Chicago White Sox fans have been critical of the Tony La Russa hiring as manager since he was mentioned as a leading candidate to replace Ricky Renteria last fall. That was after the Sox collapsed down the stretch of the 60-game regular season and lost to the Oakland A’s in the first round of the playoffs.
Many thought the game had passed him by and the recently turned 77-year-old wouldn’t be able to relate to today’s players. Criticism of TLR has eased up some after guiding Chicago to the AL Central title in spite of numerous injuries, having to manage at-bats, and innings pitched for a lot more players than anticipated at the start of the season.
Now with the ALDS against Houston set to start, La Russa gets to make the critical choices that White Sox fans are pondering, including:
- Use of Carlos Rodon and Michael Kopech. Will Rodon get a start? Will Kopech pitch in multiple games? Will it be as a reliever or a starter?
- Does Dallas Keuchel make the playoff roster? If he does, will TLR use him in relief based on his past experience rather than his poor performance in the second half of the season?
- Who plays right field and designated hitter? Options include Leury Garcia, Adam Engel, Gavin Sheets, and Andrew Vaughn.
- Where to bat Luis Robert, Eloy Jimenez and Joan Moncada in the lineup?
- Manage with the “win that game on that day” mentality with the use of the pitching staff instead of slotting pitchers for certain games.
The Chicago White Sox needs Tony La Russa to come through big in October.
White Sox Owner Jerry Reinsdorf wanted La Russa back to manage Chicago a second time with the team being in a position to win a World Series in the next few years. La Russa was the skipper for the 1983 AL West champion White Sox before being fired in 1986 by then General Manager Ken “Hawk” Harrelson.
La Russa then when on to a Hall of Fame career with managerial stops in Oakland and St. Louis. Will La Russa make Southside fans happy making the managerial moves leading to 11 postseason wins and a World Series title? It is time for him to earn his paycheck.