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The Chicago White Sox played better before the All-Star Break, but by no means is manager Tony La Russa out of the woods just yet.
La Russa’s players all say the right things — that they are to blame for the on-field product, not their Hall of Fame manager. And while that may be true to a point, La Russa has cost his team several games this year alone with curious decision-making.
That deserves some sort of retribution.
The likes of Joe Girardi and Charlie Montoyo were fired for less, while Joe Maddon was canned by the Angels in the midst of a record losing streak. Yet, despite ‘Fire Tony’ chants surely heard from the owner’s box, Jerry Reinsdorf won’t budge off La Russa.
But he shouldn’t get too comfortable.
White Sox: Tony La Russa still on the hot seat
Until the season is over, La Russa knows he can’t get too comfortable. The 77-year-old skipper is on a short-term contract for a reason.
Several stats in particular show just how inept La Russa’ team has been at times this season:
- They have 4 defensive runs saved, 21st in MLB, and rank 29th in fielding percentage.
- They’ve made the third-most outs on the bases
- Their home record is a dismal 19-25
There are more positional-related numbers which also look quite bad, including team ERA, OPS against right-handed hitters and even more, but I selected these three statistics because they generally reflect how well-coached a team is.
Defensively, Chicago hasn’t been anywhere near a playoff contender, ranking near the bottom of the league. The best teams in the AL don’t have that problem.
Making outs on the basepaths is also inexcusable, and for having such a supposed firm hand, the players don’t seem all that afraid to make critical mistakes after already reaching base. Chicago needs runs!
The home record, while brutal, speaks more for the product the fans have seen with their own eyes this season. It’s no wonder they want La Russa gone.
Perhaps a second-half turnaround can change everything, but for now, there’s still some drama brewing on the south side of Chicago.