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Lingering La Russa stench topples a prospective free agent

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Marcus Stroman becomes the first White Sox target to say “thanks, no thanks” in light of the DUI debacle

New York Mets v Chicago White Sox Photo by David Banks/Getty Images

When Tony La Russa was hired by the Chicago White Sox in a move that shocked baseball and largely horrified the fan base, speculation that the new manager would muddy the delicate team chemistry was assumed.

But after all the ninnied hand-wringing, team heartbeat Tim Anderson welcomed La Russa, applying essentially a “what, me worry?” approach to working with the grizzled Hall-of-Famer.

One concern down — but one more to go.

Equal worry was wielded that the White Sox, having made such an crusty choice to pilot the club to its next World Series, would fail to recruit prime free agents, particularly a strong-willed, Black star. Someone like, say, starter Marcus Stroman.

Nearly in conjunction with Anderson’s open attitude toward La Russa, Stroman seemed to indicate on social media that he would still be open to talking with the White Sox. A case of all money being green? Intrigue over the mix assembling on the South Side? No matter, it seemed the White Sox kept dodging bullets post-La Russa.

Well, a bit of buckshot spattered on Monday, when Stroman all but dismissed any thought of signing with the White Sox in light of La Russa’s embarrassing October arrest (and the team’s lack of response) following a Phoenix-area DUI back in February.

And in case you thought Stroman had second thoughts later today (after all, all money is green!):

Now, on the other hand, if La Russa recognized the enormous distraction he’s created for his up-and-coming team and resigned — or better, the White Sox decision-makers discover their testicles have descended and hit reset on their commitment to the young core by snapping up a Joe Espada or Matt Quatraro after trashcanning Tony — Stroman (and, possibly, others) could reconsider. Make the South Side a priority destination, even.

With absolutely no word beyond “cannot comment” coming from the Chisox executive suites on Tuesday, don’t hold your breath that the White Sox will do the right thing.

Meanwhile, the Hot Stove is getting lit, in all the wrong ways for the White Sox.