Are the White Sox serious about hiring Tony La Russa?
On Monday, after announcing the White Sox and manager Rick Renteria "parted ways," general manager Rick Hahn gave a crystal clear description of what he'll be seeking in a successor.
"Ultimately, I think the best candidate, or the ideal candidate, is going to be someone who has experience with a championship organization in recent years," Hahn said.
Tony La Russa fit that profile, about a decade ago.
Nonetheless, the Sox are apparently preparing to interview the 76-year-old Hall of Famer.
According to multiple reports, the White Sox asked for, and received, permission from the Angels to talk to La Russa, who has been a senior adviser for Los Angeles.
La Russa was 34 years old when he became a major-league manager with the Sox in 1979. He was 2,728-2,365 over 33 seasons with the White Sox (1979-86), A's (1986-95) and Cardinals (1996-2011). La Russa won a World Series ring with Oakland and two more with St. Louis.
There is little doubt he has a gifted baseball mind and was masterful handling pitching staffs back in the day. Equally, or more important, La Russa and Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf are close friends.
The hunch here is the Sox simply want to talk with La Russa to get a gauge on a more likely managerial candidate like AJ Hinch.
"I will say that this is an opportunity for us as an organization," Hahn said. "We've obviously been somewhat insular in terms of our managerial hirings over the last several years. This is an opportunity for us to speak to individuals with other organizations that have had success and learn from them and get their sort of outsider objective perspective on our organization."