Two days after White Sox manager Tony La Russa shared his intention to return to the dugout in 2022 so long as his players and team brass wanted him back, All-Star shortstop and team leader Tim Anderson on Thursday shared his support for La Russa.
“I want him to be back,” Anderson said. “At the end of the day, my decision doesn't really matter. I guess it all depends on what the front office thinks. Speaking from a player’s standpoint, for sure, I want him in. He did a great job the way he managed and just being open to us. We did what he wanted us to do, which was go out and play hard for him and giving everything we got. So I was very pleased with him.”
La Russa, 77, is under contract in 2022, and the full expectation is that he’ll return to lead the White Sox. He was hired in October 2020 for a second stint as White Sox manager, then led Chicago to a 93-69 mark and American League Central title in the regular season before his club was knocked out by Houston in four games in the AL Division Series.
“I couldn't be happier than what he did,” Anderson said of La Russa’s managerial style. “The relationships were great overall with the players. Everybody was just getting along with him. I think he came in and did what he was supposed to do. Hopefully he will step back in and continue to push us next year. He can continue to make those good decisions he did. I think he did a great job overall. I was very pleased how he handled (the job).
“He had a huge impact. Everyone thought we would not get along. But the fact is we were talking behind the scenes the whole time. The players conversed about things, and he made that known. I think he did a great job coming in and being a part of what we want to do.”
As for losing to the Astros, Anderson called them the “better ballclub” and cited clutch hits and consistent at-bats as the reason for the result. Despite the White Sox having championship expectations before suffering a disappointing ending, Anderson thought their season was a success.
“Overall, I think it was a positive season,” Anderson said. “We won a division, which didn't happen last year. We also brought two playoff games to Chicago, and that didn't happen last year. It's just another step to where we are trying to get to. We just have to trust and believe in that process. Overall as I said, it was a huge step and we certainly competed all season through injuries and just getting to where we ended up says a lot about the ballclub.”
Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.