There was significant concern when the Chicago White Sox, a franchise with a very exciting young roster, hired Tony La Russa out of retirement. One of those young Sox stars, Tim Anderson, is happy with how things went this season.
The White Sox had a very successful first year under La Russa, who last managed the St. Louis Cardinals back in 2011. La Russa’s first managing job was with the White Sox from 1979-86. He returned to the team decades later to lead them to the playoffs.
Chicago went 93-69, winning the AL Central by 13 games. The team couldn’t overcome a great Houston Astros club in the divisional round of the MLB Playoffs, falling in four games, 3-1. The White Sox went 35-25 in the shortened 2020 season under Rick Renteria, falling to the Oakland A’s in a three-game Wild Card series.
Anderson, a 2021 All-Star at shortstop for the White Sox, says that La Russa made a “huge impact” on the team this season. “Couldn’t be more happy with what he did,” Anderson said, confirming that he hopes the 77-year old returns for another season.
Tony La Russa made "a huge impact," Tim Anderson said.
'Couldn't be more happy with what he did. Hopefully he steps back in and continues to push us. For me, I want him to be back. He did a great job.'
— Daryl Van Schouwen (@CST_soxvan) October 14, 2021
La Russa’s first year back in Chicago wasn’t without controversy, both on and off the field. Last year, on the day before the White Sox hired him, he was charged with a DUI, stemming from an incident in February. It was his second DUI arrest, with the first coming back in 2007.
Early in the season, he was the subject of another firestorm after failing to defend his player Yermin Mercedes, who was thrown at after homering off of a Minnesota Twins position player. He called the home run a “big mistake,” and said he had no problem with the Twins plunking his player. The incident seemed to derail Mercedes, who was off to a very hot start. He did not appear for the White Sox after June 30, spending time in Triple-A.
Based on Tim Anderson’s comments, however, it seems like Tony La Russa made a strong impact with other players on the team throughout the season. Anderson’s quote comes after La Russa essentially laid his future at the feet of his players, after the team’s season came to an end with the final loss to the Astros.
“You don’t want to come back [just] because you got a contract,” La Russa said, via the Chicago Sun Times. “I would just leave if they don’t want you back.
“If they say yes, then you ask the players. You know? They should choose whom they want to manage… If the players don’t want you, then you walk away.”
La Russa said that he continues to have the “desire” to manage the team, and that he would like to return for 2022.