Whoops. The White Sox made quite the splash Thursday announcing Tony La Russa as their new manager. The third-winningest manager in MLB history, the Hall-of-Famer has held various front-office roles in recent years but hasn’t coached in the majors since 2011.
La Russa was always thought to be Chicago’s top choice, though the Pale Hose surely entertained other candidates throughout their hiring process. Though he never interviewed for the job, former Astros skipper A.J. Hinch was thought to be on the White Sox’s radar. A mass email sent Thursday would seem to corroborate that belief as Hinch’s signature appeared in a graphic welcoming La Russa to the White Sox family. Multiple screenshots of the errant email surfaced online with Twitter users reveling in the White Sox’s gaffe.
The White Sox eventually corrected their mistake on Twitter, though by that point, the damage had already been done. According to ESPN’s Jesse Rogers, the White Sox prepared graphics for a litany of loosely-connected candidates throughout their coaching search including Hinch, who was fired by the Astros for his involvement in the team’s cheating scandal. The 46-year-old claimed not to be an active participant in Houston’s sign-stealing, though Hinch admitted he was aware of what was going on and could have done more to stop it.
Now that his suspension is over, Hinch’s return to MLB appears imminent with ESPN’s Buster Olney reporting the Tigers are close to hiring him as their new manager. Detroit had been seeking a replacement for Ron Gardenhire, who retired from his post with a week to go in the regular season. Meanwhile, La Russa will be assuming the role vacated by Rick Renteria, who the Sox fired earlier this month despite Chicago making the playoffs for the first time in 12 years.