Tony La Russa resigns as White Sox manager due to

Tony La Russa resigns as White Sox manager due to health reasons, saying ‘I didn’t do my job’ in 2022

White Sox manager Tony La Russa resigned from his post Monday, citing ongoing health concerns, he said in a statement. La Russa, who turns 78 on Tuesday, resigned from the team on the advice of his doctors in late August and underwent an operation to repair his pacemaker.

Here is La Russa’s full statement. In addition to addressing his health issues, La Russa acknowledged that the team’s record is proof that “I wasn’t doing my job.”

I had a pacemaker fitted this February and was cleared by my doctors to start spring training as planned. A regular check of the device later revealed a problem. During batting practice on August 30, I was briefed on the problem, removed from my uniform, and examined by doctors the next day. The solution was to get the pacemaker renewed in Arizona and not return as manager without medical clearance.

A second health problem was also diagnosed at an annual private check-up after the first of the year. I decided to postpone the confrontation with it until the off-season. While I was inactive with the pacemaker, the second problem was analyzed. The result is that my medical team has developed a corrective plan and has started to implement it. I briefed the White Sox on this second issue while I was out of uniform to deal with the pacer. As I mentioned earlier, I continue to request privacy regarding my health issues and thank everyone who has complied. My overall prognosis is good and I would like to thank everyone who has reached out to me with good wishes regarding my health.

At no point this season have any of these issues negatively impacted my responsibilities as manager of the White Sox. However, it has become apparent that the length of the treatment and recovery process for this second health condition makes it impossible for me to be a White Sox manager in 2023. The timing of this announcement now allows the front office to fill the manager’s position with their other off-season priorities.

Our team’s record this season is the ultimate reality. It’s an unacceptable disappointment. There were some pluses, but too many minuses. In the major leagues, you either do it or you don’t. Explanations work like excuses. Respect and trust require responsibility, and throughout my managerial career I have come to understand that the ultimate responsibility for any minus lies with the manager. I was hired to provide positive, differentiating leadership and support. Our balance sheet is the proof. I haven’t done my job.

The 2020 and 2021 seasons were important positive steps for this organization that ended in playoff baseball. I’m proud of the 2021 season because our team managed the pressure of being named favorites by winning a division championship and setting records in each of the six months of the season. In 2022 we have some moves in the wrong direction. The key now is figuring out what is right and what is wrong. I’m confident the process will be productive and players will be receptive. The future for this team remains bright.

At no point was I disappointed or upset with White Sox fans, including those who sometimes sang “Fire Tony.” They come to the games with passion for our team and a strong drive to win. Loud and excited when we win, they’re rightly upset when we play poorly. A great example of that support was Game 3 of last year’s Division series. No disrespect to my other teams and their fans but this was the most electric crowd I have ever experienced.

Finally, I am genuinely disappointed that I am leaving without having the opportunity to finish what I was brought here to do. I still cherish the chance to return home to the White Sox and leave today with far more good memories than disappointments.

As I’ve said many times throughout my career, no manager has ever been luckier than me.

Many Thanks.

La Russa’s second term with the White Sox ends in disappointment. The Sox parted ways with then-manager Rick Renteria after the shortened 2020 season, though he guided him to their first postseason appearance since 2008. By all accounts, the surprise decision was forced by owner Jerry Reinsdorf, who then dictated the hiring of La Russa, though he hasn’t made it since 2011. La Russa originally managed the White Sox under Reinsdorf from 1979 through the middle of the 1986 season. During that first term, La Russa led them to a 99-win season and a division title in 1983.

La Russa’s second run with the White Sox earned an American League Central title in 2021. However, the team’s winning percentage actually declined in 2020 compared to Renteria’s last year, and, just like in 2020, the Sox were thrown back from the postseason in the first round. In 2022, things got even worse. Despite playing in baseball’s weakest division under La Russa, the White Sox could not overcome a series of injuries. They only spent eight days in first place and none after April 20th. The team initially saw better results under Miguel Cairo, La Russa’s interim replacement, but they failed to catch the Cleveland Guardians, who tumbled down the track.

La Russa, inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2014, won two World Series titles with the St. Louis Cardinals and another with the Oakland A’s. He has won Manager of the Year awards in his respective leagues four times and is second on the all-time managerial list behind only Connie Mack. La Russa’s second stint with the White Sox will be remembered as an odd and largely unsuccessful addendum to an otherwise stellar career in the dugout.