Did a fan convince Tony La Russa to pinch run in game vs. Astros? White Sox manager involved in yet another odd incident

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Tony La Russa's decisions from the dugout have become the subject of scrutiny for White Sox fans — and MLB viewers, in general — all season. On Monday, he might have actually listened to a fan to make a decision.

A video from Monday's contest against the Astros shows a fan shouting at La Russa to substitute Eloy Jimenez in the bottom of the eighth inning for pinch runner Adam Engel.

"Hey Tony! Hey Tony, run Engel," the fan shouted. "Get Engel in there."

Sure enough, La Russa seemed to listen. White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu was already in the batter's box about to take pitches when La Russa came out of the dugout late, but right after the fan's suggestion, to make the switch.

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NSFW language in the video

Jimenez had just drilled an RBI double to tie the Astros 2-2 in the bottom of the eighth inning. The decision to pinch run wound up being moot, as back-to-back walks moved Engel to third, and a single by Yoan Moncada easily drove him and Abreu home to put Chicago up 4-2, a score by which they would wind up winning.

Still, late in the game, it's hard to argue against the decision putting him on second for Jimenez. Engel checks in at the 92nd percentile in sprint speed, according to Baseball Savant, and is 75th in outs above average. Jimenez, on the other hand, is 23rd in sprint speed and though he does not qualify for the outs above average percentile, he ranked in the fourth percentile back in 2020.

La Russa, for his part, denies that the fan impacted his decision to pinch run for Jimenez, saying he was debating using the pinch runner because he was concerned about losing Jimenez's bat in a tie game, per ESPN's Jesse Rogers.

"Make his day. Tell him I heard him," La Russa said, according to Rogers.

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Fans have weighed in and been critical of La Russa's decisions in real-time in the past. Earlier in the season, the White Sox manager made the decision to intentionally walk Dodgers shortstop Trea Turner in the sixth inning despite Turner being behind in the count 1-2.

As soon as he made the decision, a fan could be heard shouting: "Tony, what are you doing? He had two strikes, Tony."

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The decision puzzled both the crowd and the broadcasters, as did his decision later in the year to walk Guardians third baseman Jose Ramirez after the reliever Davis Martin had jumped ahead in the count 0-1.

La Russa was also seen falling asleep during a game recently, too. 

Now, fans are making sure he's awake and alert by hollering into the White Sox dugout.

At least now he won't have anyone second guessing the decision.

Author(s)
Edward Sutelan is a content producer at The Sporting News.
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