The excitement of the White Sox taking home a franchise-record three Silver Slugger Awards on Thursday night didn’t stick around for long, in fact, it lasted one question into the media availability with Tim Anderson and Eloy Jimenez last night.
After Anderson and Jimenez commented on what the Silver Slugger Awards meant to them, they were asked about their feelings on the now week-old hiring of Tony La Russa as the next manager of the White Sox.
“Getting right to it,” said Tim Anderson. “Um, I don’t know. Kinda been reading what’s been going on, talking to people to get a better understanding. Hopefully, we’ll get along, and ultimately win a championship on the South Side. Looking forward to picking his brain. Have some fun with it … if he allows that.”
It’s important to note that Anderson’s comments were delivered in a playful manner, especially the last part in which he says, “if he allows that.” Anderson was laughing, but if you didn’t listen to the audio, you’d assume that he might have meant that in a different light. Let’s not lose anything in translation here.
But, Anderson’s response to whether or not La Russa had reached out to him was discomforting, no matter the context.
“I’m still waiting on him to reach out to me.”
Hang on, you’re trying to tell me that a 76-year-old baseball-lifer can be this tone-deaf? I would have never imagined.
Last Thursday during his introductory press conference, La Russa fielded a barrage of questions that centered around his previous stance and public comments on race, new-age celebrations, and social justice issues, and specifically how he thought he would be able to mesh with an outspoken and open player like Tim Anderson.
As of last night, it’s been a full week since that press conference, and La Russa hasn’t thought to pick up the phone and reach out to Tim Anderson or any other team leader?
Bold strategy, Tony.
Despite the radio silence on La Russa’s end, Anderson and Jimenez seemed to be open to the idea of their new manager. Jimenez complimented La Russa and his past accomplishments but made sure to make his love for former manager Rick Renteria known.
“What can I say? Tony is one of the greatest managers in the history of the game,” Jimenez said. “When I saw the news, I was excited to be managed by a guy like him. But it was bittersweet, because I love Ricky, too.”
Anderson shared a similar sentiment regarding former skipper Ricky Renteria.
“He’s been in my corner since I’ve stepped into the big leagues, teaching me the game, staying on my butt as well [if I was] lacking,” Anderson said. “Such a great guy, a great manager. Bittersweet to see him go. I reached out and wished him the best”
Let’s hope that La Russa decides to pick up the phone and say a few words to his star players sometime in the near future, maybe when he wraps up his search for a new pitching coach. Speaking of that, his search got a bit more narrow on Friday morning when Jon Morosi broke the news that the Detroit Tigers were hiring University of Michigan pitching coach, Chris Fetter.
A.J. Hinch all but confirmed the hire shortly after during an interview on MLB Network’s Hot Stove morning show.
Fetter was mentioned as a potential candidate for the White Sox job earlier this week, and Morosi continued to note that had the White Sox hired A.J. Hinch instead of La Russa, Fetter probably would have been in Chicago instead of with their division rival Detroit.
The hits just keep on coming for the White Sox when it comes to a total breakdown in ideology through their front office and ownership. Hinch was Hahn’s guy, and so was Fetter for the pitching coach job, plain and simple.
Instead, Jerry Reinsdorf continues to undercut his general manager — the architect of this roster — in forcing his guy Tony La Russa on him, and now we get to watch Fetter develop the likes of Casey Mize, Tarik Skubal, Alex Faedo, and Matt Manning in Detroit.
This is going splendidly. As the Indians and Twins look to shed money, the Tigers are assembling a top-tier coaching and player development staff for their insanely-talented farm system.
If you’d like to read about Chris Fetter, and what he did with his pitching staff at Michigan — you can check out my column from earlier this week.
Featured Photo: Steven Branscombe / USA Today