The Chicago White Sox can’t handle the Toronto Blue Jays, and Tony La Russa keeps turning off the noise.

With runners in second and third and two strikeouts in the top of the 11th inning of the Tuesday night marathon on the South Side, the few thousand remaining fans began yelling unsolicited advice to Chicago White Sox manager Tony La Russa.

Toronto Blue Jays slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was on the plate against Vince Velasquez and fans called for a deliberate walk to load the bases.

Did La Russa listen to the fans’ advice?

“I didn’t think they liked walking,” he said with a smirk ahead of a 9-5 loss to the Blue Jays on Wednesday.

La Russa, of course, meant the infamous deliberate walk he ordered Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Trea Turner hit 1-2 on June 9, drawing heavy criticism from pundits and baseball fans alike.

A couple of weeks later, he could laugh at the hype that brought La Russa to the spotlight and made him a moving target for his most ardent critics.

Guerrero landed in third place to finish 11th, which made the decision not to pass him a good one. If it didn’t work, La Russa would no doubt have heard it from the crowd. The songs “Fire Tony” have already been played during the eighth match of the Blue Jays.

La Russa heard little from Thursday’s crowd of 19,406 as the Sox returned below .500 after winning the first two games of the series.

Lucas Giolito (4-4) allowed seven runs on 11 hits in five innings to put the game out of reach, while Danny Mendick’s right knee injury and Adam Engel’s right hamstring strain by one inning made the day a total loss. Mendik experienced “knee discomfort” when the ball collided with left fielder Adam Heisley in the second and had to be assisted off the field. Mendik was sent for an MRI, but La Russa did not provide any information. With the Sox already wary of returning All-Star shortstop Tim Anderson due to a groin injury, losing Mendik to the injured list would be another huge blow.

“This season has been very disappointing in terms of injuries, of which there have been many in this game,” Giolito said. “Every time it’s like a punch in the gut. We don’t want to lose anyone. It’s part of the game, but it happens a lot.”

Giolito called his performance “brutal” and noted that it was five unsuccessful starts in a row.

“There is no excuse for the way I performed,” he said. “That’s just terrible”.

La Russa understands that the fans tend to take out their anger when the team fails, and he agrees that they turn their anger on him, not on the players.

“I’ve said it 100 times, man, I love that they’re here and they care,” La Russa said. “And if they are unhappy, and this is with me, I would rather they were here and cared than not cared and not here. I know that in this particular (situation) some coaches would come up to the top step and yell back, like, “What can I say now?” or something like that.”

La Russa did not name the coaches before loudly asking, “You know the guy on deck (Alejandro Kirk) is hitting us? Wow, he’s a killer. It’s hard for us to get him out.”

Kirk is hitting .364 (8 of 22) against the Sox this season with four home runs and a 1.371 OPS. On the first Wednesday, he had an RBI single, and on the third Wednesday, he hit a solo home run.

Returning to the advice, how did the coaches hear the fans and not La Russa?

“I heard a noise,” he replied.

Upon learning that reporters could hear fans from the press box hundreds of feet from the dugout, La Russa said, “You pay more attention. I just focused on the game. Basically, I hoped we’d get through. I believe in talking to myself. You talk to yourself a lot, you can’t hear some people. You listen to yourself.”

There is a precedent for fans to make decisions during a game. August 24, 1951 by St. Louis Browns owner Bill Vick. handed out “Yes” and “No” posters He called 1,100 fans “tribune managers” and allowed them to vote on issues such as stealing or replacing a pitcher. It is unlikely that Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf will reenact this promotion so fans can tell La Russa how to play the game.

After The Sox returned on Tuesday to win 7-6 in 12 innings. La Russa left his office for a press conference. Several dozen fans who had been waiting for him to leave their scouting stations started chanting “Tony, Tony.”

No word on whether La Russa heard the noise.

On Thursday, the Sox open a four-game series against the rebuilding Baltimore Orioles, a team they shouldn’t have a problem with. But with injuries and a lack of consistent kickoffs, it’s hard to know what to expect from this team, especially if Anderson misses more action.

La Russa sat with Anderson on Wednesday after the shortstop played two games breaking away from IL.

“My excuse is that this is a day off at the request of the doctor,” La Russa said. “I don’t mind making a decision.”

It’s hard for many fans to understand why Anderson, who turns 29 on Thursday, needed a day off after staying in the roster every day in his youth. But it’s a different era, and La Russa said Anderson’s situation is different because of the injury and the need to keep his legs strong.

“Fans don’t see how hectic their six-month schedule is,” La Russa said, pointing to the Sunday night game followed by the Monday game. “There is a lot of wear and tear. Guys are bigger, faster and stronger, so their bodies get beat up.”

On Tuesday, Anderson joked with reporters that he would knock out the doctors or La Russa if they tried to keep him out of the roster on Wednesday. But Anderson was sitting, La Russa was still standing, and the Sox fans kept waiting for the season they thought they were promised.


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