Drama On The South Side

For what seems like months now, the Chicago White Sox players and their Manager, Tony La Rusa, have been butting heads over baseball’s “unwritten” rules.  On one side, you have the “let the kids play” movement, and the other is the old school “respect the game” crowd. Both have valid points, and both are trying to better the game…I think?

What happened

This all hit the front page when stud rookie catcher, Yermin Mercedes, hit a home run against the Twins on a 3-0 count when the Twins had 1B Willians Astudillo pitching in a 15-4 game at the time. As you can imagine, the 76-year-old manager was not pleased with this, especially since Mercedes missed a 3-0 take sign before hitting the home run. The response to this didn’t exactly go over too well, especially when Tim Anderson is one of your best players. All this spilled over into the media, with La Rusa getting asked about it post-game and saying that he missed a 3-0 take sign and will face the consequences internally. Well, that’s Tim Anderson’s cue to respond to the media about it, basically saying screw the unwritten rules and happy that Mercedes hit the homer. It all just unraveled from there. This saga continues to go on, and players on the White Sox continue to back up Mercedes over La Rusa to the media. Multiple players have spoken out within the White Sox organization, and La Rusa’s response has been, “they have a locker, I have an office, they know where to find me.” It seems like some turmoil in that clubhouse.

My Takeaway

This doesn’t seem good. It ultimately seems like La Russa has lost his clubhouse and the trust of his players. I thought, though, what if there is a part of this no one is seeing? What if the clubhouse is fine and La Rusa is completely fine with his players being outspoken about what’s going on? Is it a bad look for him? Yeah, probably, but just because you disagree with each other over certain things doesn’t mean you can’t make it work or be in a healthy relationship. My thought is, again, what if this is the dynamic in the White Sox Clubhouse? This could be an excellent comradery thing for them. It gets all the players to rally together and stick up for each other while seemingly “hating” the manager. Interesting possibility. I think this is precisely what it is.

You can’t deny that La Rusa is one of the All-Time great coaches in MLB history, and this isn’t his first time going toe to toe with a loud personality player(s). Tim Anderson even said in an interview, “Tony’s like that dad, we’re like his kids. We’re like the bad kids who don’t listen. But we all get along.” The White Sox have the best record in their division and one of the best records in all of baseball. I know it may seem like a dysfunctional relationship on the surface, but clearly, something is working. I think Tony is okay with his players speaking their minds and having their own voices and allowing them to be who they are while at the same time saying his side of it. This dynamic is working. Watch out for the White Sox cause I think they will continue to be legit and continue to be one of the best teams in all of baseball. They will make a deep playoff run, and La Rusa will lead them for the entirety of the season.

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-Kevin Perdios (@Perdios95) 

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