Tony La Russa will return to manage the Chicago White Sox for the 2022 season, a source told ESPN on Thursday.
White Sox stars Tim anderson and José Abreu had both publicly lobbied for La Russa, 77, to return this week after Chicago’s elimination by the Houston Astros in Game 4 of the American League Division Series.
“I want him back,” Anderson said Thursday. “In the end, my decision doesn’t really matter. I guess it all depends on what the front office thinks.… I really want him to participate. I think he did a great job with it. the way he handled and just be open. “
Abreu said on Wednesday he was “pretty sure” that La Russa would return.
“He won’t leave us alone. He will be with us,” Abreu said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Abreu also said he appreciated La Russa’s post-match comments in which he said Abreu was hit “intentionally” by Astros’ reliever. Kendall graveman at the end of the eighth round of match 4.
“It was a natural reaction. It’s the kind of reaction I would have if something happened to one of my children,” Abreu told reporters, according to MLB.com. “Tony was trying to protect me, and he’s still trying to protect us.”
La Russa’s future was a bit uncertain after the White Sox ended the season on Tuesday. He then said it was management first, then the players. If they want him to come back, then “you check and see if you have the desire to continue managing, then I do,” he said.
President Jerry Reinsdorf lured La Russa to Chicago to come out of retirement for a second stint with the franchise that gave him his first major league manager job, hoping the three-time World Series winner could lead a star-studded squad. towards a deep race in October.
La Russa hadn’t filled out a roster card since leading the Cardinals of Saint-Louis at the World Series Championship in 2011, and there were questions about how his old-fashioned ways would harmonize with the young and dynamic team stars such as Anderson.
“Everyone thought we weren’t going to get along,” said Anderson, who made his first all-team all-star this season. “But overall we were talking backstage all the time. For him alone the players come first and he lets it know. We’re a big family.”
La Russa had a public disagreement with a few of their players after berating Yermin Mercedes for a 3-0 homerun in the ninth inning of a 16-4 win over Minnesota in May.
But with one of the best lineups and pitching teams in baseball, the White Sox hit a 93-69 record and beat Cleveland by 13 games at AL Central for their Premier League championship in 13 years. The total wins were the highest since the 2005 world championship squad rose to 99-63.
La Russa passed John McGraw for second on baseball’s all-time win list behind Connie Mack while guiding the White Sox to their second straight playoff appearance. They had never made the playoffs in consecutive years. But after being knocked out by the Oakland Athletics in the wild card round in 2020, they again failed to advance and were convincingly beaten by Houston.
“I think he did a great job, coming in and being a part of what we’ve been trying to do,” Anderson said. “I couldn’t be happier than what he did. The relationship was great overall. Everyone got along well with him. I think he came and did what he was. supposed to do. “
The Associated Press contributed to this report.