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Former Chicago White Sox prospect Yermin Mercedes seemed thrilled to get a second chance with the San Francisco Giants, and away from Tony La Russa.
La Russa and Mercedes always claimed to have a good relationship, and we should take them at their word until proven otherwise. In fact, La Russa has a good relationship with pretty much everyone in Chicago’s clubhouse — at least from the outside looking in.
Yet, it was a Mercedes who almost retired a year ago, despite being a former surprising prospect revelation at the big-league level. And it was La Russa who put in a call to ensure he gave the South Side of Chicago a second chance.
Unfortunately, Mercedes never flourished again like he did in 2021, and was DFA’d early this season. The Giants acted quickly to pick him up.
Mercedes celebrated his new home with a bottom of champagne. You’d think he just won the World Series. For some, leaving a veteran manager for the likes of Gabe Kapler can be like that.
Giants: Will Yermin Mercedes receive an opportunity by the Bay?
Mercedes will head straight to Triple-A, and will have to acclimate himself to the Giants organization first. Assuming he impresses there, anything is possible.
Last April, Mercedes was named the AL Rookie of the Month, as he batted .415. However, he became even more of a national story that May when he swung at a 3-0 pitch from a position player.
La Russa publicly criticized him, setting off a debate around baseball over the correct forms of good sportsmanship.
With Kapler, he will not run into the same problem. As a younger manager, Kapler stands up for his players and their right to add to the scoreboard, even if that means padding the stats at inopportune times.
The game is changing. San Francisco is on the front foot, now with Mercedes in tow.