The Chicago White Sox announced the hiring of Tony La Russa by accidentally revealing they were going to hire A.J. Hinch first.
Chicago sports is in a weird place right now.
Fans in the city are upset with a general manager who has won three Stanley Cups, want the coach of their 5-2 football team fired, and are lampooning the hiring of a Hall of Fame manager on the South Side. Taken at surface level, those things seem like hollow whining, but there’s more to it than that.
Stan Bowman has failed to turn the Blackhawks into a true hockey dynasty, Matt Nagy is getting called out by his starting quarterback for making play calls he knows will fail before they’re run, and Tony La Russa is bringing an old style of baseball into an era in which it’s already been phased out.
Let’s focus specifically on La Russa, who has gone from a World Series-winning Hall of Fame manager to the destroyer of dreams and fun for the White Sox. Keep in mind he’s been on the job for less than a day, but fans on the South Side are revolting over his hiring. He’s taken something that White Sox fans were excited about and turned it into something to dread — that’s not a great start.
It’s also, apparently, not what the original plan was.
La Russa’s late entry into the ring was indeed something that threw the Sox original plan out of whack. In the since-corrected announcement graphic for Tony La Russa, A.J. Hinch’s signature is used in the corner of the image.
Hinch was long rumored to be the guy that Chicago would hire to take a talented young White Sox roster to the next level. He did it in Houston (yes, there was the cheating thing) and there were hopes he’d do for guys like Tim Anderson and Eloy Jiminez what he did for George Springer and Josè Altuve.
La Russa is the guy though, and he’ll bring with him a style that was going out in the early 2010s and has continued to age out since. Maybe it’ll work out, maybe it won’t but for White Sox fans bitter about his hiring, this graphics snafu won’t help the cause.