. Hope you like the taste of crow.
The 22-13 White Sox are must-see TV. They are young, exciting, and dominate every phase of the game. Oh, and Tony La Russa is still one of the best managers in the history of the sport. Ol’ #10 is only going to get better this season as he gets more comfortable in the dugout. I am still a Marlins fan, but goddamnit would I be happy if the White Sox won it all this season.