The Chicago White Sox have hired a new manager for 2020. They have brought Tony La Russa out of retirement to serve as skipper. The team relieved manager Rick Renteria after exiting the playoffs. The White Sox announced the move Thursday afternoon.
Tony La Russa, a member of baseball’s Hall of Fame, the third-winningest manager in baseball history, a three-time World Series champion and a four-time winner of the Manager of the Year Award, has been named the new manager of the Chicago White Sox. pic.twitter.com/RKP24rleHP
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) October 29, 2020
White Sox Hire Tony La Russa
La Russa is one of the most successful managers in baseball’s history. He led the White Sox, Oakland Athletics and St. Louis Cardinals during a career that stretched from 1979 through 2011. During that stretch, La Russa won six pennants and three World Series titles. His overall record is 2728-2365. That is the third-most wins in the major leagues behind only John McGraw and Connie Mack.
The veteran leader certainly inherits one of baseball’s most exciting teams. Chicago is coming off a 35-25 season where they lost a close series to the A’s during the expanded Wild Card round. The White Sox have several of baseball’s top prospects from recent years including Nick Madrigal, Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert. They also have a strong pitching core that should keep them competitive for several years. This is a dream job for many managers, even when you consider that La Russa hasn’t been a significant clubhouse presence since retiring after the 2011 World Series.
What This Means for the Future
La Russa is the only Hall of Fame manager to come out of retirement to coach again. The closest situation is Connie Mack going into the Hall of Fame as a manager while still actively doing the job. This move represents uncharted territory.
While the game has changed since La Russa retired, it’s not as though he isn’t aware of the game’s current environment. He in infamous for his bullpen innovations while managing Oakland. Relievers usage has only expanded over the years, so he should have no trouble adjusting in that regard. There will be some questions how much he has embraced analytics as a whole, but the White Sox probably wouldn’t hire him if they thought he was dismissive of modern thinking and strategy. At the very least, this is a move that will get fans on the South Side very interested in 2021.
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