While this current stretch for the Chicago White Sox hasn't been ideal, Chicago fans could at least find solace in the fact that they didn't have to deal with Tony La Russa at manager anymore. While the White Sox did win an AL Central title with TLR at the helm, that seems to have been more in spite of him instead of because of him.
La Russa once intentionally walked a batter who had two strikes and, predictably, the next batter homered. He would leave pitchers who were getting shelled in for far too long, had Leury Garcia hit leadoff for some reason over far superior options, and time and time again he showed that he was a relic of a far gone era and often seemed to not understand what was going on or knew the new rules in place. It was embarrassing, full stop.
Unfortunately, La Russa's friendship with White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf endures and TLR is back. After a brief retirement to deal with heart-related health issues as well as cancer, La Russa is back with the White Sox as a senior adviser to the team.
Tony La Russa is returning to the White Sox making a terrible offseason even worse
The good news here is that TLR isn't going to be managing anymore and he did take pains to say that he isn't going to be calling the shots when it comes to personnel or strategy...at least officially. He has been adamant that he had nothing to do with the firings of Ken Williams or Rick Hahn. Let the record reflect that Tony maintains that it is Chris Getz and manager Pedro Grifol are in charge.
At least they are until they aren't.
Here is the problem: installing La Russa at all is only likely to feed Reinsdorf's worse impulses. All parties may play nice in public, but the reality is that TLR is going to be in Reinsdorf's ear whenever he sees something he doesn't like and is going to be an instrument of Jerry's will when ownership wants changes or at least answers. A certain amount of skepticism regarding how all of this is actually going to play out is most certainly warranted if history is any indication.
Fortunately, this does seem to be a part-time arrangement as he is still getting healthy again after several health challenges. If he is simply a guy that the guys on the field or in the office want to bounce ideas off of, fine. However, they probably could do that anyways even if Tony was retired and his new title. If it is any more than that and we start seeing more nonsense decisions on the field or with the roster, well...at least the White Sox will have someone else to hate again.