News came on Wednesday night that the White Sox had received permission from the Angels to interview Tony La Russa for their managerial opening. The 76-year-old looks more and more like a front-runner to get the job. For his part, La Russa would be thrilled about his upcoming conversations with the White Sox, according to Bruce Levine of 670 the Score (via Twitter).
La Russa directed the White Sox from 1979 to 1986 – his first managerial role in the majors – so there’s definitely a nostalgic angle that makes sense here. It also fits the bill as expounded by GM Rick Hahn: it’s a voice that technically comes from outside the organization and thoroughly checks the championship experience box. La Russa has managed a team six times in the World Series, winning the ring in 1989 with Oakland and in 2006 and 2011 with St. Louis. He retired after winning the 2011 World Series with the Cardinals. He spent the past season as the Angels special advisor, and the White Sox opening is an attractive position, even without the corner of the circle of life.
For the side of the White Sox, president Jerry Reinsdorf has expressed regret in the past for allowing his general manager Ken Harrelson to sack La Russa in mid-1986. In addition, La Russa and Reinsdorf were often seen watching White Sox games. together before 2020, writes Athletic’s James Fegan. A committed La Russa must be a tempting possibility for the property, but the White Sox are still at the beginning of their research process, according to Fegan.
Meanwhile, Hahn has his hands full in an effort to improve the right pitch and early spin. Although they have many young pitchers for which they are closely following the development (Reynaldo Lopez, Dane Dunning, Dylan Cease, Garrett Crochet, Jonathan Stiever, Michael Kopech, and others), Hahn has no intention of just waiting for the kids to take the reins, according to this piece by Fegan. Lucas Giolito, Dallas Keucheland Dunning are included in the rotation, but can explore outside the organization for backend updates. The White Sox have no shortage of guys who he could very cleverly fill in these last two pivot points, but with the Twins and Indians ready to compete again, their margin of error may be reduced again.