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The Chicago White Sox would be better off with any of these three managing the team instead of Tony La Russa.
Who needs analytics when you’ve got Chicago White Sox manager Tony La Russa calling for intentional walks when a batter is already down 1-2 in the count? He’s operating on a different plain.
This is what happened earlier this week when Trea Turner was a strike away from going down with room for error. Instead of being fierce and going for the out, La Russa basically handed the Los Angeles Dodgers a couple of runs. Max Muncy was the next batter for Los Angeles and a three-run home run from him made La Russa public enemy number one in Chicago.
La Russa’s latest stint with the White Sox has been dramatic with last year’s Yermin Mercedes incident standing out. La Russa was angry with Mercedes for swinging 3-0 and hitting a home run. Apparently, La Russa knows best.
While unlikely to get fired from his job just yet, fans can dream. These three managers, both employed and jobless at the moment, would be far better fits for the White Sox than La Russa. Although a correct answer could be “anyone else,” let’s narrow it down to three.
1) White Sox: Joe Espada would give the players a younger and different voice
Joe Espada is a favorite every offseason for a managerial job. Now the bench coach of the Houston Astros, some team needs to offer him a job before he eventually takes over for Dusty Baker. Otherwise, the reign of terror by the Astros in the American League West could continue with a new captain.
Born in Puerto Rico, Espada is 46-years-old and experienced in a variety of roles except major league manager. He has even worked in the front office for the New York Yankees which has given him the kind of insight many managers may not have. Nobody may know baseball better than him.
Although he was born in three years before La Russa managed his first big league game in 1979 for the White Sox, there’s a great benefit to having a younger skipper in the dugout. La Russa seems out-of-touch sometimes with the players. The White Sox are a club with a lot of young players on the roster yet they haven’t been able to do much with it; this year in partuclar. They’ve tried the veteran skipper. Next, they need to see if a younger voice can get the job done.
La Russa’s ability to manage should have come into question this week if it wasn’t already debatable. Espada will have plenty to prove as a manager. One guarantee: he won’t walk a batter intentionally when he’s a strike away from getting out.