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White Sox include A.J. Hinch’s signature in Tony La Russa hire announcement, Twitter goes off

A.J. Hinch, White Sox, Tony La Russa

The Chicago White Soxspecifically, Jerry Reinsdorf—stunned the baseball world on Thursday by announcing the hiring of Tony La Russa as the team’s next manager.

The White Sox fired Rick Renteria after losing in the American League Wild Card round to the Oakland Athletics.

La Russa, 76, managed the White Sox from 1979-86 before World Series–winning stints with the A’s (1986-95) and the St. Louis Cardinals (1995-2011). Yet, there are justifiable concerns about his ability to manage a baseball team in 2020—especially one as full of young and exciting players as Chicago.

The hiring was doubly surprising because of who didn’t get the gig. Namely, former Houston Astros manager A.J. Hinch or ex-Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora—both of whom won recent championships and were considered amongst the best skippers in the sport before facing suspensions for their roles in cheating scandals.

In fact, due to a hilarious graphics mistake by the White Sox communications team, we may have learned that the organization was preparing to announce Hinch as its next manager before, presumably, some ninth-inning intervention from Reinsdorf.

As multiple observant Twitter users pointed out, the email announcement sent out by the White Sox included an image of Hinch’s digital signature, rather than La Russa’s.

White Sox GM Rick Hahn said they were looking for a manager who has “experience with a championship organization in recent years,” which could have applied to Hinch (or Cora).

Even beyond the initial Twitter blowback to the announcement and the graphics mistake, La Russa’s first day back with the Sox didn’t get less bumpier. During his introductory press conference, La Russa was asked about about his views on players speaking out on racial injustice and social issues. In 2016, he said players who wanted to protest during the national anthem should stay in the clubhouse and, in 1999, Ron Gant accused him of being racist.

La Russa, for his part, said his stances on protesting have changed—though he did throw in the dreaded “there’s not a racist bone in my body” line.

In addition to analytics and peaceful protest, La Russa will have to display a newfound open-mindedness to bat-flipping, too, with star shortstop Tim Anderson on his squad.

We’ll see how this all goes.