La Russa: White Sox 'can’t lose the edge'

September 25th, 2021

The White Sox will start the American League Division Series on Oct. 7. Before then, with a week to go in the regular season, manager Tony La Russa doesn’t want to see the team lose its edge.

After the series against the Indians, the White Sox will play a makeup game against the Tigers on Monday and then play a two-game set against the Reds before closing out the regular season with a three-game series against the Tigers.

For La Russa, it's about paying attention to detail.  

“We play the games [during the regular season], you play as hard as you can,” he said. “You can’t lose the edge. You can’t back off and get soft and dry to turn it on a week from now. They have to compete.”

La Russa said the 2021 White Sox remind him of many of the postseason clubs that he's guided in past Octobers. During his 34 years in the dugout, La Russa has led 14 teams to the postseason, winning six pennants and three World Series titles.

“[The White Sox] are committed to the practices,” La Russa said. “Every team goes through obstacles, and this club has definitely proven that they’re tough enough, especially early on. There were a lot of expectations because of last year, [going to the postseason and losing in the American League Wild Card Game], and a couple of new guys we added. They carried that and didn’t get distracted. They just played baseball.”

La Russa is hoping his entire roster will be healthy for October. He is also looking to rest some players who are banged up. He brought up outfielders Adam Engel and Brian Goodwin, who have been key to the bench. Their availability during the postseason, though, is still unknown. Goodwin is dealing with back tightness, while Engel is dealing with leg tightness. They both received treatment for their injuries on Saturday.

La Russa is not sure if left-hander Carlos Rodón will make his next start, which is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday. Rodón, who has been dealing with arm soreness, will throw a bullpen session on Sunday.