That was a surprising description of the White Sox managerial search by USA Today’s Bob Nightengale when he spoke to Our Chuck Garfien on the latest episode of the White Sox Talk Podcast.
Tony La Russa, who managed the White Sox from 1979 to 1986, is a 76-year-old retired skipper who’s been out of the managing game for nearly a decade. He’s an obvious winner, with three World Series wins on his resume. But that didn’t diminish the surprise when it was reported that his current employer, the Los Angeles Angels, gave the White Sox permission to interview for their four-day-old managerial vacancy.
As accomplished as he is, La Russa doesn’t seem to fit the description of an ideal managerial candidate that general manager Rick Hahn hinted at Monday.
This could simply be the first of many interviews to come. Hahn had no timeline for the hire and pointed to it coming at least following the completion of the World Series, with perhaps some potential candidates busy competing for a championship right now. It’s doubtful the White Sox, with self-declared “championship aspirations” would fail to be thorough in this particular search.
But Nightengale considered La Russa a heavy favorite this early in the process, so here’s an evaluation.