Pedro Grifol to Replace Tony La Russa as White Sox Manager

The Chicago White Sox have settled on a new manager to replace Tony La Russa, and it's longtime Kansas City Royals coach Pedro Grifol.

The White Sox had been on the hunt for a manager since news broke last month that La Russa would be retiring due to health concerns.


But beyond the health issues with their former manager, the disappointing 2022 season on the South Side seemed to point to the need for a new voice in charge.

The organization came into the year with high expectations, only to finish 11 games behind the first place Cleveland Guardians in the standings.

Poor on-field performance and injuries were the main culprit, but bewildering managerial choices also contributed to their 81-81 record.

La Russa made headlines in June when he intentionally walked Dodgers shortstop Trea Turner after Turner had fallen behind in the count 1-2.

The move immediately backfired, as Max Muncy launched a 3-run home run to blow open a close game.

New Direction in Chicago

Grifol will take over after spending 10 years in the Royals organization as an assistant hitting coach, catching instructor and eventually bench coach. He also had a lengthy minor league career after catching in college at Florida State.

In what amounts to a tacit acknowledgement that a change in direction was needed, Grifol will be the first White Sox manager from outside of the organization in 25 years.

Recent managers Rick Renteria, Robin Ventura and Ozzie Guillen all had experience in Chicago before getting the top job.

Even after the frustrating 2022 season, there's still plenty of talent for Grifol to work with.

Stars like Eloy Jimenez, Dylan Cease and Luis Robert should return in 2023, and with a weak division, expectations will once again be high.

While it's unclear how much impact managers actually have, no matter what Grifol does, it almost certainly won't be worse than walking someone on a 1-2 count.

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Ian Miller is a former award watching high school actor, author, and long suffering Dodgers fan. He spends most of his time golfing, traveling, reading about World War I history, and trying to get the remote back from his dog. Follow him on Twitter @ianmSC