It’s no secret the White Sox offense is struggling. They rank 25th in the MLB in runs scored, 21st in batting average, and 28th in OBP. One of the biggest issues has been the lack of walks. The White Sox rank dead last in walks this season. Through their first 34 games, they have only drawn 76 free bases, which is 55 less than they had at this point last season.
The four-game set with the Royals seemed like the perfect remedy to jump-start the offense. The Royals pitching staff ranks 26th in the MLB in ERA and 27th in WHIP.
But after the South Siders were limited to just four runs in a doubleheader split with the Kansas City Royals, Ozzie Guillen pointed to Tony La Russa’s lineup in Game 2 as part of the problem.
La Russa opted to rest Yoan Moncada in Game 1, the rested Jose Abreu, and Tim Anderson in Game 2.
On NBC Sports Chicago’s White Sox postgame show, Guillen discussed La Russa’s questionable lineup decisions.
“We’re babysitting players so much. I understand with Jose, yes. But with TA? When you’re young like that, you gotta play every day.”
Guillen brings up a fair point. With the White Sox offense floundering there is no reason that Leury Garcia should be playing both games of a doubleheader while the former batting champion sits on the bench. AJ Pollock and Josh Harrison also played both games, despite both being north of 30 in age.
As a result, the sputtering offense wasted a great effort from Davis Martin in his MLB debut. But in a surprising plot twist, Anderson rushed to the defense of his manager on Twitter.
Just two minutes after White Sox Talk Tweeted a clip from the postgame show of Guillen talking about the Game 2 lineup, Anderson responded on Twitter with ” Ozzie need to stfu sometimes… talk too much!”
Ozzie & Chuck discuss Tony's lineup in game 2:
"We're babysitting players so much. I understand with Jose, yes. But with TA? When you're young like that, you gotta play everyday." pic.twitter.com/wVnIDUuBXO
— White Sox Talk (@NBCSWhiteSox) May 18, 2022
While it may be surprising to some, La Russa and Anderson are very close. The 76-year-old manager has been able to mesh so well with his star shortstop that Anderson went as far as to call him a “best friend”.
“He’s always there. I call him, text him, talk to him before a game, whatever. He’s like a best friend,” Anderson said on the White Sox Talk Podcast. “You always have access to him. He’s going to keep it real with you and that’s what you need when you’re playing a struggling game like this.”
While La Russa is as decorated of a manager as they come, Guillen is no slouch either. He won a World Series ring back in 2005 and like La Russa, has no problem keeping it real.
“TA is what? Twenty-seven years old? Built like a rock and we hear Gorden Beckham say ‘when you a kid go play when your a veteran sit down,'” Guillen said in the same segment.
The offense simply does not have the same spark with Adam Engel at the top of the lineup.