MLB News: Hall of Fame Manager Goes Viral for Taking Cues from the Crowd

Hall-of-Fame manager Tony La Russa went viral on social media this week after taking advice from a fan in the crowd who suggested using a pinch-runner.

Tony La Russa had been retired for ten years and in the Hall of Fame for six years before the White Sox, who first hired him as manager in 1979, came calling again with the same job offer for 2021.

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Things have not gone entirely perfectly for La Russa. After a solid first season back, which saw his White Sox win 93 games and finish first in the AL Central, Chicago is scratching and clawing in the Central this year, currently in second place with a 61-56 record.

La Russa has drawn some criticism from White Sox fans and from around the league, perhaps most notably when he opted to intentionally walk Trea Turner with two strikes and two outs, only to have Max Muncy hit a three-run homer.

But maybe those people criticizing La Russa just want to feel heard. It’s a basic human need, to feel like the people we’re talking to hear us and understand us.

That’s good news for a random fan in the Chicago crowd, who definitely felt heard when he yelled some managerial advice to La Russa and Tony immediately implemented that advice.

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“Hey Tony! Run Engel! Get Engel in there!”

After a game-tying double by Eloy Jimenez in the bottom of the eighth inning on Monday, La Russa apparently fell asleep at the wheel. With Jimenez representing the go-ahead run, a fan sitting near the dugout recognized the wisdom of getting the speedy Adam Engel on second to replace the not-speedy Jimenez.

The fan hollered, La Russa heard, and Engel entered the game and scored what turned out to be the winning run.

Hey, good leaders recognize the value of a good idea, no matter where it comes from, right? Hopefully, for La Russa’s sake, those ideas in the future will come from his own brain or the mouth of his bench coach.

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