Tony La Russa's new job is a bit more hands-on than his last few.
The Chicago White Sox hired La Russa as their new manager Thursday to fill the vacancy left by Rick Renteria.
La Russa hasn't managed in nearly a decade, though -- since 2011 with the St. Louis Cardinals -- and has spent most of the past decade as an executive and advisor. He served as the Boston Red Sox' vice president and special assistant to Dave Dombrowski from 2017 to 2019 and most recently was the Los Angeles Angels' senior adviser for baseball operations.
According to ESPN's Jeff Passan, not everyone on the White Sox was thrilled about hiring a 76-year-old who hasn't been in a major league dugout in nine years.
Chicago reportedly was considering several much younger candidates, including ex-Red Sox manager Alex Cora (45) and former Astros skipper A.J. Hinch (46).
But the White Sox seemingly preferred experience and familiarity with La Russa, who began his managing career on the South Side in 1979 (!) before Chicago fired him in 1986.
Passan's report suggests La Russa's relationship with White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf helped him land the job (not unlike Dombrowski bringing his good friend to Boston as an advisor in 2017).
Reinsdorf pushed back against those suggestions.
"His hiring is not based on friendship or on what happened years ago, but on the fact that we have the opportunity to have one of the greatest managers in the game's history in our dugout at a time when we believe our team is poised for great accomplishments," Reinsdorf said in a statement, via ESPN.com.
In any case, it sounds like La Russa is self-aware as he becomes the second manager in MLB history (Jack McKeon, Marlins) to land a job after turning 75.