We are now two months into the 2022 MLB regular season. The sample sizes aren’t so small, but there is still a lot — A LOT — of season to play, and plenty of teams are still vying for a spot in the new 12-team postseason format.
Throughout the season the CBS Sports MLB experts will bring you a weekly Batting Around roundtable breaking down pretty much anything. The latest news, a historical question, thoughts about the future of baseball, all sorts of stuff. Last week we debated the next manager to get fired. This week’s we’re going to tackle another skipper’s fate.
Should the White Sox replace Tony La Russa?
Dayn Perry: Yes. They’re losing games because of dugout decision-making, and the recent intentional walk on a 1-2 count alone is a fireable offense for someone whose primary job is “don’t screw up.” It was a bizarre hire in the first place, and it hasn’t worked out. The AL Central is still winnable, but the Sox need a competent manager in order to make a serious run. Rip the band-aid off now.
R.J. Anderson: Yes. The White Sox never should’ve hired him in the first place. Their underperformance isn’t entirely his fault, but he isn’t going to be a cause behind a turnaround, either.
Matt Snyder: Yes. There are many reasons the White Sox are struggling and while it’s not solely La Russa’s fault, he’s part of the problem. Even if you disagree and think he hasn’t done anything wrong this season, what would it hurt? He’s 77 years old and sometimes making a change to shake things up jars something loose. The worst-case scenario is nothing changes.
While we’re’ here, for the few remaining people defending La Russa: When was the last time anyone had to defend any baseball moves from Terry Francona? There’s a great manager. Someone who quietly does the job and stays out of the way, not someone we have to discuss multiple times a month.
Mike Axisa: La Russa is not the reason the ChiSox are under .500 and falling well short of expectations, but he is a reason, and evidence he can not get the most out of his team is mounting. It’s not La Russa’s fault Vince Velasquez is making starts or that Tim Anderson is injured — Chicago’s lack of depth, which was a concern coming into the season, is getting exposed because of these injuries — but he does keep hitting Leury García near the top of the lineup and his bullpen management has been questionable.
The manager’s job is putting his players in position to succeed and I’m not sure La Russa is doing it. He seems behind the times (remember when he let Liam Hendriks run the bases because he didn’t know the extra-innings rule?) and the team is performing below its talent level. That’s a pretty good indication a change should be made. The Phillies fired Joe Girardi and have gone on a big run. The Angels fired Joe Maddon and have kept sputtering. Firing the manager isn’t a cure-all, but it can help.