CHICAGO -- Nothing has been easy for the White Sox during the 2022 season, and that extended out to manager Tony La Russa’s press conference following a 3-1 victory over the Red Sox Wednesday night at Guaranteed Rate Field.
La Russa’s phone rang twice during his media session, which he briefly ignored. But on the third ring, he stopped the questions to answer.
“I’ll call you right back,” said a smiling La Russa, after sliding up on his phone to take the call.
“My daughter. She doesn’t like it when I get stressed like that in the ninth inning,” La Russa continued. “Neither do I. I keep telling her it’s not fun.”
The White Sox faced one of the hottest teams in baseball in the Red Sox, and one of the hottest offenses overall. Despite quite a bit of traffic on the basepaths, the Red Sox finished 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position and stranded 12.
La Russa has joked previously about Liam Hendriks putting a runner or two on base in the ninth just to make him nervous. Hendriks walked two in the ninth on Wednesday but retired Xander Bogaerts on a fly ball to right fielder Andrew Vaughn to move the White Sox within 4 1/2 games of the American League Central-leading Twins.
On this occasion, a relieved La Russa did not blame his closer, who picked up save No. 14.
“Today I blame the pitching coach [Ethan Katz],” said a still smiling La Russa. “I think he has a sign that says walk the two guys just so I can squirm. I don’t want to blame Liam because he might think I’m serious … Guys really rose to the game.”
And here’s the most important information of the night: La Russa called his daughter back immediately after leaving the Guaranteed Rate Field Conference and Learning Center on his walk to the home clubhouse.