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Tony La Russa declines to address White Sox speculation

Sep 28, 2011, 11:51 AM EDT

St. Louis Cardinals v Arizona Diamondbacks Getty Images

Tony La Russa managed the White Sox from 1979-1986 and there’s already speculation about his possibly being interested in the job again following Ozzie Guillen’s departure, but the Cardinals skipper declined to address his status yesterday.

“We’re not going to be distracted because you’re not getting me to answer anything except about this series here,” La Russa told Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch. “I have an issue with me answering any speculation because it’s exactly the opposite of what the club should be getting from a guy who is making out the lineup.”

Tough to blame La Russa for wanting to focus on his team’s playoff push, but then again simply denying any interest in the White Sox job would probably have taken exactly as much time as refusing to talk about the speculation. And when told refusing to comment might fuel the speculation even further, he replied: “It’s healthy to have fun, isn’t it? They say if you smile 10 times a day you’re healthy. I’m hope everyone is having fun.”

Strauss notes that La Russa has a “longstanding relationship with White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf” and “Reinsdorf contacted La Russa about his interest in the job prior to hiring Guillen following the 2003 season.” La Russa is technically under contract for 2012, which would be his 17th season as Cardinals manager, but it’s a mutual option.

  1. Panda Claus - Sep 28, 2011 at 12:08 PM

    The awesomeness of this day continues to escalate. This is almost like the feeding frenzy that took place after the NFL Lockout lifted. Unbelievable.

    And we still have the games to play.

  2. paperlions - Sep 28, 2011 at 12:12 PM

    I would have been ecstatic if LaRussa had left yesterday to Manage the White Sox and the Cardinals promoted Oquendo to be manager….plus it would make the organization more environmentally friendly as the lineup cards wouldn’t have to be printed on 11″ x 17″ paper any more.

    • baccards - Sep 28, 2011 at 12:40 PM

      Not sure ecstatic would be my choice of words, more like not necessarily disappointed ..would hate to lose Dave Duncan .. Oquendo would HAVE to be next..if not I’d be quite upset, he has deserved a shot for years.. I think he would be outstanding

      • paperlions - Sep 28, 2011 at 12:49 PM

        Yeah, I would be a little disappointed to see Duncan go…but he has his blind spots as well…his inflexible approach has not worked for some pitchers…and will not be optimal for some of the Cardinals upcoming pitchers that have the stuff to miss bats.

    • baccards - Sep 28, 2011 at 1:27 PM

      True about Duncan..it does seem that he can’t seem to devolop the young live arms that are available It is hard as a fan to keep relying on retread pitchers for a year or two and then hope another “project” will come along. The same with TLR’s scrappy multi-position appoach.. The end of this season not withstanding.. the Cards should be in a better situation in regards to post season play, They were capable of being in a fight for division championship – perhaps, upon reflection, ecstatic might be closer to how I should feel..

    • readhed - Sep 28, 2011 at 4:55 PM

      If he had left yesterday you wouldn’t be so ecstatic when they lost last night and tonight.

  3. thefalcon123 - Sep 28, 2011 at 12:33 PM

    He does this shit every year. He refuses to say whether or not he is returning or make any comments about it until he signs a new contract.

  4. The Baseball Idiot - Sep 28, 2011 at 12:52 PM

    Tony ain’t doing nothing until Albert makes his decision.

  5. readhed - Sep 28, 2011 at 12:55 PM

    Tony LaRussa is the best manager in baseball. I hope he stays in St. Louis for as long as he wants to manage. Why should he say anything about next year when he’s right in the middle of a battle for the wildcard???? GO CARDS AND TONY!!!!!

    • paperlions - Sep 28, 2011 at 1:02 PM

      No, he is not. At this point, his over-managing likely makes him below average because he plays too many player out of position, too commonly removes the best players from the game resulting in game outcomes determined by bench/AAA players, relies too heavily on R-L matchups while ignoring the skill-level of the players involved, and prefers old bad players to young, better, more athletic players.

      • readhed - Sep 28, 2011 at 4:57 PM

        I guess that’s why we’re tied for the wildcard spot?

  6. cur68 - Sep 28, 2011 at 1:04 PM

    Now, see, this is how you handle a new contract. Finish your season with your current team, focussed on your team’s games and your current job. If you want to get a new job, do it on your own time, not the time for which someone else is paying you. The contrast between TLR and one Oswaldo José Guillén Barrios is stark, innit?

  7. chadh88 - Sep 28, 2011 at 1:47 PM

    LaRussa did at least have a nice line before the game yesterday. There was also speculation that he will retire on a good note if the Cards make a postseason run (and then Pujols bolts) and when asked about retirement he simply said, “I can’t be retiring if I am managing the White Sox.” Then of course he refused to talk about anything other than last night’s game.

    Either way (retirement or CWS) I am one of the fans that would be happy to see him go. He was very good, but his best is behind him at least with this team. We likely could be going into a more rebuilding type of season or two and need a manager that can respect young talent and not run them out of town or block them from the MLB roster for old scrubs. And no, I am not just talking about Rasmus.

    • readhed - Sep 28, 2011 at 1:56 PM

      His best is behind him????? Are you on the same planet? He’s brought the Cardinals back from a 10 1/2 game deficit to be in contention for the wildcard. I’d say the best is yet to come.

      • baccards - Sep 28, 2011 at 2:09 PM

        They should never have been 10 1/2 games behind the wildcard. At worst they should be even with the Brew Crew, not Hotlanta

      • chadh88 - Sep 28, 2011 at 2:38 PM

        I agree with baccards as far as this year, but in general I would say TLR’s best days in St Louis went away about the same time Walt Jocketty did.

    • readhed - Sep 28, 2011 at 4:59 PM

      Are we in serious contention for the wildcard because his best with the Cardinals is behind him? I will be seriously laughing if somehow they make it to the WS.

      • chadh88 - Sep 29, 2011 at 7:39 AM

        Yes, if he still was at his best we would be fighting for home field advantage in the NLDS, not squeaking into a wild card spot.

  8. humanexcrement - Sep 28, 2011 at 2:06 PM

    La Russa and Kenny Williams. Yeah. That’s gonna work out.

  9. jdd428 - Sep 28, 2011 at 3:26 PM

    As I commented on a different post, La Russa to the White Sox is a non-starter for one very simple reason: Don Cooper. La Russa always takes Dave Duncan wherever he goes and the White Sox have already signed Cooper as PC for next season. La Russa would never want to take a job where there is an existing PC.

  10. readhed - Sep 28, 2011 at 4:54 PM

    Who cares where they “should” have been 6 weeks ago – they’re knockin’ on the door now – get over the past and enjoy it.

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