A vocal group of Chicago White Sox fans on Saturday made their feelings about manager Tony La Russa known in booming fashion. In the 10th inning of an eventual loss to the Texas Rangers (TEX 11, CHW 9), cries of "Fire Tony" could be heard throughout Guaranteed Rate Field.
Here's a listen:
The White Sox at one point led the game 7-4, but by the end of the seventh inning that lead had been squandered. The Rangers put four runs on the board in the 10th and were able to hold on for the victory. The loss drops the White Sox to 27-30 on the season.
La Russa after the game was asked about the chants:
Tony La Russa on the chants— James Fegan (@JRFegan) June 11, 2022
“I appreciate they want us to win, and when we don’t win, they’re unhappy."
"There isn't anything that's happening with this team that in the end, I'm not responsible for,” said La Russa. "Never dodged accountability and I won't start now."
While Sox partisans were no doubt frustrated by Saturday's loss, the calls for La Russa's termination are no doubt also motivated by his recent puzzling decision -- a decision that backfired in a major way -- to intentionally walk Trea Turner of the Dodgers, who was in the hole 1-2 at the time. That's just the most recent prominent example of La Russa's tactical gaffes during his second tenure as Sox manager.
More broadly, the White Sox have failed to take the next step under La Russa, who's now 77. After the abbreviated 2020 season, the White Sox -- by all accounts at the behest of owner Jerry Reinsdorf -- moved on from manager Rick Renteria even though he led the Sox to their first winning season since 2012 and their first postseason berth since 2008 and was a finalist for AL Manager of the Year honors.
In La Russa's first season, the Sox put up a slightly worse win percentage than they did in 2020, and they also failed to advance past the opening round of the postseason -- just as they had in 2020. This season, the White Sox came in as the favorites to repeat as AL Central champs, but thus far they've fallen far short of expectations. This isn't a team that can afford to give away games in the dugout, but that's precisely what they've been doing in 2022.
La Russa is Reinsdorf's handpicked manager, and as such he's unlikely to be fired anytime soon. Sox fans, though, are hoping their public displays of frustration can force a reckoning before the season becomes a lost one.