Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson quells concerns he might not get along with new manager Tony La Russa: ‘I’m looking forward to learning from him’

Tim Anderson chuckled when he was asked if he’s going to have to tailor his game to fit with new Chicago White Sox manager Tony La Russa.

“No, I won’t change my style, the way I play, for Tony,” the shortstop said with a laugh Thursday. “That won’t happen. I will continue to be me. I always have and I always will be.”

Anderson and left fielder Eloy Jimenez met with reporters in a conference call after winning Silver Slugger awards. First baseman Jose Abreu also won the award, giving the Sox three Silver Sluggers in the same season for the first time in franchise history.

Most of Thursday’s discussion centered on the team’s managerial change. The Sox parted ways with Rick Renteria on Oct. 12 and hired the Hall of Famer La Russa on Oct. 29.

“I’m kind of reading what’s been going on and kind of learning from that way to get a better understanding,” Anderson said. “But I’m looking forward to learning from him. There’s a lot of news saying we may not get along but hopefully we can get along and continue to do what the ultimate goal is, to win a championship on the South Side. I’m just ready to pick his brain and learn the knowledge, and just try to make this as smooth as possible. And just try to have fun with it.”

Anderson then had a perfect pause, and added with a laugh, “If he allows that.”

Jimenez acknowledged La Russa’s resume, which includes three World Series championships as a manager.

“Tony is one of the greatest managers in the history of the game,” Jimenez said through an interpreter. “When I saw the news I was excited to be managed by a guy like him. At the same time it was kind of bittersweet news because I love Ricky, too.”

Anderson and Jimenez were thankful for what they learned under Renteria.

“He’s definitely been in my corner ever since I stepped into the big leagues,” Anderson said. "He’s been there for me on and off the field. Just bringing out the best in me and continuing to play hard as well as teaching me the game. Staying on my butt as well.

“I can say a whole bunch of great things about him. He’s such a great guy, a great manager, it definitely was bittersweet to see him go. I reached out and wish him nothing but the best.”

Jimenez added: “On the field, he gave me the confidence to go out and play, he helped me every single day. I’m going to miss him, but business is business.”

General manager Rick Hahn said in an Oct. 12 conference call that he reached out to Anderson before news of Renteria’s departure became public.

“At the end of the day, that’s part of the game,” Anderson said. "You just respect the game and respect the moves. At that point, it was out of my hands. I can’t do nothing but hear him out and see what direction we’re headed in.

“And just to be able to talk to him about it and talk to everybody about it. I’m kind of excited with what the moves that are going on, and can’t forget what the ultimate goal is.”

Anderson and Jimenez have not talked to La Russa yet.

“I’m excited to talk to him, I’m going to ask him if he’s been reading, a lot of people have been saying we’re not going to get along, so I’m going to ask him why you think that,” Anderson said to media members with a laugh. “We’ll see, man. I’m excited about it. Hopefully we can turn this negative around into a positive and keep moving, keep enjoying the game and keep having fun with it. You can’t get sidetracked from what the ultimate goal is.”

Anderson said he’s had conversations with others about the new skipper.

“They said I’m going to like him,” Anderson said. “They said I’m going to love him. That’s kind of why I’m excited to see what type of person he is and also to learn his knowledge about the game as well.”

La Russa, who is 76, last managed in 2011. Anderson doesn’t see that as an issue.

“He’s still been watching the game so he pretty much does know what’s going on,” Anderson said. "It’s not like he’s got to get out there and play. All he has to do is just manage us and I’m pretty sure he’s going to know how to do that.

“He’s in the Hall of Fame for a reason. I’m just excited to see the Tony that everybody’s talking about. I’m excited about it. Learn from him and see which way this thing’s going to go.”

Anderson and his teammates are eager to see how it all plays out.

“Just one of those things we have to experience ourselves and see what type of manager he is and learn from him," Anderson said. “It’s something we are looking forward to and we are definitely kind of excited to see which way it’s going to go.”


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