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Chicago White Sox: Tony La Russa is needed for 2022 season

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ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA - AUGUST 20: Tim Anderson #7 and manager Tony La Russa #22 of the Chicago White Sox shake hands after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays by a score of 7-5 at Tropicana Field on August 20, 2021 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)
ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA - AUGUST 20: Tim Anderson #7 and manager Tony La Russa #22 of the Chicago White Sox shake hands after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays by a score of 7-5 at Tropicana Field on August 20, 2021 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images) /
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Chicago White Sox manager Tony La Russa is not about to hang up his uniform and will be back to manage the team for the 2022 season. La Russa’s decision is a good move for the club going forward as it provides stability to an area of the team that has some issues to address this offseason.

La Russa stepped into a situation where he inherited a very talented team that was young and looking to improve on their playoff showing from the year before. Stability is a key to bringing back this manager.

To go through another managerial change (it would be the team’s third manager in three years) would be to take a step back for a team in “win now” mode. His familiarity with his players is important to a team that feels it is on the verge of winning a World Series.

Granted, this team won the same amount of playoff games as it did in 2020 under Ricky Renteria. However, his questionable managing decisions down the stretch were the type of things management felt could keep this team from eventually winning a pennant.

Tony La Russa deserves another opportunity to be the Chicago White Sox manager.

In La Russa, whose resume contains multiple playoffs and World Series appearances, the team has someone who knows what it takes to win and how to get there. One could say La Russa’s return was to be expected because of his relationship to owner and friend Jerry Reinsdorf but it also comes with the blessing of two of the most important people in the clubhouse.

Those two players are shortstop Tim Anderson and first baseman, Jose Abreu. Both see a value in what LaRussa brings to the team, with Abreu giving a pat-on-the-back to his manager for sticking up for him after getting hit by a pitch in game four of the American League Divisional Series.

The White Sox were plagued by injuries this season which is a testament to the job La Russa did in getting them to a division title. The AL Central was weak this year but to lose players the caliber of Eloy Jimenez, Luis Robert, and Tim Anderson for the stretches they did and still take the division by 13 games speaks to the character of the team and how he kept them going through adverse situations.

That said, La Russa is far from being the perfect manager.  There were rough patches that he had to navigate through, specifically when he could have lost the team following the Yermin Mercedes situation early in the season.

However, that issue did not fester into a season-long problem as he and the team got back on the same page and managed to keep their focus on the task at hand. As for the loss to the Astros in the ALDS, the bottom line is the Astros were the better team.

Houston outplayed the Sox in every area and while there were mistakes La Russa made, the Astros did everything right and showed that there is a gap the White Sox needs to close if they want to be in the World Series.

Closing that gap does not begin with looking for a new manager.  La Russa has earned a chance to run this club for another year and with some help from the front office to shore up some holes, should be headed back to October baseball.

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