Free agent Marcus Stroman says ‘no amount of money’ would get him to play for White Sox’s Tony La Russa


The criticisms of the White Sox hiring Tony La Russa to be the club’s new manager continued Tuesday and spilled into the world of professional athletes — or, more accurately, an athlete’s Twitter page. Former Mets and Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman, who is currently a free agent, shared his thoughts on La Russa after news of the manager’s recent DUI arrest came out.

But there was a bit more to what he posted than just commenting his disappointment in the overarching situation. When a Twitter user hopped into the conversation Stroman was having with baseball writer Keith Law to ask how much it would take to play for La Russa — a description was used, but La Russa was the person they were clearly talking about — Stroman gave an emphatic rejection to the premise itself:

Stroman has never been shy about speaking his mind about baseball matters on social media, but the pitcher’s concerns are grounded in realities about La Russa. In 2016, La Russa belief that Kaepernick’s decision to kneel during the national anthem in protest of police brutality and racial inequity was nothing more than a stunt done to drum up the quarterback’s popularity. He also called the act “disrespectful” and said he wouldn’t want anyone in his organization doing it.

Those words from La Russa sit in direct contrast with how the White Sox have expressed support for racial equality. Former manager Rick Renteria took a knee during a moment of silence that happened prior to the national anthem playing on Opening Day. When the anthem actually played, many of the Black players on the team, including 2019 AL batting champ Tim Anderson, took a knee in protest as well.

To his credit, La Russa says he has changed his stance on the subject, citing his recent education — the subject of which is not exactly specified — and the fact that “[t]here is not a racist bone in my body.”

Those concerns now look even worse when combined with the White Sox’s commitment to keeping La Russa in the face of this recent arrest and how owner Jerry Reinsdorf reportedly pushed this hire through without much input from his front office. And now the front office has to deal with this: criticism against La Russa coming from major league talent, which is costing the organization at least one option in free agency.

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