Tony La Russa's inflammatory comments on Yermin Mercedes should be a fireable offense

  

Category:  Sports

Via:  john-russell  •  5 months ago  •  5 comments

By:   Patrick Schmidt (MSN)

Tony La Russa's inflammatory comments on Yermin Mercedes should be a fireable offense
Chicago White Sox manager Tony La Russa doesn't get it and his handling of Yermin Mercedes is the latest example of the game passing him by. The Chicago White Sox are one of the leading contenders to win the World Series despite their Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa who continues to prove...

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


Chicago White Sox manager Tony La Russa doesn't get it and his handling of Yermin Mercedes is the latest example of the game passing him by.

The Chicago White Sox are one of the leading contenders to win the World Series despite their Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa who continues to prove the game has passed him by.

La Russa didn't come to the defense of his player, Yermin Mercedes after he hit a home run in Monday night's blowout win over the Minnesota Twins, and essentially advocated for him to get thrown at.

"Big mistake," La Russa said Tuesday. "The fact that he's a rookie, and excited, helps explain why he just was clueless. But now he's got a clue."

"I took several steps from the dugout onto the field, yelling, 'Take, take, take,'" La Russa recalled. "The way he was set up, it looked to me like he was going to swing.

"I was upset because that's not a time to swing 3-0. I knew the Twins knew I was upset. … He missed a 3-0 take sign. With that kind of lead, that's just sportsmanship and respect for your opponent."

La Russa chalked up the 28-year-old who leads the American League in batting average to a learning experience for which he'll have to pay the price.

Hitting a home run after toiling in the minors is an offense now?


Yet the team that put their reserve catcher on the mound to serve up the home run is fair game, and throwing at Mercedes to teach him a lesson is not only acceptable, but encouraged, by the guy's manager?

Make it make sense.


Tony La Russa's comments on the Twins throwing behind Yermin Mercedes: pic.twitter.com/dLe7Oriohk — White Sox Talk (@NBCSWhiteSox) May 19, 2021

Tyler Duffy threw at Mercedes late in Tuesday's game when he threw behind the right-handed hitter. He was promptly ejected along with Twins manager Rocco Baldelli.

Even the umpires who should be replaced by robots have enough sense to know what the Twins did was wrong. Why do the hallowed unwritten rules of baseball have an issue with a player swinging at a 3-0 pitch in a blowout but throwing a 94 MPH fastball with the intention of hitting the guy encouraged?

Baseball is a great sport but some of these old customs need to go away forever.

La Russa's hire raised eyebrows all across baseball, especially along the South Side of Chicago where fans knew it wasn't a great fit to bring the "old school" La Russa for a very "new school" roster of talent that is among the best collection in baseball.

His doubling and tripling down on making an example of Mercedes — for hitting a home run — is the latest example that the game has passed La Russa by. The "respect the game" nonsense has to stop and the fact La Russa took no issue with Mercedes getting thrown at and even defending the actions of the Twins is going to alienate him with his players. He's already lost the fans despite their success thus far this season.


La Russa: "What did they do? He tried to get a sinker in. You don't read minds. I'm not going to read their mind and I also don't second guess the umpire when its his judgment. If the ball is thrown at someone's head you don't give them the benefit of the doubt." — Jesse Rogers (@JesseRogersESPN) May 19, 2021

"I don't want to ever give the other team an excuse to take a shot at one of our players," he said. "We were taught from day one to respect the game, respect the competition, respect the opponent. "I heard he said something like, 'I play my game.' No, he doesn't. He plays the game of Major League Baseball, respects the game, respects the opponents. And he's got to respect the [take] sign."

La Russa should think about respecting his players, his team, his fans and stop worrying about the precious unwritten rules of baseball.

How ironic is it that the White Sox motto this season is "change the game" and yet La Russa is dedicated to keeping the game the way it was 100 years ago?

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JohnRussell
Professor Principal
1  seeder  JohnRussell    5 months ago

I have mixed feelings about this. The White Sox have the best record in baseball even though two of their best players are out , basically for the season, with injuries. So 76 year old Tony LaRussa must be doing something right as manager. The back seat managers in the media and on social media love to attack LaRussa because he's 76 years old and is not the friendliest manager in MLB. Most of the time he is a little sullen as a matter of fact. 

So now his star rookie Yermin Mercedes,  who leads major league baseball in batting average, swung at a 47 mile an hour pitch on a 3-0 count in the late innings of Mondays game and clobbered a long home run to center field, making the score 16 - 4 in favor of the White Sox. 

LaRussa publicly berated Mercedes after the game saying there would be consequences for the rookie breaking an unwritten rule that you dont "rub it in" on a team once you are beating them that badly. 

Although I tend to agree with LaRussa on this , I think there is a mitigating factor . Although Mercedes definitely took a home run swing, he did not hot dog it after hitting the bomb, and from what I can see he didnt do anything unusual running the bases either. 

I can see LaRussa telling him dont blow off my take sign again, but I think he should have done it in private. 

 
 
 
SteevieGee
Senior Silent
1.1  SteevieGee  replied to  JohnRussell @1    5 months ago

I'm sorry.  He's trying to intentionally walk me, if I see one I can hit, I'm gonna rip it just for fun. Especially a fat 47 mph pitch like that one.

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
Professor Guide
2  Paula Bartholomew    5 months ago

When that schmuck is feeding the birds in a park and drooling, Mr. Mecedes will be at the top of his game.

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
3  Sean Treacy    5 months ago

I'm no fan of LaRussa, but Mercedes  ignored a take sign.  The game wasn't in doubt, the only thing he could do by swinging is what he did, invite a beanball.  The Twins, as Larussa knew they would, threw at him the next day.  Mercedes put himself at risk, and his team. It could have escalated to a brawl, suspension and/or injuries.  All for a meaningless swing in a game that was over. 

It was a stupid act by Mercedes, and he's a grown man who should be able to handle a little criticism. 

 
 
 
Tacos!
Professor Expert
4  Tacos!    5 months ago
"I took several steps from the dugout onto the field, yelling, 'Take, take, take,'" La Russa recalled. "The way he was set up, it looked to me like he was going to swing.

If the manager told his player to take, then the player has no business swinging. Period. End of story. Everything else is irrelevant to me. You can argue all day and night about what the right call is in that situation, but the bottom line is that it’s the manager’s call to make - not the player’s. If the manager benched or fined him, he would be justified in doing so.

As for what I just saw. You hit a home run off a guy who can’t pitch at the end of a lopsided game, and you want to act like you just accomplished something? Sorry, but you’re a tool. That shit is bush.

 
 
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