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It’s only been a couple weeks since Tony La Russa was hired to manage the up-and-coming Chicago White Sox, and he’s already in hot water. The 73-year-old 3-time World Series champion was charged with DUI in Arizona. Date of his charge? One day before he signed on the dotted line with the Chi-Sox.
From @BNightengale's story about Tony La Russa's drunk-driving arrest and DUI charge: "A high-ranking White Sox official told USA TODAY Sports that La Russa is no danger of losing his job, or any discipline by the club." https://t.co/rh9NxK5rU3— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) November 10, 2020
According to the report, Tony La Russa was seen Feb. 24 standing alongside his SUV near Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport when officers arrived. Officers asked him what happened and as he was alerting them that he struck the curb and caused a blow out, the officer reportedly noticed a “light odor of alcohol” on Mr. La Russa’s breath.
La Russa was then asked to pass a breathalyzer test, submit a urine sample, or take a blood test to prove he was not over the Arizona .08 legal limit–he refused. Tony was soon after placed under arrest.
A White Sox official has since stated to USA Today that Tony La Russa is in “no risk” of losing his job or receiving any discipline from the team.
“I can confirm we were aware and because this is an active case, we cannot comment further at this time,” White Sox spokesman Scott Reifert said.
This is the second time La Russa has been arrest for DUI, after he was last charged in 2007 outside the St. Louis Cardinals spring training facility in Florida. Arizona law states that repeat offenders face harsher penalty, but since the charge happened over seven years ago, La Russa doesn’t face a “repeaters” charge. If convicted, however, he still faces up to 10 days in jail.
It seems the White Sox and the rest of the baseball world will wait to see what type of punishment commissioner Rob Manfred brings forward. If he lets La Russa off the hook, it would mean the White Sox are all systems go for the 2021 campaign.
We will be sure to deliver any follow up statements or developments as they come.