Polling Place: Will the next White Sox skipper be AJ Hinch? Tony La Russa? Neither?
Hinch’s Astros were loaded, but so are the Sox — and if they don’t grab him, some other organization will. The whole thing just makes a lot of sense.
Back in February, in his first public comments since losing his job with the Astros and being suspended by Major League Baseball for his role in a sign-stealing scandal, A.J. Hinch was asked in an interview with MLB Network if he hoped to manage again.
“I do,” he said. “It’s up to other people to determine whether I’m the right fit, but I love managing. I love players. I love the competition. … I’m not proud of talking about the issues in 2017 with the sign stealing, but I’m not going to let that deter me from my hope and desire to have a long career in major league baseball doing what I love.”
So there you have it. You know, just in case anyone was wondering if Hinch might be as interested in the White Sox as they seem to be in him.
Who will be the manager to replace Rick Renteria? In this week’s “Polling Place,” your home for Sun-Times sports polls on Twitter, voters made it clear they’re expecting it to be Hinch, 46, who is highly regarded for both his interpersonal skills with players and his understanding of modern analytics.
Not that “highly” includes everyone, mind you.
“We need a fresh face that isn’t a cheater,” @JBIRD1268 commented.
A fresh face such as, ahem, Tony La Russa? Voters didn’t buy the ex-Sox manager of long ago as a candidate.
“What about La Russa’s win total benefitting from steroid-using players?” @latilleon wrote. “Doesn’t he have cheating, too?”
There is that to consider, we suppose. La Russa, having managed the “Bash Brothers” in Oakland and in St. Louis during the height of a home-run explosion, certainly has a role in a shameful part of baseball’s history.
Ah, well. On to the polls:
Poll No. 1: Who’s your bet to be the next White Sox manager?
Upshot: Hinch won a World Series, albeit a tainted one, in Houston. He had five straight winning seasons there and averaged 104 wins (whoa, that’s a lot) over the last three. His Astros were loaded, but so are the Sox — and if they don’t grab him, some other organization will. The whole thing just makes a lot of sense.
Poll No. 2: Hinch is coming off an MLB suspension. La Russa is 76 and hasn’t managed since 2011. Which is the bigger problem for you?
Upshot: When did everybody become openly ageist? Sheesh. Or maybe this is less about La Russa’s actual age and more about the feeling that a return to a manager from three and a half decades ago would be just kind of an unimaginative, uninspired way to go. Anyway, voters don’t seem too bent out of shape about Hinch’s wrongdoing.
Poll No. 3: You knew we’d ask — do you wish the Sox would bring back Ozzie Guillen?
Upshot: We can’t put it as colorfully as @YinkaDoubleDare, who commented, “The options for this should be ‘no’ and ‘[expletive] no.’ Only the Yinkster didn’t write “expletive.” Oh, you already figured that out? The nos have it here, though there were enough yeses to conjure an image of Guillen on the top step of the dugout and swearing a blue streak of his own.