(670 The Score) The White Sox fan who may have spurred manager Tony La Russa into making a logical substitution in Chicago’s 4-2 comeback victory against Houston on Monday explained that he viewed his evening at the ballpark as a “business trip” and wanted to do anything he could to help his team win.
After White Sox outfielder Eloy Jimenez delivered a game-tying two-run double with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning, self-described “diehard fan” Noah Weinstein – from a perch just outside the dugout – yelled repeatedly for La Russa to pinch-run the faster Adam Engel for Jimenez. Finally, just a moment before the ensuing at-bat began, La Russa called out to the home-plate umpire to make the substitution.
On the Parkins & Spiegel Show on Tuesday, Weinstein couldn’t say with full confidence that he was the reason that La Russa pinch-ran Engel for Jimenez – but he had an inkling that the shouts of himself and others helped make a difference.
“Something happened, and he, as you saw, just sprung into action,” Weinstein said.
A couple hours after Weinstein's interview Tuesday, La Russa held his pregame media session. During it, he refuted the notion that fans' comments had any influence in his decision-making process, according to reports. La Russa explained that it took awhile to decide because he and his coaches were weighing whether to take Jimenez's bat out of the lineup in a game that was still tied and could've gone to extra innings.
Monday marked the first White Sox game that Weinstein had attended this season. He’ll be back in the stands Tuesday when the White Sox host the Astros again, though he’ll be in the 200 level – farther away from the dugout.
“It was a business trip for me,” Weinstein said. “I’m not going there to have fun. I want to win. This is crunch time, and I got to try to get my voice heard, and that’s what I did.
“When it was needed to make that statement, that’s what I did.”
Weinstein isn’t fond of La Russa’s work and leadership.
“The offense has been the most disappointing thing for me, but he obviously does not have the proper pulse here and we need to keep making that clear,” Weinstein said. “This is something that has blown up. I don’t expect that they’re going to make any change, but maybe even the guys can rally around it. Not even so much me, but just that huge win. Let’s try to keep it going.”
Weinstein added he would “100%” be a better manager than La Russa.
“I’m a baseball guy,” Weinstein said. “It’s what I do.
“He was a baseball person, and he’s just out of it now. We need to revolt.”
The White Sox’s win Monday pulled them within two games of the AL Central-leading Guardians. So what will Weinstein do Tuesday if there’s a critical decision that needs to be made and La Russa is sitting on his hands? Well, he’ll leave his seat in the 200 level and try to get as close to the dugout as he can.
“I’m there to win, and if there’s something that needs to happen, I would go back down there, yes,” Weinstein said.