Monday, October 3, 2022

White Sox manager Tony La Russa resigns due to heart disease CBC Sports

Tony La Russa stepped down as manager of the Chicago White Sox on Monday due to a heart problem, ending a disappointing two-year run at the same venue where the Hall of Famer was replaced by his own as a big league captain. Got the first job.

La Russa, the three-time World Series champion, who turned 78 on Tuesday, missed the final 34 games the White Sox had. He left the team on August 30 and doctors eventually told him to stay out of the dugout.

La Russa had a pacemaker implanted in February and doctors were later diagnosed with another heart problem, which they did not elaborate on.

“It has become clear that the treatment and recovery process for this second health problem has made it impossible for me to become White Sox manager in 2023,” he said in a statement. “The timing of this announcement now enables the Front Office to fill the manager position along with its other off-season priorities.”

Chicago started the season with World Series aspirations but was plagued by injuries and inconsistent play. It was 79-80 in Monday night’s game against Minnesota.

“Our team’s record this season is the ultimate reality. It’s an unacceptable disappointment. There were some pluses, but a lot of minuses,” La Russa said. “I was hired to provide positive, differentiated leadership and support. Our record is proof. I didn’t do my job.”

Bench coach Miguel Cairo took over after La Russa left. The White Sox showed a spark by winning 10 of 14 just after the change. But they dropped eight straight in late September, dashing playoff hopes.

Chicago White Sox Senior Vice President/General Manager Rick Hahn commented after manager Tony La Russa announced that he had stepped down from his role with the team due to a heart problem. (Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press)

La Russa, who is a close friend of White Sox president Jerry Reinsdorf, was a surprise hire in October 2020, and he guided the team to the AL Central title last year.

But the White Sox were fuming throughout 2022, and “Fire Tony! Fire Tony!” slogans were being raised. On the Guaranteed Rate field.

“I’ve never been disappointed or upset by White Sox fans, including those who sometimes called ‘Fire Tony’,” La Russa said. “They come into games with passion for our team and a strong desire to win. They are loud and excited when we win, they are upset when we play poorly.”

Tony La Russa walks back into the dugout after chatting with home plate umpire Mike Estabrook during his ninth inning as Chicago White Sox manager against the Texas Rangers in Arlington, Texas. (LM Otero/Associated Press)

All-Star shortstop Tim Anderson and sluggers Aloy Jimenez and Luis Robert missed crucial time due to injuries. Catcher Yasmani Grandal and third baseman Yoan Moncada also had health issues, and performed poorly when they were on the field.

There were also embarrassing breakdowns, such as when the White Sox ran themselves into the first 8–5 triple play in major league history during their July 4 loss to Minnesota.

La Russa remained a lightning rod for fans who weren’t thrilled with his appointment at first. His lineup came under question as did his decisions in the Games.

Some fans chanted for La Russa’s dismissal on June 9 after an awkward call for a deliberate walk for Dodgers Tree Turner despite a 1-2 count. Bennett Sousa bounced the 0-2 slider, allowing the runner to advance from first. to second.

With the base open, La Russa opted to walk Turner though there were two strikes. Max Muncie beat a three-run homer to give Los Angeles an 11-9 win.

Another moment that raised eyebrows happened at the start of the 2021 season.

Second on the list of baseball career victories

During the 1–0 loss to Cincinnati, La Russa were unaware of a rule that would have allowed them to use Jose Abreu as the automatic runner at second base instead of Liam Hendrix in the 10th inning.

Along with Chicago, Oakland and St. Louis with a record 2,900-2,514 over 35 years, La Russa is behind only Connie Mack on baseball’s career win list. He had overtaken John McGraw last season.

But there were big questions about whether La Russa was the right person for the job when the White Sox hired him to replace Rick Renteria. They had not filled the lineup card since 2011, when St. Louis defeated Texas in the World Series. There were doubts about how someone known for their laughs more than smiles would tie up with a fun-loving team that made the White Sox’s first playoff appearance since 2008.

Then, shortly after he was hired, news of his arrest on a DUI misdemeanor charge came to the fore.

This 1983 file photo shows Chicago White Sox manager Tony La Russa. Hall of Famer La Russa, who won a World Series championship with the Oakland Athletics and two more with the St. Louis Cardinals, returned after 34 years to manage the Chicago White Sox. (The Associated Press)

La Russa blew a tire of a Lexus he was driving after colliding with a curb after going out to dinner with friends in Arizona in February. The case was filed on October 28, a day before the White Sox announced La Russa’s appointment.

He pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of reckless driving and was sentenced to one day of domestic detention, a fine of about $1,400, and 20 hours of community service.

La Russa pleaded guilty to driving under the influence in Florida in 2007, when police found him smelling and smelling alcohol inside his running sport-utility vehicle at a stoplight.

La Russa captured the championship with Oakland in 1989 and the Cardinals in 2006 and 2011. Former big league infielder and Sparky Anderson is the only manager to have won a World Series in the American and National leagues.

He got his first major league management job at age 34, when the White Sox promoted him from Triple-A to replace Don Kessinger, who was fired during the 1979 season. He took over that August and led them to a record of 522–510 over the span of eight seasons.

The 1983 team won 99 games en route to the AL West Championship—Chicago’s first playoff appearance since 1959 when the Go-Go White Sox won the pennant. But La Russa was fired in 1986 by then-general manager Ken Harrelson, when the White Sox started 26–38, a move Reinsdorf long regretted.

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