Tony La Russa didn't take issue with Twins throwing at Yermin Mercedes: 'It wasn't obvious to me'

By , Audacy Sports

Swinging on a 3-0 pitch in a blowout game when a position player is on the mound can be considered breaking an unwritten rule of baseball. Fair enough. There will be advocates for both sides of the argument, and for younger fans and several players who understand why an upcoming presence like Yermin Mercedes would want to do so, it's an unwritten rule that can absolutely be broken in that moment. For an old-school personality like Tony La Russa, it's the wrong thing to do.

"That's just sportsmanship, respect for the game, respect for the opponent," La Russa said Tuesday afternoon. "He made a mistake. There will be a consequence that he has to endure here within our family."

We don't know what that in-house consequence will be, but we already saw an on-field consequence in the following game between the White Sox and Twins. In the seventh inning of Tuesday night's matchup, Minnesota's Tyler Duffey threw a heater behind Mercedes and was promptly ejected in addition to Twins skipper Rocco Baldelli. Throwing at players when you're angry or frustrated — or, in this case, as an act of revenge — seems to be breaking another unwritten rule. That's not to say that Duffey was doing this with any intent, and Baldelli didn't seem to think this was the case.

"It's not like we were going out there and trying to hit him or trying to do that again, in any way," Baldelli said (via Do-Hyoung Park of "They threw [Duffey] out of the game, and we have to live with that, but it doesn't mean we have to be happy about it."

Even still, this controversial moment of Duffey potentially throwing at Mercedes riled up White Sox nation... but it didn't bother La Russa all that much.

"It wasn’t obvious to me. The guy threw a sinker and it didn’t look good," La Russa said (via NBC Sports Chicago). "I wasn’t that suspicious. I’m suspicious if [they throw at] somebody’s head. Then I’m suspicious. So I don’t have a problem with how the Twins handled that."

Hmm... I wonder how that one will sit with Mercedes, Tim Anderson and the other White Sox who seem to be rejecting the old code of conduct in baseball. If the Twitter baseball community was any indication, it seems as though La Russa's viewpoint from the Duffey incident is also outside the popular view.

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