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#pounditFriday, December 2, 2022

Tony La Russa makes yet another head-scratching move

Tony La Russa looking on

Aug 22, 2021; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Chicago White Sox manager Tony La Russa (22) looks on during the sixth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago White Sox manager Tony La Russa is no stranger to making odd calls at odd times. And for the second time this season, he’s making headlines for the same sort of head-scratcher.

Trailing 5-2 against the Cleveland Guardians in the bottom of the seventh inning on Friday night, La Russa called for an intentional walk to the load the bases. But here’s the all-too-familiar kicker: the decision was made on a 1-2 count with two outs.

La Russa made the exact same decision earlier this season. Trailing the Los Angeles Dodgers 7-5 in the sixth inning with two outs and a 1-2 count, the manager called in the intentional walk much to the dismay of his players. The very next batter, Max Muncy, hit a three-run home run to break the game wide open.

On Friday night, the results weren’t quite as negative. The White Sox were able to get out of the inning but still went on to lose the game 5-2.

After the defeat, a defiant La Russa defended his decision just as he had the first time around.

“We’ve been through this before, the most ridiculous thing in this season has been (reaction to) the 1-2 walk. I mean that’s the most ridiculous,” La Russa scoffed, via The Athletic. “That’s what I say. Anybody says. . . I mean. I don’t want to get into it, man. Gets me upset. Ain’t a baseball man that I know would pitch to that one guy (Trea Turner) instead of Muncy and now, if he leaves the left-hander in, not going to face (Oscar) Gonzalez, he’s hitting .300.”

There was a base open in each case and statistically, it’s easier to record an out when the bases are loaded. However, rarely, if ever, does a manager call for an intentional walk on a 1-2 count with two outs, let alone twice in the same season.

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