The Yermin Mercedes story over the last 24 hours has taken many twists and turns. First, he thought about retiring via his Instagram story. Then, he did kind of retire by announcing that his baseball career was over. Less than 24 hours later, the Chicago White Sox announced that he was in a Charlotte Knights uniform on the active roster for Thursday’s game. With all of these different directions taken by Mercedes, it is hard to evaluate the situation fully right now.
With that said, one thing that isn’t hard to evaluate is Tony La Russa’s position in all of this. We as a fanbase have given Tony La Russa his fair share of criticism. It is warranted. When he was first hired, it seemed like a Jerry Reinsdorf move more than a Rick Hahn move which is concerning. It was followed by his DUI case that he was dealing with, which is another reason for pause.
Early in the season, some decisions were made with his personnel that didn’t make much sense either. He also handled the Yermin Mercedes swinging at a 3-0 count off a position player very badly as well. That is why a lot of people are wrongly blaming Tony for what has happened over the last 24 hours. Just because Yermin and Tony didn’t agree on something months ago doesn’t mean they hate each other.
In fact, when La Russa found out about this situation that was going on Wednesday night, he seemed genuinely concerned and confused. It was the first thing he talked about after the game during his press conference.
To be honest, TLR has handled this whole situation well since Yermin’s initial Instagram post. He is clearly a fan of the player and the person. To be honest, La Russa doesn’t have to even slightly care about the players that are not on the MLB roster right now and he chooses to. The words of encouragement that he has for Yermin Mercedes say a lot about what he thinks of him and his future.
The Chicago White Sox would like to see Yermin Mercedes continue to succeed.
Tony also gave Yermin plenty of opportunities to break out of his slump. Now that he is doing so good in AAA, it would surprise no one if he was called back up at some point. Anyone who has blamed Tony La Russa for these events is reaching just a little bit. He didn’t handle it well when it first happened but it was clear that they moved past it.
Hopefully, these quotes help Yermin get back to the MLB so he can make an impact again. The White Sox would not be in the position that they are if he wasn’t there to help them during a tough April month. If they win the division, he deserves a lot of credit.