Chicago White Sox manager Tony La Russa on Tuesday made headlines for throwing his own player under the bus.
A day after Yermín Mercedes homered off a 3-0 pitch late in a lopsided game against a position pitcher on the mound, La Russa publicly criticized the slugger in front of reporters. He even expressed that he’d be OK with seeing an opposing pitcher throw at the rookie in a future at-bat, acting appropriate for his 76 years of age.
Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora would have handled things a little differently, he said Wednesday ahead of the game against the Toronto Blue Jays.
“Good question,” Cora laughed awkwardly after being asked how he’d hypothetically handle the situation if he were La Russa. “I’ll leave it at that. We have some games like that, we decided what we decided to do. One thing for sure, we keep it in the clubhouse, right? That’s the most important thing and I don’t think it’s about respecting the game or disrespecting the game, I think the game is in a different stage right now. We see so many position players pitching compared to a few years ago, right? I mean, we’re seeing position players pitch in the seventh inning. So, it’s just unfortunate that it’s a topic right? And it’s what baseball has been talking about the last few days so, we’ll leave it at that.”
Publicly calling out one of his guys for breaking the unwritten rules of baseball doesn’t align with Cora’s reputation with players, certainly.
But let’s be reminded, this is La Russa we’re dealing with.