Chicago White Sox: Three biggest 2021 concerns going in

Vincent Parise
SURPRISE, ARIZONA - MARCH 03: Manager Tony La Russa #22 removes Tyler Johnson #68 of the Chicago White Sox during a pitching change against the Kansas City Royals on March 3, 2021 at Surprise Stadium in Surprise Arizona. (Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images)
SURPRISE, ARIZONA - MARCH 03: Manager Tony La Russa #22 removes Tyler Johnson #68 of the Chicago White Sox during a pitching change against the Kansas City Royals on March 3, 2021 at Surprise Stadium in Surprise Arizona. (Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images) /
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Chicago White Sox Tony La Russa
Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /

1. Tony La Russa needs to be a good Chicago White Sox manager on and off the field.

The White Sox made a smart decision when they let go of Rick Renteria after the 2020 season. It was clear as day that he wasn’t the man to get them to the next level. He is a phenomenal human being and is great for managing a young team trying to learn how to compete but he is not the guy that you win a World Series with. Even the Chicago Cubs let him go right when it went from “work hard” mode to “win the World Series” mode.

There were some very controversial candidates on the market in Alex Cora and AJ Hinch. Both of those guys are connected to the 2017 Houston Astros cheating scandal. Well, they are both also very good baseball managers so they found jobs right when their year-long ban was up. Neither of them, however, ended up with the White Sox. They decided to go with Tony La Russa.

La Russa is 76 years old and hasn’t managed a single baseball game since winning the World Series in 2011 with the St. Louis Cardinals. He also has his demons off the field with his recent DUI case. As a result of all of these things, people are very skeptical about the hire. It is definitely a concern if you are a White Sox fan.

There also can be hope because he is someone who has had a lot of success in his career. He uses both “feel for the game” and analytics to make decisions which makes him more unique than most managers. Most just choose one side or the other. For La Russa, he just needs to make good decisions with his baseball team and the winning should follow. He knows how to manage a bullpen which is a big positive in his hire because Renteria wasn’t awesome at it. Despite the concerns, he might be able to pull it off.

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