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Retired pitcher CC Sabathia rips ‘out of touch’ White Sox manager Tony La Russa

“Tony La Russa is out of touch with the game, cuz,” Sabathia said. “He should not be managing one of the best teams in the American League, period.”

Former Cy Young winner CC Sabathia had some choice words for White Sox manager Tony La Russa.
Former Cy Young winner CC Sabathia had some choice words for White Sox manager Tony La Russa.
Seth Wenig/AP

Former Cy Young Award winner CC Sabathia threw a high hard one under White Sox manager Tony La Russa’s chin Thursday.

Sabathia, who retired in 2019 after 19 seasons, called out La Russa for his old-school take on not swinging at 3-0 pitches with big leads. La Russa calls it a matter of sportsmanship. Sabathia said La Russa shouldn’t be managing the Sox.

‘‘Tony La Russa is out of touch with the game, cuz,’’ Sabathia said on his R2C2 podcast with Ryan Ruocco. ‘‘He should not be managing one of the best teams in the American League, period.’’

Publicly, Sox players have been more reserved in their reactions to La Russa calling out one of his own players, Yermin Mercedes, for missing a take sign before he homered Monday against Twins position player Willians Astudillo. But Sabathia pointed out Sox shortstop Tim Anderson said on Instagram: ‘‘The game wasn’t over! Keep doing you, big daddy.’’

While La Russa said he didn’t have a problem with how the Twins responded to Mercedes swinging on 3-0, pitcher Tyler Duffey and manager Rocco Baldelli were suspended three games and one game, respectively, by Major League Baseball after Duffey threw behind Mercedes on Tuesday.

Sox right-hander Lance Lynn said anything goes when position players are pitching. Sabathia agreed, although in much louder and more profane tones.

‘‘If you’re going to put a [expletive] position player in there to pitch, guess what? If he’s going to lob [expletive] over the plate, we going to [expletive] tee off,’’ Sabathia said. ‘‘Put a 10-run rule up there, cuz. If y’all don’t want to see people get embarrassed and you don’t want to see position players pitch and people swing on 3-0 counts and all that [expletive], then make it a 10-run rule so the [expletive] game will be over and you don’t have these stupid unwritten rules.

‘‘That’s just [expletive] stupid. Period. I’m sorry. This [expletive] is terrible. He shouldn’t be [expletive] managing that team. If you not going to step up and have your players’ backs, what’s the point of being the [expletive] manager of the White Sox?’’