On Thursday afternoon against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago White Sox manager Tony La Russa walked calmly up to a bees nest, pulled out his pocketknife, carved a small hole in the bees nest, folded out the sides of the hole he cut, then firmly stuck his head directly into the center of the swarm.
Down two runs with a 1-2 count on Dodgers shortstop Trea Turner (with two outs), La Russa became hypnotized by an open first base and signaled for an intentional walk, bringing a now-furious Max Muncy to the plate with two men on.
Muncy delivered in the Dodgers’ direction, mashing a three-run shot to put the game (temporarily, don’t tempt me) out of reach, dropping F-bombs all the way to the bench.
After the game, La Russa was apologetic, though, somberly running through the percentages while sobbing — no, sorry, just kidding. He doubled, tripled, and quadrupled down on walking Turner, claiming that not doing so would’ve resulted in him being forced to walk into a lake.
Somehow, it’s difficult to see that being true. Perhaps La Russa was thinking so far outside the box that he accidentally wandered into a different box?
Did Tony La Russa make right call vs Dodgers? HAHAHAHA!
In teeny, tiny sample sizes in 2022, La Russa is correct; Turner hits .259 against left-handers with two strikes in 27 ABs, while Muncy was just 5-for-40 on the season against lefties.
Of course, these are the smallest possible data points; for their careers (as pulled together by Twitter legend Foolish Baseball), Turner has a .618 OPS in such situations, while Muncy carries an .857 mark. Doink! Must’ve had a few too many bees in his eyes when push came to shove.
La Russa’s explanation rings particularly hollow considering a random fan in the stands with access to a crowd mic had a better idea of how to handle Turner.
Things got rocky in the late innings of this contest, but Daniel Hudson ultimately settled things down at the horn and secured a massive win for a Dodgers team that needed the emotional lift.
As for La Russa? They say he’s still wandering the press conference room, face mangled by bees, to this day. If you listen closely, you can still hear hot air escaping his lips…