That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: Tony LaRussa returns as Manager after Nine year Hiatus

Tony LaRussa in 1979 in his first managing job with the Chicago White Sox (1979-1986) has come full circle after managing the Oakland A’s (1986-1995) and St Louis Cardinals(1996-2011) and after nine years (2020) LaRussa is back managing the White Sox once again (file photo from pinterest.com)

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

By Amaury Pi-González

Tony LaRussa last managed in 2011 guiding the St Louis Cardinals to a World Series title. The Hall of Fame manager, now 76 is coming back as manager of the Chicago White Sox. During the wild card Series between the Oakland Athletics and the Chicago White Sox this past September, Tony was seated to my left a few booths away, by himself, taking notes.

I went over to say Hi. He has served in front office jobs for multiple teams since 2014. After the news of his hiring by the White Sox, he told ESPN “My heart was always in the dugout” He has always been a perfectionist who hates to lose a game, some might call him a “control freak”. During the recent national anthem protest he told ESPN Dan LeBatard Show, “I would not allow it on my team”, while he was the Chief Baseball Officer for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Tony LaRussa was one of the first managers to use everybody in his bullpen to win many games, with the likes of Gene Nelson, Rick Honeycutt and Hall of Fame close Dennis Eckersley. El Show de Tony LaRussa (about 5 minutes) was in Spanish preceding every A’s game during his years with the Athletics, he loved to talk about pitching and his great pitching coach Dave Duncan.

He was always talking baseball strategy and he loved each minute of it. The ultimate baseball professional. Many games he would ask a starter like Mike Moore to give him 5 1/3 innings and then he would turn it to the bullpen. Now that “style” is in vogue, but on steroids as in the recent World Series where there was more action in the bullpens than on the field.

When the White Sox parted ways with Rick Rentería after his White Sox were eliminated by the Athletics, they were looking for an experienced manager, with wisdom and success and the gravitas of Tony LaRussa. Tony is one of two managers in history to have won World Series with teams in both leagues, with the Oakland A’s in 1989 and with the St Louis Cardinals in 2006 and 2011. George (Sparky) Anderson with the Cincinnati Reds in 1975 and 1976 and then with the Detroit Tigers in 1984

Born in Tampa, Florida, Tony LaRussa will take over a young and very talented ball-club in the Chicago White Sox, who is loaded with young and established Latino stars and a team that could be very close to winning a World Series.

The White Sox hope Tony is “el hombre” to take them to the Promised Land, as he returns to the Windy City where he managed for the first time in the major leagues in 1979. Tony resides here in the Bay Area and is the founder of the Tony LaRussa’s Animal Rescue Foundation, a non-for-profit organization with offices in Walnut Creek.

Questions like: At 76, would he be able to relate to his young ballplayers? He has not managed for nine (9) years, how would he be received in their locker room and with the media in Chicago? And many others. It will be interesting to see how his first season develops.

In Major League history, these are the top three managers in wins. 1-Connie Mack 3,731 2-John McGraw 2,763 3-Tony LaRussa 2,728

As of today the two oldest managers in MLB: Tony LaRussa, 76 and Dusty Baker, 71.

Buena suerte Tony.

Stay well and stay tuned.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the vice president of the Major League Baseball Hispanic Heritage Museum and does News and Commentary each week at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

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