TLR Looks Like A BUM

Jerry Reinsdorf should have never hired him.

Jim Rome
November 11, 2020 - 9:15 am
Tony La Russa

USA Today

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I touched on the Tony La Russa update at the end of the show yesterday, but it really needs to be unpacked further. Because the more you get into it, the more TLR looks like a B-U-M. 

To recap, Tony La Russa was hired by the Chicago White Sox last month as their manager and it was a really dumb idea at the time. And one that got dramatically dumber when we learned that one day before he was hired, he was charged with DUI by the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office for an incident in February.

Now the incident report from the Arizona Department of Public Safety has come to light and it’s legendary. More than anyone could have ever possibly hoped for. Of course, I say this La Russa didn’t maim or kill anyone with his stupidity. 

On the night in question, an officer approached TLR’s car, which was blocking a lane on State Route 143. At that time, TLR said he had a flat tire and added “I hit something once I got on the 43.”

Early in the exchange, TLR immediately starts name-dropping in an obvious attempt to beat this rap saying, he was coming back from dinner with “friends with the California Angels baseball team.”

Nothing better than dropping a name l right off the top and dropping the wrong name. They haven’t been the California Angels for 24 years. 

Yo, copper…this isn’t a thing: don’t you know I was having dinner with friends from the Brooklyn Dodgers, that’s the real thing here. The Brooklyn Dodgers: maybe you’ve heard of him; google that bleep, brother! Listen, man, some of my best friends are cops.  In fact, some of my best friends are guys who work with the SEATTLE PILOTS: in fact, that’s where I was: with my boys from the Seattle Pilots: we good brother?! Actually, brother, we’re awesome, especially since you came out the gate with that California Angels blast: tell Frank Tanana and Bobby Grich I said what up, Slur-Russa. 

Good news is, the good brother, was just getting started: Let me read this next part from Jeff Passan: When the officer asked for identification, according to the report, La Russa continued instead to talk on the phone to a AAA representative. The officer repeated the command, and La Russa tossed cash and cards onto the passenger's seat but did not furnish a driver's license. The officer asked him to hang up his phone and provide the license.

Hey, copper. Back the hell off.  I’ll get to you when I get to you: can’t you see I’m on the phone: can’t you see I’m talking to Triple A, where is where your ass is going to be if you don’t treating me with a little respect. Brother, I can only speak to one person at a time and right now, I’m talking to Triple-A. You wait your turn and I will deal with you when I’m done.

This old man’s arrogance and defiance are next level: completely off the charts:

When TLR DUI finally does hang up the phone, he reportedly starts rifling through his all items, looking for his license and according to the report, he actually, passed by the license twice, before turning it over... Pretty safe to say if you can’t recognize your own license, you shouldn’t be behind the wheel. 

Then it escalates even further, obviously, when, the officer asks TLR to get out of the car to conduct field sobriety tests. TLR DUI ain’t about that life. I mean, this has obviously gone on way too long as is: if this cap had any idea who or what TLR DUI was about and what he had accomplished, he would have let him go a long time ago: better yet, he would have given the police escort right to his doorstep that he so richly deserved, given what a legend he is.  Ask him. But no, this cop is going to put him through the paces; to administer field sobriety tests. And that’s when TLR starts spitting crazy jibberish: like telling the officer he had undergone hip replacement four weeks earlier and asking why the tests were going to be done. The officer said he smelled alcohol on La Russa. So much so, the officer wanted to bust out with a portable breath test; but TLR DUI wasn’t having any of that either, saying, “I don’t trust it.

Again, next level arrogance: now, dude is above technology: nah, officer, I’m good. But your breath test isn’t. Your breath test doesn’t meet my standards for accuracy: so you can just get that hell out of my face. Cuz I’m not having it. And I’m not doing it.

According to the report, at one point, TLR asked "What makes you think I don't have control of my facilities?"

I don’t know, T, maybe it’s the fact that you hit a curb, you’re blocking a lane of potential traffic, and you couldn’t recognize your driver’s license twice., and you said you were chopping it with the California angels: Other than that, you seem to be doing great.

Eventually, TLR agreed to take a breath test “if it gets me out of here.” That or if it gets you arrested. You starting to get the sense this old fool might think he’s above the law: that all those rules that apply to all of us, somehow don’t apply to him? Well they do.  How do I know? Because he blew a .090, which is above the legal limit and was placed under arrest for DUI.

And as, as embarrassing as this has been so far, it’s about to find a new gear.

According to the report, the officer asked TLR if he had anything to drink that night and T responded that he had one glass of wine at dinner. You had one glass of wine and blew a .09? How big was that glass? Are you sipping your cabernet out of a Big Gulp?

But you know that TLR is feeling like it might be slipping away from him. This is the bottom of the ninth, his lead is dwindling, so he goes to the bullpen for his closer.

And that’s when he says “Do you see my ring?”

As I’ve said for years, if you have say “Do you know who I am” either the person doesn’t know who you are or they don’t care. Dropping a “do you know who I am” is the last, desperate attempt to change a situation.

In this case, TLR can’t say “Do you know who I am” because the officer definitely knows TLR’s name - he’s arrested him for DUI. So TLR has to go even lower than “do you know who I am” and goes with “do you see my ring”…see that ring, kiss it and let’s get the hell on with the rest of our lives, brother. See that ring? Wanna wear it copper: I’ll let you. Clearly, the officer was not nearly as impressed with La Russa’s bling as he was, in fact, he had no idea what the hell he was even talking about. And La Russa knew it.  So he dug deep. Now he’s 0-2, down to his last strike…. He steps out the box….takes a deep breaths…knocks the muds off his spikes, adjustments his helmet, gets box and when the officer asks him what he meant by “do you see my ring” and TLR answered “I’m a Hall of Famer baseball person.”

Not a Hall of Fame manager. A “Hall of Famer baseball person.” He’s reached the stage of drunkenness and desperation where he doesn’t recognize his own driver’s license and can’t remember his own job title. And it just flailing for words. If he can’t find the manager, how the hell is going to find the alphabet, much less find it backwards.

I’m a Hall of Famer baseball person, you know the guy in the thing with the uniform and makes the list of players before the game. That’s me! I’m a Hall of Famer one of those.

What an incredibly pathetic desperate move. Exactly how was that going to go – the officer says, oh, wait, you’re that Tony La Russa? You’re the Tony La Russa who’s the Hall of Famer baseball person? Why didn’t you say, legend? Carry on! 

Again, you only embarrass and humiliate yourself like that if you’re extremely, extremely drunk, extremely desperate, or you’ve done it before and it has worked. Or all the above: I’m going to go with e, all of the above. 

And still he wasn’t done. He continued "I'm legit. I'm a Hall of Famer, brother. You're trying to embarrass me."

Honestly, I have nothing more to add to that. That line stands on its own. I know there is due process and everyone deserves their day in court, but the Chicago White Sox should fire him for that line alone. Forget all the other reasons why hiring TLR was a terrible idea, you should fire him today for saying "I'm legit. I'm a Hall of Famer, brother. You're trying to embarrass me."

Immediate grounds for dismissal. I don’t even need to wait on a conviction or for him to plead guilty, Jerry Reinsdorf should have never hired him in the first place and should now fire for just saying that. And he still wasn’t done.

Because when he got to the highway patrol station, according to the report, he declined to submit a blood sample for a BAC test. And then he dropped this gem "I will not comply with your tests. I don't trust it, brother."

An absolutely incredible line. One of the all-time best lines. That is a Hall of Famer line. That line is legit. Brother. And by the way, that’s coming from a guy in his mid-70s, not some young punk. That is a senior citizen telling the cops "I will not comply with your tests. I don't trust it, brother."

That is the ultimate mic drop. That is a walk-off shot. Imagine having the balls  to tell the highway patrol: "I will not comply with your tests. I don't trust it, brother."

Like he’s some sort of rebel or freedom fighter, and not a drunk. Oh, and by the way, according to Passan, the officer received a warrant, drew TLR’s blood and TLR had a BAC of .095.

What an absolutely amazing night, TLR. Take a bow. That was legit. Brother.

And by the way, just so we’re clear, this is the same guy who on the day he was inducted into the Hall of Fame, said “(players) grow up kind of entitled, so it’s more important that people who are trying to put them into position to win have real leadership skills and really work at it.”

That guy, this dude used his hall of fame speech to crack players for being entitled: great, what’s a great example of entitlement than some old kook trying to get out of a dui by saying do you know who I am, did you see my ring,….hypocrite. 

I don’t want anyone telling me how to do my job so I’m not going to tell the White Sox how to do theirs, but I will say they shouldn’t have hired him in the first place. It was an embarrassment before we knew about the DUI and it’s even worse now.

And if you don’t think people in the game notice, you’re wrong. Someone on twitter asked Marcus Stroman “How much money would it take for you to play for an old and seemingly racist alcoholic?” And Stroman responded “No amount of money honestly. Peace of mind is always priority.”

How the hell is this guy going to manage or discipline a major league baseball team, if he can’t discipline himself; if he can’t discipline himself well enough to keep from consistently getting hammered and getting behind the wheel of his car?

Reinsdorf’s has always said his biggest regret ever was firing La Russa. Wrong, your biggest regret ever was hiring him back. And if you don’t know that yet, you will soon.