Despite their failed postseason run, it sounds like Tony La Russa will be returning to Chicago next spring.
La Russa, according to ESPN, is planning to return to the White Sox for the 2022 season and has received plenty of strong support from several of his players after they fell to the Houston Astros in the American League Divisional Series in four games.
“I want him to be back,” shortstop Tim Anderson said Thursday, via The Associated Press. “At the end of the day, my decision doesn’t really matter. I guess it all depends on what the front office thinks. ... I definitely want him in. I think he did a great job with the way he managed and just being open.”
La Russa, 77, came out of retirement to lead the White Sox last spring. The Hall of Famer last managed the St. Louis Cardinals in 2011. He has compiled a 2821-2434 overall record in 36 seasons dating back to 1979, when he had his first managing stint with the White Sox.
There are several reasons why La Russa could want to step away, including his age. At 77 with a baseball resume like his, nobody would blame him for wanting to retire for good this time. The White Sox won their first division title in 13 years and had their highest win total since their 2005 World Series title team.
Despite his struggles, and a few public spats with his much younger players, Anderson said the team loved having La Russa in charge.
“Everybody thought we weren’t going to get along,” Anderson said, via The Associated Press. “But overall, we were talking behind the scenes the whole time. Just for him, the players come first and he makes that known. We’re one big family.”
And, as long as management and his players want him back, La Russa said Tuesday, “you check and see whether you got the desire to continue to manage, so I do.”