All the buzz has surrounded Tony La Russa to this point in the White Sox managerial search. But according to a report, there are other candidates still in the mix.
MLB Network's Jon Heyman tweeted Thursday that A.J. Hinch is one of multiple candidates "under consideration" for the White Sox job.
Of course, Heyman mentioned La Russa, as well, and this info doesn't mean a change in the ongoing narrative, which Heyman indicated is expected to reach a conclusion soon.
If the social-media reaction is any indication, the hire of La Russa, who managed the team from 1979 to 1986, wouldn't be a popular one among White Sox fans. But this is Jerry Reinsdorf's team, and the chairman and La Russa share a close personal relationship. Reinsdorf has referred to letting La Russa go in 1986 as his biggest regret in baseball.
There's no doubt La Russa has the kind of winning experience the White Sox are looking for after parting ways with Rick Renteria a couple weeks ago. But the description of the ideal candidate general manager Rick Hahn laid out that day sounded an awful lot like Hinch, the former Houston Astros skipper who won the World Series in 2017 and had the Astros as one of the best teams in baseball during his five-season tenure there.
Of course, Hinch isn't without his own baggage, fresh off a season-long suspension for his role in the Astros' cheating scandal. Though he wasn't found to be one of the more involved personnel in the elaborate sign-stealing scheme, he was the manager and therefore carried a large amount of responsibility for what went on in his clubhouse and dugout. Hence his suspension by the commissioner and his firing by the Astros.
But even with all that in his recent past, Hinch might not carry the same number of concerns as La Russa, who doesn't seem to fit Hahn's description at all.
That said, it's winning time on the South Side, and with capturing a World Series championship the ultimate goal, both men have the experience to meet that most important piece of criteria.