That's two for Tony. How can you hire this guy?

Jim Rome
November 10, 2020 - 10:45 am
Tony La Russa

USA Today


Last month, the Chicago White Sox, a good team brimming with young talent went looking for a new manager. And instead they found an old manager. They found 76-year old Tony La Russa.

It was a really weird hire at the time. Not only because they initially hired him 41 years ago, and not only because he hasn’t managed in nearly a decade, but because he’s had a number of comments that demonstrate that he’s really out of touch with today’s players.  AND TODAY’S GAME.

And the fact ONE OF THE REASONS team owner Jerry Reinsdorf pushed SO HARD for La Russa, according to Jeff Passan, WAS THAT the firing of La Russa “was owner Jerry Reinsdorf’s great regret.”

The only thing is just so weird; and wrong. And now it’s gone to a totally new level. Because now we get word that Tony La Russa was charged with driving under the influence one day before he was hired by the White Sox.

Baseball loves initialisms, so here’s one for you: TLR DUI

His second. Because we already knew one from 2007 when he was found napping it out at a traffic light in Florida in 2007. That’s where that famous call comes from.

I’m careful about how often I play that because there is nothing funny about driving under the influence. And it’s particularly unfunny when TLR DUI’d because just five weeks earlier, one of his players, Josh Hancock, was killed when he drove drunk and hit a parked truck. Think about that for a minute: just five weeks earlier, he lost one of his players to drinking and driving: despite going through something as horrific as that, he himself decides to get bombed and get behind the wheel of his own car.   Unconscionable. 

On the day TLR filed a guilty plea for his DUI, he said the following in a statement: "I accept full responsibility for my conduct, and assure everyone that I have learned a very valuable lesson and that this will never occur again."

And everything about that is wrong. He clearly did not learn a very valuable lesson and while it’s only a charge at this point, it sure seems like it occurred again.

And, according to ESPN, here are the details that resulted in TLR being charged with DUI again: Chicago White Sox manager Tony La Russa was charged with driving under the influence after he allegedly ran his car into a curb in February, leaving it smoking on the side of a Phoenix-area road.

First of all, there is the obvious serious problem with the fact that he was allegedly boozed up and driving again. You should never be behind the wheel after you’ve been drinking. Especially if you’re that guy.

There are cabs, there’s Uber, there’s Lyft. You can summon a freaking car on your phone in minutes. It has never been easier to not drink and drive than it is right now. There is zero excuse for drinking and then driving. Zero. You’re putting yourself at risk and you’re putting everyone else on the road at risk.

You could kill or disable yourself or others. It is insanely selfish. And insanely stupid.

First question – what was TLR doing DUI’ing again?

And second, how the hell do you hit a curb so badly that you leave your car smoking on the side of the road? Was he doing some sort of Mad Max drive through Arizona?

When ESPN reached out to TLR about the DUI, he said "I have nothing to say," and hung up. Good stuff, T. Great work. Way to really own that and take responsibility for your actions.  There’s a dude leading from the front: A Chicago team spokesperson told ESPN that they were aware of the case: "Because this is an active case, we cannot comment further at this time."

Okay, I get that the team cannot comment further at this time, but I can.

Hiring TLR was stupid when we only knew about one DUI. Now it’s even dumber. And the White Sox do have some questions to answer. Like what did they know about the second DUI and when did they know about it?

Because if they didn’t know about it, it seems like grounds for dismissal.

And if they did know about it, then they’re cool with it. Either way, it’s a problem.

And according to The Athletic, a team spokesperson said they knew about it before they hired him.

I’m sorry, but to quote that random voice in the Pats-Jets game, WHAT?!?

You knew about this and you still went ahead and hired him? Hiring a 76-year old manager with some of the issues that TLR has is dumb. Hiring a 76-year-old manager with the issues that TLR has and two DUIs is even dumber.

It might be the dumbest thing Jerry Reinsdorf has ever done and he broke up the Jordan-Pippen-Rodman Bulls.

How desperate do you have to be to hire a 76-year-old dude if you’re willing to overlook not one, but two DUIs? And the thing is, it’s not overlooking it, it’s endorsing it.

In the last nine years, he has more DUI charges than he has wins. And you’re still cool with bringing him in?

I get it, you’re still kicking yourself for firing him in 1986. We all have regrets…but you can’t go back and change that. But Reinsdorft seems to think he can right that wrong: by hiring him 34 years later and endorsing his DUI’S. 

By the way, let me make something clear about TLR’s DUIs, we only know about two. We don’t know how many other times he’s been boozed up behind the wheel. But if you’re telling me that he never drove drunk from 2007 and just happened to do it this year and got caught, I’d be surprised.

Again, this is just a DUI charge at the moment, but if he’s convicted or pleads guilty, it’s a sign that he has a serious problem. He doesn’t need a managerial gig, he needs help. HE NEEDS TO DRY OUT. And Reindsorf needs to wake the hell up.