I am a huge White Sox fan, and I can not be happier with how the team is playing this year. The White Sox have 11 guys who are day-to-day starters, and their starting five is top 3 in the MLB. And no player has broken out more than DH Yermin Mercedes. Mercedes is a rookie at 28 years old who has broken out this year after spending a near-decade in the Minors and independent leagues. Mercedes is batting an incredible .358 ba with six home runs, 25 RBIs, and .960 ops, but his last home run came with a lot of controversy.
In the 9th the with the White Sox already up 15-4, the Twins throw cacher Willam Astudilio on the mound, and with two outs in the game already, Mercedes works himself to a 3-0 count where Astudilio throws a 47 mph meatball in the top corner of the zone where Mercedes blast to center field for a 430 ft solo shot. And according to the Unwritten Rules of baseball, you are not allowed to swing at a 3-0 pitch when up by a lot of runs. This Translates to the game of baseball does not want to have excitement in blowouts because they do not want to hurt the other teams’ feelings. After the game, White Sox manager publicly shames his player by saying he is a clueless rookie that does not know the rules and that if he ever tries that again, he will run in front of the ball to stop him from swinging. And this is all in retaliation for Yermin saying that he is going to play Yermins way. Witch La Russa further responds with; it is not Yermins game. It is a baseball game, and you don’t get to decide how to play it.
It is one thing to be a 76-year-old manager that can’t get with the times and swag of today’s game, but to publically shame your player, let alone your potential AL Rookie of the year, is pathetic and petty. The next day under an Instagram post, White Sox star shortstop Tim Anderson openly supports Yermin by telling him to keep doing what he is doing.
Expectedly during the game that night, Twins Relief Pitcher Tyler Duffey throws at Mercedes because the Twins are a soft team, and Duffy and the Manager get ejected from the ball game. And after the game, La Russa says that he understands why the Twins threw at Mercedes and was mad about how his dugout, specifically Tim Anderson, reacted to Duffy getting ejected.
After the games, players all through the league come to the support of Mercedes, including White Sox pitcher Lance Lynn. Lynn says that there are no rules (referring to the unwritten rules) when another team concedes and throws a position player on the mound. And how does La Russa respond? by saying that Lynn has a locker and has an office.
TLR (Tony La Russa) has publicly shamed his players, including his veteran star pitcher, star shortstop, and rookie, and has openly supported the opposing team to try and potentially harm his player. As a White Sox fan, this is the nail in the coffin. For me, you cannot go out and call out your players for making the game more fun and voicing their opinions. And to come along with that, La Russa has already lost the White Sox 2+ games this year from his terrible managing. He did not even know the rules for extra innings. This is all on Owner Jerry Reinsdorf, and he has to be the one to fix it at the end of the day, not Yermin Mercedes.