White Sox manager Tony La Russa has done this clinching thing before — and cares only about the ring

We don’t seem to recognize La Russa for the Hall of Fame thing these days. It bears repeating.

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St. Louis Cardinals v Los Angeles Dodgers, Game 1

La Russa has been here before.

Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Tony La Russa has a one-of-a-kind feeling about the night the White Sox clinched a postseason berth in 1983.

“It’s forever tied as far as memories of teams that got to October,” he said.

Wait, that doesn’t sound very one-of-a-kind at all.

Because those Sox — and this season’s Sox — aren’t anything all that special to La Russa. Not yet. The man is a three-time World Series winner, after all. Not to mention a Hall-of-Famer.

Whoa. We don’t seem to recognize La Russa for the Hall of Fame thing these days. It bears repeating.

La Russa — Hall-of-Famer — will be 77 on Oct. 4. But we note his age all the time.

He’s about to celebrate his 15th clincher. The Sox are going to wrap up a division title one of these days, and you can bet your bottom dollar it’ll happen Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday while they’re in Detroit. The chances of it happening later than that are infinitesimal. All it’ll take is a Sox win here or there, and an Indians loss here or there. It’s basically a sure thing.

So get ready for a celebration.

And here’s what we can expect from the manager: an unimpressed reaction. Because it’s all about the ring to La Russa. Win the whole shebang, and maybe this will be one-of-a-kind — make that four-of-a-kind — to the skipper who has seen and done it all. 

Here’s what’s happening:

SUN 19

Bengals at Bears (noon, Fox-32)

A loss to the Bengals would be calamitous. No, catastrophic. No, cataclysmic. Holy hyperbole, it’s must-win time already.

Baltimore Ravens v Las Vegas Raiders

Waller is Gruden’s No. 1.

Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Raiders at Steelers (noon, Ch. 2)

Speaking of hyperbole, the Raiders’ Jon Gruden has been pumping up tight end Darren Waller by calling him the best player he has ever coached. Man, what that must do for the guy’s confidence! Couldn’t Matt Nagy have at least tried that with Adam Shaheen? 

Cowboys at Chargers (3:25 p.m., Ch. 2)

In a Week 1 loss to the Buccaneers, Cowboys QB Dak Prescott threw for over 400 yards but handed the ball to Ezekiel Elliott only 11 times. And you thought the Bears offense had balance issues.

Chiefs at Ravens (7:20 p.m., Ch. 5)

Not to be unappreciative of this Patrick Mahomes-Lamar Jackson matchup, but would it have killed the NFL to make this a best-of-seven series?

MON 20

White Sox at Tigers (5:40 p.m., NBCSCH)

Is this the night the Sox celebrate? Let’s see Tim Anderson lead off like he means it and go from there.

Lions at Packers (7:15 p.m., ESPN)

If Aaron Rodgers weren’t so great, we’d look at the Packers’ no-show in a season-opening 38-3 loss to the Saints and think: This might be the worst team on the planet. But enough about the Lions.

TUE 21

White Sox at Tigers (5:40 p.m., NBCSCH)

Is this the night the Sox celebrate? Let’s see Jose Abreu not get hit with another pitch while chasing down another RBI title.

Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel (9 p.m., HBO)

Correspondent Jon Frankel checks in with ESPN’s Adam Schefter, with whom he shares an incredible bond: Both men married 9/11 widows and raised stepsons who — 20 years after the unthinkable tragedy — are preparing to graduate together from the University of Michigan.

WED 22

White Sox at Tigers (12:10 p.m., NBCSCH)

Is this the day the Sox celebrate? Look, we’re getting tired of asking. Just get this thing done, Sox, if you haven’t already.

Las Vegas Aces v Chicago Sky

Parker will lead the Sky or no one will.

Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

THU 23

Wings at Sky (TBD)

No pressure, ladies, it’s just a single-elimination first-round playoff game. Not to tell Sky coach James Wade how to do his job, but we’d make damn sure Candace Parker gets to pick the pregame meal.

Panthers at Texans (7:20 p.m., NFL)

What a story it would be if the Deshaun Watson-less Texans were to start 2-0. In a related potential development, it’s either that or a Sam Darnold-quarterbacked team starts 2-0.

FRI 24

Ryder Cup, Day 1 (7 a.m., Golf)

It’s Foursomes and Four-Ball at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wis., where the American team will boast eight of the top 10 players in the world rankings. And you know what that likely means: Europe takes the lead, as usual.

Cardinals at Cubs (1:20 p.m., 7:05 p.m., Marquee)

A doubleheader means two chances for the Cubs to play spoiler against their rivals, who entered the week as the hottest team in the league. And they don’t even have Frank Schwindel.

SAT 25

Ryder Cup, Day 2 (8 a.m., Ch. 5)

More Foursomes and Four-Ball — the team stuff — which Brooks Koepka admits makes him uncomfortable in such a typically individual sport. If you’re wondering why the U.S. usually loses this thing, see: Brooks Koepka.

Notre Dame at Wisconsin (11 a.m., Fox-32)

If you’ve got to be the road team against the Badgers, Soldier Field is a heck of a place to do it. Irish QB Jack Coan going against his former team is the headline of the day in college football.

Ohio at Northwestern (11 a.m., BTN)

It’s rather amazing how the absence of a single, simple word — “State” — can make a task for the Wildcats sound so different.

Illinois at Purdue (2:30 p.m., BTN)

Some of us are old enough to remember the Illini’s season-opening victory against Nebraska. We’d wish Bret Bielema luck at avoiding a drop to 1-4, but it just seems too cruel.

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