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Tony La Russa is mad about baseball player he manages hitting a home run

White Sox manager continues to play the old school card after Yermin Mercedes’ HR on 3-0 count and his comments are getting sort of out of hand.

Chicago White Sox manager Tony La Russa walks to the locker room following pregame warmups before a game against the Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park.  Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

White Sox manager Tony La Russa has weighed in Yermin Mercedes’ home run coming off a 3-0 count in Chicago’s 16-4 victory over the Minnesota Twins Monday and his comments are exactly what you’d expect from a manager who last saw MLB action more than a decade ago prior to this season.

Mercedes has been on an absolute tear this season, hitting .364 with six home runs and 25 RBIs in 36 games. La Russa mentions sportsmanship and respect for the game, but he may actually be more upset about Mercedes not respecting his calls.

Now the White Sox were well on their way to a win, up 15-4 before Mercedes sent a 3-0 pitch to the stands. Here’s what he had to say on the incident.

There was widespread criticism of White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf making a seemingly unilateral decision to hire La Russa in the offseason. There were questions about whether his managerial style would gel with a team full of young, rising stars. His response to Mercedes’ quote shows there’s still a ways to go to bridge the gap.

It does seem like La Russa is more upset about Mercedes not following the signs, but this is suddenly a major story over a rather minor incident. If the Twins were really that upset about losing 16-4 instead of 15-4, maybe the problem is in that thought process instead of an up-and-coming player making the most of his opportunities. As for any reaction from Mercedes’ teammates, it looks like he’s in the clear.

The La Russa hire hasn’t done much damage so far; the White Sox are leading the AL Central and have the highest winning percentage in baseball. They are still among the contenders for the AL title and the World Series crown. But as the season progresses, it’ll be worth monitoring whether La Russa’s “old school” managerial style is helping the White Sox fulfill their championship aspirations or holding the team back.