Just one day prior to the Chicago White Sox hiring Tony La Russa as their new manager on October 29, the 76-year-old was charged with his second DUI with the charges stemming from an arrest made in February. Earlier this week he had the DUI charges reduced to reckless driving and will now serve one-day house arrest.
According to USA Today, La Russa will also be required to complete 20 hours of community service and pay a $1,383 fine. His counsel, Larry Kazan, also stated that La Russa completed alcohol counseling at Scottsdale Treatment in Arizona.
According to the arrest report obtained by Jeff Passan of ESPN, La Russa tried to talk his way out of being arrested by using the old ‘do you know who I am’ card. La Russa reportedly asked the arresting officer “Do you see my ring?” and then stated, “I’m a Hall of Famer baseball person. I’m legit. I’m a Hall of Famer, brother.”
The White Sox had been quiet about their hiring of La Russa following the news of the charges but did release a statement following his sentencing explaining that the organization will stand by him.
White Sox statement on Tony La Russa: pic.twitter.com/vvx8c4FVba
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) December 21, 2020
In 2007, the 76-year-old pleaded guilty to misdemeanor DUI in Jupiter, Florida after falling asleep at a traffic light while managing the St. Louis Cardinals.
“I know I don’t have a drinking problem, just like I know I made a serious mistake in February,” La Russa told reporters in a conference call, “and where I am right now is to prove that I don’t have a drinking problem and to prove it every day off the field that I’m going to handle it and what’s painfully clear to me is if I have a drink I will not drive. There’s always an alternative.”
La Russa has won three World Series as a manager during his career, one with Oakland in 1989 and two with St. Louis in 2006 and 2011.