CHICAGO (CBS) — The White Sox are not talking a day after revelations that new manager Tony La Russa is facing a DUI charge in Arizona.
If convicted, La Russa faces up to 10 days in jail. But as CBS 2’s Luke Stuckmeyer reported Tuesday evening, the White Sox are feeling the heat too. They knew the DUI charge was filed on Oct. 28 – the day before they hired him – but they went ahead and hired him anyway.
The charges stemmed from an arrest back on Feb. 24 at 11:40 p.m. local time near Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. La Russa was arrested after he allegedly ran his car into a curb.
According to the incident report, La Russa flashed a ring at the arresting officer and told him, “I’m a Hall of Fame baseball person,” as he was placed into the police car.
The charges were not filed Wednesday until Oct. 28. Arizona officials said the long delay was caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and its having initially been filed in the wrong jurisdiction, ESPN reported.
The White Sox were already being doubted for hiring a man who had not managed in five years and who is years older than most of the players. The La Russa hire also created tension within the organization.
Stuckmeyer reported the hire was 100 percent White Sox Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf’s decision.
La Russa first became Sox skipper in the middle of the 1979 season, and was fired from the role in 1986 by then-General Manager Hawk Harrelson. Reinsdorf has regretted the move ever since, as La Russa went on to win those three titles elsewhere.
And while money usually talks in such situations, this hiring could very well impact free agents. Marcus Stroman is the second best free agent pitcher on the market this offseason, and on Twitter Tuesday, he did not hold back – saying “no amount of money” would get him to play for La Russa.
No amount of money honestly. Peace of mind is always priority.
— Marcus Stroman (@STR0) November 10, 2020
La Russa also pleaded guilty in a different DUI case in 2007 in Florida, after he fell asleep at a traffic light.
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