Tony La Russa, who hasn’t coached a Major League Baseball game in about nine years, will be the next manager of the Chicago White Sox.
The team made the announcement Thursday. La Russa will replace Rick Renteria, who was the manager from 2017 to 2020 and this season led the team to their first playoff appearance since 2008.
“We are extremely excited about the future of this team,” White Sox general manager/senior vice president Rick Hahn said in a news release. “As we showed in 2020, this is a young, talented club that we expect to only grow better and better in the coming years. Adding in a Hall of Fame manager who is recognized as being one of the best in the history of the game, we are a step closer to our goal of bringing White Sox fans another championship.”
La Russa, 78, has a history with the White Sox. The Hall of Famer got his first managerial job with Chicago in 1979 and managed the team until 1986. He’s won World Series titles with the Oakland Athletics and St. Louis Cardinals – the only other manager who’s accomplished the feat was Sparky Anderson.
“While I have had other inquiries about managing since retiring, this opportunity with the White Sox brings together a number of important factors that make this the right time and the right place,” La Russa said. “The on-field talent is amazing, and the front office, led by Kenny Williams and Rick Hahn, has done everything necessary to create an atmosphere of long-term success. All of those factors aligned to make this a tremendous opportunity, and I am excited to get going as soon as possible by building a coaching staff and getting to work.”
Since leaving the Cardinals, La Russa spent the last few years in the front office of several teams. He was the Chief Baseball Officer of the Arizona Diamondbacks and later spent time in the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Angels’ front office.
The White Sox move is a bit shocking. While other teams have hired younger faces with no managerial experience, Chicago veered back to the old school in the La Russa hiring. Luis Rojas, Derek Shelton, Jayce Tingler and Davis Ross were among those hired in the last year without any managerial experience.
Chicago has a budding team, and it will be interesting to see whether the White Sox players can learn and grow with the Hall of Fame experience from La Russa.