Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

White Sox crash managerial hire as Reinsdorf seems committed to the bit on La Russa

Jerry Reinsdorf (l.) did a very #RobManfredsMLB (r.) thing with the Tony La Russa hire.
Jerry Reinsdorf (l.) did a very #RobManfredsMLB (r.) thing with the Tony La Russa hire.
Image: (Getty Images)

I bet you thought it couldn’t get worse for the White Sox. A lot has happened over the past couple of weeks, and more is assuredly going to happen in the weeks to come, so maybe a refresher is necessary.

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The White Sox, the AL’s most up-and-coming team, fired their manager, Ricky Renteria, after the season. Renteria could very well be named Manager of the Year today. His firing, in itself, wasn’t a huge shock, as Ricky has always been the Point A-to-Point B guy, which is exactly how the Cubs used him six years ago. His poor game management and inability to see things the way the front office did cost him his job, topped off by a self-immolation in a deciding game against Oakland where he ran through 36 different relievers with no particular plan.

You’d think that then they would turn to an up-and-coming manager as well, someone who is familiar with modern methods and players. And they probably wanted to! Instead, their owner, Jerry Reinsdorf, stepped out of his iron lung long enough to force the job upon fellow Tales From the Crypt host Tony La Russa, and then forced La Russa onto his front office. The fans and media alike treated the process and hire much like the recent divorcee at the dinner party who pisses himself before dessert and tries to make out with the host’s best friend.

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Bet you thought it couldn’t get any better/worse, depending on your point of view. But this is 2020, where every joke or horror is sat on way longer than logic would suggest. This is the comedy rule of three come to life.

It came to light last night that La Russa had been charged with a DUI, again, in October for crashing his car in Arizona back in February. This is something of a signature move for La Russa, as he was arrested years ago for falling asleep at an intersection in his car.

I’ll let Kevin Kaduk sum up the whole thing more succinctly than I ever could:

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The Sox have said they were aware of the incident, which means either A) they just didn’t care, and maybe there was no need seeing how the hire was getting panned anyway, so really, how much worse does finding out La Russa is a dangerous shithead make it? Or B) they’re just trying to cover for themselves and make it look like they weren’t completely aloof to this, which would make them look bad. Not as bad as knowing and hiring La Russa anyway, but bad and oblivious. Now they just look bad and indifferent.

Of course, there is a Chicago precedent for this, as the Blackhawks hired Joel Quenneville as coach months after he was charged with a DUI, and they went on to win three Stanley Cups in six years. Mike Ditka got a DUI in October of 1985, just months before the Bears won Super Bowl XX.

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This would give the Sox an out, though they already missed out on the best candidate in A.J. Hinch, according to some, and other candidates might be a little salty about getting initially passed over for a fossil that hasn’t had solid food in a decade. But hey, a job’s a job.

It’s yet another chapter in the wonderful tale of the White Sox, and more to the point, Reinsdorf, who has kept his friends close and idiots closer in both of his organizations (White Sox and Bulls), like Robin Ventura or Kenny Williams or Vinny Del Negro or John Paxon or Gar Forman or Jim Boylan. At least all of them could keep their car on the road.

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The Monday night game was what everyone had hoped for, with the Jets staying true to their nature, while the Patriots were supposedly playing four-dimensional chess in a bid to out-Jet the Jets for the No. 1 pick next spring. And it almost worked.

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The Jets’ first win was there for the taking, as they were up 10 in the 4th quarter, as once again Cam Newton couldn’t complete a pass longer than a cornhole court, and the Pats left enough openings for Joe Flacco, fresh from the Lost & Found, to actually look competent. This play about summed up the first three quarters, as J.C. Jackson went into vapor lock.

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But these are the Jets, and there’s a reason Flacco keeps the formaldehyde close by. All the Jets had to do on either of their last two possessions was to keep the ball, and make a first down or two. Instead, literally on the first play of the first of those two possessions, Flacco heaved a 50-yard Dear John letter into double coverage that was picked off by Jackson. Then they went three-and-out on their last one, which included a sack and an incompletion that died of exhaustion on its way to whatever its target was, which was unclear. Both belches of a drive allowed Newton to dry-hump his way down the field, as it was hardly a masterpiece, but it was enough because J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS.

It’s a Monday Night party, people.

Have you ever looked at a dollar bill, man?

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