When the White Sox brought back Tony La Russa for a second stint they knew they were getting a Hall of Fame manager with championship pedigree. They were also aware they were going to get some extra baggage too.
On Monday the Sox new skipper plead guilty to a charge of reckless driving stemming from an DUI arrest back in February. While he was a member of the Los Angles Angels front office he was he was pulled over during spring training. The details of the arrest later emerged and they sounded like they were written in a sitcom. Details include La Russa refusing to take a breathalyzer test then dropping this great one liner: “Do you see my ring? I’m a Hall of Famer baseball person”.
As part of a plea deal the DUI charge was reduced to reckless driving. However La Russa was still sentenced to one day of home detention, a fine of $1,383 and 20 hours of community service. So if you happen to see La Russa picking up trash on the side of the highway you’ll know why.
La Russa Speaks About His Arrest Publicly
La Russa spoke about his arrest on Monday saying
“I brought this on Myself, I Know it. I feel deep remorse and regret over what i did”
Obviously he did not make a great first impression in his new job. Many fans have voiced their frustrations and concern about his hiring after news of the arrest broke. La Russa touched on this Monday as well
“Fans should be concerned because it’s a mistake that’s totally avoidable.”
“There Hasn’t been a day since FEBRUARY that i haven’t been upset with myself. “
Despite his remorse he refuted claims that he has a drinking problem and said he aims to prove it. It will be interesting to see how he intends to do so but hopefully it involves winning baseball games.
Impact Going Forward
Drinking and driving is no laughing matter and La Russa has been caught doing it twice. His poor judgment has put other peoples lives at risk. Not a good look for someone that is suppose to be a leader of men. La Russa said it himself, fans have good reason to be concerned. That being said he took a positive first step by confronting the issue head on and showing remorse to the public.
Is it genuine? Hard to say but he said all of the right things and took responsibility for his actions and that is what a good leader should do. Hopefully La Russa learned his lesson the second time around and the White Sox can move on. Lost in the ugly news about his arrest where his comments about his goals for the upcoming season. La Russa says he wants the White Sox to be so good that the ball park is packed in September.
La Russa says that he wants the Sox to "be so good that in September the ballpark's full, and I want to be the manager the year we draw three million fans."
— Vinnie Duber (@VinnieDuber) December 21, 2020
Winning baseball games for the White Sox will not make up for what he did. But it certainly would not hurt the process of White Sox fans forgiving him and accepting him as their manager.