Chicago White Sox manager Tony La Russa on his players' hustle, or lack thereof: 'I don't think we're perfect, but we're doing well enough'

The Chicago White Sox trailed by one run in the seventh inning Thursday in the series finale against the Royals in Kansas City, Missouri.

Seby Zavala was at second base with one out, approaching the top of the lineup.

Luis Robert grounded out to second. After a couple of steps out of the box, Robert picked up the speed of him when Michael Massey didn’t field the ball cleanly. Massey recovered and his throw to first narrowly missed Robert.

Instead of having runners on the corners, the Sox settled for Zavala on third and two outs. They did not score in the entrance. in an eventual 5–3 loss.

When a team is fighting for runs like the Red Sox have, moments like that tend to stand out. The appearance of going all out while running to first has been a problem for the team at times throughout the season. Manager Tony La Russa addressed the issue Friday before Game 1 of the series against the Detroit Tigers at Guaranteed Rate Field.

“I thought last year we weren’t very good,” La Russa said Friday when asked if he was satisfied with the team’s overall hustle and bustle. “This year, we went through this (period) where we had at least four guys with leg injuries who were good enough to play, if we didn’t push him.

“I know it’s suddenly magnified (Thursday) when Robert (was ejected at first base). I also see Robert in a position where he takes care of his legs. That was a routine ball and it looks bad, it looks really bad, but you see him on the bases, when he gets a chance, it’s hard to tell he’s not pressing. I watch him in the outfield running down balls. I don’t think we’re perfect, but I think we’re doing well enough.”

Another example came in the ninth. With the White Sox trailing by two, Jose Abreu tried to control his swing, but it was ruled on appeal that he didn’t hold. The ball came off catcher MJ Melendez’s glove and rolled to the grass just beyond home plate. Abreu headed to the bench instead of forcing a throw to first.

“I’m ready to fight anyone who says they’re not giving 100%,” La Russa said of Abreu. “The ball is there. But if the ball drops, yeah, you’re supposed to get them to take a shot.”

La Russa said there will be a conversation if the hustle and bustle becomes an issue.

“I just alert people,” he said. ” ‘Hears!’ Yell at them. Let’s get down there. You have to get to the base. The traditional way is to get out of the area, if you see the guy has the ball in his glove, then you split it into a third. Because you don’t want to run to the end. long season, if you are playing every day?You are saving steps.

“Robert did it the other way around (on Thursday). He deserves to be mentioned, he did. But if you take the body of work from him, that’s not how he plays. And he was one of the guys who was warned during that period: ‘You have to play under control.’ There are still times when he doesn’t get the green light.”

Andrew Vaughn and Eloy Jimenez are among the other players the Sox continue to monitor to keep your legs cool.

“We’re still being very careful with Vaughn because he’s playing in the outfield,” La Russa said. “And he runs most of the balls, but they tell him, ‘If you feel tight one day, be careful.’ Same with Eloy. You just have to be careful.

La Russa pointed to Thursday’s comeback attempt as a sign of the team’s effort.

“We’ve done this several times where we’re kissing early and then all of a sudden we have a late rally, like (Thursday),” he said. “First and second, nobody was out, we got zero. Bases loaded, no one out, we got zero. (Yasmani Grandal) hits a two-run homer (to cut the deficit to two in the eighth), and we were coming back there, we had a chance. And Robert comes to bat as the go-ahead run (later in that inning).

“How did that happen if they’re lazy and they really don’t like it? I’ve learned that, most of the time, whatever you think, you start explaining it. ‘Hey, he’s making excuses.’ But if the time comes, I’ll point out things like that. That was a really difficult loss, it was an aggravating loss. It was easy, when they got those runs (taking a 4-0 lead after seven), to say, ‘Hey, let’s finish it off and get on a plane.’ They didn’t. And we’ve done a lot this year.”

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.