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The Last Temptation of Tony La Russa

As the embarrassments of White Sox fans pile up like traffic on the Dan Ryan, we stare into our skipper’s subconscious

Inexplicably terrible lineups. A damaging intentional walk. Pulling pitchers early. Leaving pitchers in late. All of this could be excused, but instead of giving rational explanations, Tony La Russa is defiant and doubles down.

He knows what’s best. He knows how to win. He is a Hall-of-Famer Baseball Person.

It’s time to stop acting as if La Russa is a long-retired baseball great. Has he enjoyed tremendous success in the past? Absolutely. Three World Series rings and permission to use the über-secret Hall-of-Famer’s toilet anytime he’s passing through Cooperstown? He deserves to be lauded for those long-ago accomplishments.

But La Russa is a current manager. And currently, his managing sucks.

Despite the incessant chanting of Sox fans during the last homestand, La Russa is still at the helm of a Major League Baseball team, and his bizarre and erratic decision-making is only causing embarrassment to a fan base who have had to endure their fair share already. The Chisox skipper has also had his share of off-field struggles, which bring into question his fitness to serve as a dependable leader.

If White Sox management had any cojones, they would send Tony the way of Joe Maddon and Joe Girardi, both World Series-winning managers who were canned in the last month. Alas, I fully expect La Russa to stick out the season. Deep inside, he must be tempted to break the all-time managerial wins record, which would take only five-and-a-half more seasons of 162-0 records. No sweat.

In the meantime, I’d suggest that our skipper and ol’ Jerry Reinsdorf go halfsies on a room down at Shady Pines. I hear they serve a mean meatloaf.