White Sox Spit In The Face Of Nerds Everywhere; Hire Hall Of Famer Tony La Russa As Manager

The 2020 World Series wrapped up two days ago and the Rays have been brutally criticized for relying too heavily on analytics and letting a bunch of nerd non-baseball guys control the on-field decision making. Mulraney and I discussed it on the Corner Booth, go listen to the episode now, we are both anti-analytic for the most part so you can get a full recap of that decision making.

Well, the Chicago White Sox have made it a point to defy the analytics and hired one of, if not the most anti-analytic manager in the history of baseball. Tony La Russa returns to the White Sox bench after leaving Chicago to manage the Oakland Athletics and St. Louis Cardinals to World Championships, en route to a Hall of Fame career.

I am so happy about this move, I am anti-analytics and this is the move that teams need to make, hire baseball guys and let them watch the games with their eyes and not a binder and decide what move is the best for their team in the moment, not what was predetermined between a few dungeon and dragon players locked away in the closet of the baseball operations office.

La Russa, who is now 76 years old, was the White Sox Manager from 1979-1986, and compiled a 522-506 record with one playoff appearance. When he left Chicago, he made 13 playoff appearances in 25 seasons, appeared in six World Series and was the Champion of the World in 1989, 2006 and 2011 and finished his career with a .536 winning percentage. He managed his last game in 2011 after winning the World Series with the St. Louis Cardinals, this will be a ten-year hiatus come to an end for a guy who has stayed in and around baseball in the front office and as an advisor most notably for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Look, do I love Tony La Russa and do I hate the overuse of analytics in baseball? Yes, absolutely but let’s be real, could there be a bigger mismatch than La Russa and this young, swagged out, brash White Sox team? It could become a real problem if La Russa strolls in and tells people to stop pimping home runs, button their shirts and he sucks the life out of this young ball club and then we have a situation where Tim Anderson is beating up an 80 year old man in the dugout, that’s not good for anybody.

We have seen coaches loosen up, Tom Coughlin was able to win two super bowls after pulling in the reigns after being a complete hard-ass for generations. This will be an interesting experiment but for the time being let us all relish in the nerds puking in their pocket protectors over this hire.