Hold on White Sox fans, Bob Nightengale is reporting that the Los Angeles Angels have granted permission for Chicago to interview their Hall of Fame “special assistant” Tony LaRussa. LaRussa is currently a spry 76 years old and has been involved with Major League Baseball since 1963. LaRussa is a three-time World Series champion and a four-time Manager of the Year winner. Is he the right fit for the Southside?
Would Rick Hahn Hire Tony LaRussa?
There are several potential candidates for the White Sox to hire. It’s arguably the best manager opening in all of baseball right now. Why would Rick Hahn waste that opportunity on a 76-year-old? Now, LaRussa is no ordinary 70+ year-old man. He’s a Hall of Famer. But, that’s still 32 years older than Alex Cora (44), who many White Sox fans consider a favorite to be the club’s next manager.
Did you know LaRussa used to manage the White Sox? Yep… from 1979 to 1986, eight years. During that span, he managed 1141 games. He also won AL Manager of the Year in 1983. LaRussa also spent 10 years in Oakland and 16 in St. Louis. Cubs fans know him very well. He retired after leading the Cardinals to the 2011 World Series championship.
Do you think Hahn is serious about this, or is it a smokescreen?
La Russa has declined several managerial opportunities in the past, but this job opening, well, has him quite intrigued.
La Russa, when contacted by USA TODAY Sports, confirmed he has rejected previous overtures, but declined to discuss the possibly of returning to Chicago.
Jerry Reinsdorf and LaRussa Are Friends
USA Today is reporting that Reinsdorf and LaRussa are close friends. Reinsdorf is 84. The owner of the White Sox since 1981, Reinsdorf has only seen one World Series championship (2005) and one AL Pennant (2005) in 39 years.
Reinsdorf also owns the Chicago Bulls, who are going through a rebuilding phase of their own. They have the fourth pick in the upcoming draft and finished 22-43 last season. The Bulls just hired Billy Donovan to be their new head coach.
Who Manages White Sox in 2021
Bleacher Report ranked the White Sox as #7 in the post-2020 Power Rankings, and that’s after an ugly loss to the A’s in the playoffs. Many blamed the loss on former manager Rick Renteria after using nine pitchers in Game 3, but that ship has clearly sailed.
Who are the favorites to manage the White Sox in 2021? Well, we’ve already mention Cora. You can also throw A.J. Hinch and Sandy Alomar Jr. into that conversation as well.
The Los Angeles #Angels say they have granted official permission to the Chicago #WhiteSox to interview Hall of Famer Tony La Russa for their managerial opening. La Russa is currently a special assistant in the #Angels organization. https://t.co/yL9D8Uv2Vo via @USATODAY
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) October 14, 2020
Nobody knows exactly who will manage Chicago in 2021, but everyone understands the importance of the decision. The White Sox have a prime opportunity to be a contender for a long time. They don’t want a Marc Trestman-type hire. The team will need a manager who can connect with young players and maximize their talent levels to compete for a future world championship.
LaRussa may or may not be the right guy for the job, but one thing is clear, Hahn better get this right.