There’s never a great time to be charged with a DUI — it’s a reckless, life-endangering crime — but an especially bad time for it is the day before it’s announced that you’re taking an MLB manager job in a hire that was already controversial.
That was the reality for new Chicago White Sox manager Tony La Russa, who was reported on Monday to have been charged with a DUI on Oct. 28 for an incident in February. One day later on Oct. 29, he was officially hired in Chicago.
News of La Russa’s second known DUI arrest raised new questions about White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf decision to hire his 76-year-old friend to run a team expected to be a contender next season. However, one major free agent has apparently already seen enough.
Marcus Stroman wants no part of Tony La Russa’s White Sox
Marcus Stroman, who just hit free agency after a stint with the New York Mets, was not shy about his thoughts on La Russa’s arrest and Chicago’s decision to hire the manager anyway.
Replying to The Athletic’s Keith Law, Stroman expressed disapproval of La Russa’s hiring, calling the decision “baffling” and, when asked how much it would take to make him play for LaRussa, said “no amount of money” would make him sign with the team.
We don’t know if the White Sox were ever actually planning to pursue Stroman in free agency, but it’s not a great sign for a team in need of pitching that a major free agent — possibly the best pitcher on the market willing to sign a multi-year deal — is already shutting the door on them.
La Russa’s hire was politely accepted by players who were already under White Sox team control, but Stroman’s words could be indicative of discontent among at least some of the other players out there.
Stroman holds a 3.76 career ERA (113 ERA+) in six seasons as an MLB player and could land a significant contract after opting out of the 2020 season. He was listed in the second tier of Yahoo Sports’ free agent list as an interesting gamble for teams interested in a player that has been a very effective pitcher in the past, but doesn’t have overpowering stuff.
This isn’t the first time that Stroman has spoken ill of a potential landing spot, as he also had some not nice things to say about the pitching of the New York Yankees. That, however, was from the point of view that they should sign him.
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