KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Tony La Russa said he was “surprised” but also welcomed insights from Johnny Cueto after the Chicago White Sox starter said the team needed “show the fire we have, if we have.”
Cueto was asked after Wednesday’s 8-3 loss to the Kansas City Royals what, in his opinion, the club needed to string together victories. Cueto, speaking through an interpreter, said the Sox “have to be more aggressive and we have to show more arrogance. We need to go out there and play, and play hard and show what we can do.”
“We have to fight,” Cueto said. “We need to show the fight, we need to show the fire that we have, if we have any.”
La Russa said Thursday morning at Kauffman Stadium that he heard Cueto’s response and preferred to keep the comments internal.
“I’m surprised he said that,” La Russa said. “But his opinion is not only welcome, it also carries weight. (He) experienced. So I’ll ask him about it.
“He is a veteran, we all respect him. But he’s amazing, usually that’s best said in the clubhouse for teammates. That way you can discuss.”
La Russa pointed to double plays like the trade from second baseman Josh Harrison to shortstop Lenyn Sosa in Wednesday’s game as a positive.
“It’s a curious statement,” La Russa said Thursday. “It is better to talk to the family, if there is a problem we will fix it”.
Wednesday was another missed opportunity. The Sox took a two-run lead in the top of the sixth, but the Royals answered with two in the bottom of the inning and took the lead with a solo home run in the seventh. The Royals added four runs in the eighth.
Cueto, 36, allowed two earned runs and nine hits and did not take the decision into account.
The Sox have alternated wins in their last eight games and entered Thursday’s series finale a game over .500 at 56-55. They are in third place in the AL Central, trailing the first-place Cleveland Guardians by 2 1/2 games.
Before the game, the Red Sox announced that shortstop Tim Anderson underwent successful surgery Thursday morning in Chicago to repair a sagittal band tear in the middle finger of the left hand. The expected return of the All-Star remains in about six weeks.