La Russa on viral fan: 'Tell him I heard him'

August 17th, 2022

CHICAGO -- One fan among the 18,205 at Guaranteed Rate Field Monday deserves a small assist in the exciting White Sox comeback victory over the Astros.

Or at least, so this particular fan believes.

A video on Twitter, which has since gone viral, shows the fan identified as Noah Weinstein yelling at White Sox manager Tony La Russa to pinch-run Adam Engel for Eloy Jiménez during the four-run eighth inning in a 4-2 victory. Jiménez had just driven in the game-tying runs with a two-run double off Rafael Montero, but Engel possesses greater speed and could serve as a ninth-inning defensive replacement.

La Russa can be seen on the video stepping out of the dugout and actually signaling for a timeout to get Engel into the game. As far as the fan influencing his decision, Chicago's manager just smiled at the notion when asked pregame Tuesday.

“Well, make his day, tell him I heard him,” said a smiling La Russa. “I like the fans being involved.”

There was actually talk between La Russa, bench coach Miguel Cairo and coach Jerry Narron about the Engel for Jiménez switch before the fan made his opinion known.

“We went back and forth with it,” La Russa said. “It's the eighth inning, the score is tied. So if it's tied again in the ninth, in the 10th, and Eloy’s spot is coming up, do you want to take his bat out?

“His defense has been good enough. I worried more about if it's a close play and he's going to try to run it, he might hurt himself. That was a difficult choice. Ninth inning, sure. Eighth inning, in a tie game, I'd rather not be getting him hurt. Very tough call.”

Weinstein appeared on both ESPN 1000 -- the White Sox flagship station -- and 670 AM The Score, which represent the two sports stations in Chicago. But an amused La Russa wasn’t even sure where the fan was sitting.