Yankees great CC Sabathia called out White Sox manager Tony La Russa.
La Russa has been criticized valuing baseball's "unwritten rules" over his own players.
"This s--- is terrible," Sabathia said. "He shouldn't be f------ managing that team."
Chicago White Sox manager Tony La Russa was called out by former Yankees ace CC Sabathia for his failure to stick up for his player.
"This s--- is terrible. He shouldn't be f------ managing that team," Sabathia said of La Russa during an episode of his podcast. "If you not going to step up and have your players' backs, what's the point of being the f------ manager of the White Sox?"
Sabathia was referring to an incident on Monday night following a home run from White Sox rookie Yermin Mercedes. Because of the situation in the game at the time, some were not happy with Mercedes, including La Russa.
At the time, the White Sox were already leading 15-4 in the top of the ninth, and the Minnesota Twins had all but waved the white flag by inserting catcher/infielder Willians Astudillo at pitcher. With the count at three balls and no strikes, Mercedes yanked at a 47-mph pitch right down the pipe and sent it out of the stadium.
For traditionalists, Mercedes' swing went against the "unwritten rules" of baseball. The Twins had conceded the game, and swinging at a give-up pitch off of a give-up pitcher was akin to kicking a person when they are down.
However, the unwritten rules of baseball have lost quite a bit of their shine in recent years. MLB has embraced the mantra of "let the kids play" and encouraged a bit more flair that would have previously been seen as uncouth in the sport.
La Russa, 76, is still a big fan of the unwritten rules of baseball, and after the game, he did not hold back from calling out his player for hitting a home run.
"Big mistake," La Russa said, per ESPN. "The fact that he's a rookie and excited helps explain why he just was clueless. But now he's got a clue."
"I'm certain that will not happen again with Yermin," La Russa said. "It's a manager's responsibility. It's a teaching moment. You want them to understand why there's a take sign in that situation. I'm absolutely certain the guy is not going to swing 3-0 in another situation."
When Mercedes defended his decision to swing as simply playing his game, La Russa was having none of it.
The next day, again following baseball's unwritten rules, the Twins got their revenge, with pitcher Tyler Duffey throwing behind Mercedes before being ejected.
La Russa sided with the Twins, again defending the unwritten rules of baseball.
"It wasn't obvious to me," La Russa said. "The guy threw a sinker. It didn't look good. So, I wasn't that suspicious. I'm suspicious if somebody throws at somebody's head. I don't have a problem with how the Twins handled that."
Twice in two days, La Russa threw his player under the bus and thus prompted the scorn of Sabathia, who did not hold back.
"You've got a rookie that's basically been carrying your f------ team these last f------ first six weeks of the season. This guy has been carrying you," Sabathia said on his podcast. "And now you don't have a problem with the f------ weird-a-- Minnesota Twins throwing behind one of your biggest hitters? That's just f------ stupid. It's stupid. Period. I'm sorry."
Sabathia isn't the only one sticking up for Mercedes, as many of his White Sox teammates have also chimed in to let them know they have his back.
La Russa can defend the unwritten rules of baseball as long as he wants, but if he keeps on doing it at the expense of his players, there may not be many people left listening.
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