Tony La Russa is making headlines once again for his questionable midgame managerial tactics. The White Sox leader called for the intentional walk of Cleveland slugger Jose Ramirez on Tuesday afternoon.
While the move wouldn’t come as a shock in most cases, this particular incident is surprising. The Guardians had a man on second, meaning first base was open. Ramirez, a .287 hitter, was up with a man in scoring position. He’d already singled home two runs in the third inning.
But rather than just call for the intentional walk from the get-go, the White Sox threw a first pitch strike. After fouling off the first offering, Ramirez stepped back into the box only to then be given the signal to walk down to first base.
La Russa called for the intentional walk on an 0-1 count. There was seemingly no rhyme or reason behind the decision. Even Ramirez looked confused.
It’s not the first time that La Russa has pulled this move. He actually did it with two strikes earlier in the year to Trea Turner. That ended poorly as the next man up smacked a three-run homer to lead the Dodgers to an 11-9 victory.
In that instance, though, there was at least some sort of reasoning behind the move. A wild pitch on the pitch prior opened up first base, but fans were still critical of the decision as his guy was up in the count 1-2.
MLB fans are just about through with La Russa’s antics, and they’re letting it be known on social media.
Fans troll Tony La Russa for intentional walk decision
MLB fans can’t quite get their heads around the decision to walk a batter on an 0-1 count. It’s as if La Russa is trying to outsmart himself with these mid-at-bat moves.
The response on social media wasn’t kind.
Tony La Russa making managerial decisions for the White Sox every game pic.twitter.com/44OSM2Ncqf
— BetQL (@betqlapp) July 12, 2022
Do you KNOW what Jose Ramirez’s slugging percentage is in 0-1 counts against a RHP in the month of July in the bottom of the 5th inning with a runner on 2nd and two outs? Because if you did you wouldn’t be doubting Tony LaRussa’s genius… https://t.co/1trcl6pXNw
— Charcuterie (@jakemaish) July 12, 2022
Tony La Russa elected for the intentional walk of Jose Ramirez on an 0-1 count. As @jasonbenetti said, "We've seen some stuff." Yes, we have.
— Chris Emma (@CEmma670) July 12, 2022
Both teams’ broadcast booths were in utter disbelief.
The Cleveland Guardians TV crew is having fun at Tony LaRussa's expense. What else is new if you're a #WhiteSox fan? @BallySportsCLE🤷♂️🤬👎 #CWSvsCLE #MLB #ChangeTheGame #SouthSideOrDie #SoxSide #SoxPride #FireTony pic.twitter.com/gpHPP9QxhD
— ͏Sidney Brown (@sidkid80) July 12, 2022
white sox booth are so over trying figure out Tony La Russa pic.twitter.com/aAXYihBFvU
— JON (@joncanse) July 12, 2022
It’s gotten to the point where he’s losing the support of the White Sox faithful.
Ozzie Guillen & Scott Podsednik have had enough
Podsednik: "We need to hear Tony [La Russa] say 'the way we're taking the field and what we're doing is unacceptable.'"
Ozzie: "I want him [La Russa] to be THAT guy. The White Sox need THAT guy." pic.twitter.com/p1L48eJPg4
— White Sox Talk (@NBCSWhiteSox) July 12, 2022
In the end, the White Sox got out of the inning scot-free, so maybe La Russa is actually a genius. Many don’t believe this to be the case, though, and they’ve become fed up with the schtick.