LEADING OFF: La Russa, White Sox weigh ’22 after elimination
A look at what’s happening around the majors Wednesday:
White Sox manager Tony La Russa is waiting to find out if Chicago wants him back after the club was eliminated by the Astros in their AL Division Series that ended Tuesday night.
The Hall of Famer was lured out of retirement to help the star-studded White Sox make a deep postseason run. Instead, they never got the pitching and only occasionally got the hitting that carried them to their first division championship in 13 years.
There were big questions about how the old-school, three-time World Series champion would relate to Chicago’s fun-loving young stars like Tim Anderson after a decade away from the dugout.
It wasn’t exactly smooth sailing. And it’s not clear if La Russa will return next season.
“I’m not gonna talk about myself,” he said Tuesday. “The process I’ve used once I had a little security — probably about the fifth or sixth year — is ‘do they want you back?’ I just leave if they don’t want you back. They say yes, then you ask the players. They should choose who they want to manage. If you get both of those, then you check yourself.”
Game 4 starter Carlos Rodón called him a “very special manager.”
“It was just a pleasure to play for him. Not many guys can say they’ve played for a Hall of Fame manager,” he said.
The Atlanta Braves are off to the NL Championship Series but will be without slugging outfielder Jorge Soler for at least several more days after he tested positive for COVID-19. He was replaced on the roster for Tuesday’s NL Division Series Game 4 victory over Milwaukee by rookie Cristian Pache.
Soler batted .091 with no homers and no RBIs through the first three games against Milwaukee. He hit a combined .223 with 27 homers and 70 RBIs with Kansas City and Atlanta during the regular season.
The Astros are hoping for a quick recovery for center fielder Jake Meyers after he left Game 4 of the AL Division Series against the White Sox after he crashed into the wall chasing a home run.
The Astros said Meyers exited with discomfort in his left shoulder after he was hurt in the second inning Tuesday when he tried to make a leaping catch on Gavin Sheets’ solo drive. Meyers was examined for several minutes, took a few throws and talked with manager Dusty Baker before walking off the field. He was replaced by Chas McCormick.
The 25-year-old rookie hit .260 with six homers and a .761 OPS.
After finishing off a blowout win over the White Sox, Houston will open the AL Championship Series by hosting the Boston Red Sox on Friday night.
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