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Monday, October 31, 2011
White Sox would hire Tony La Russa?

By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com

CHICAGO -- Chicago White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf is interested in adding Tony La Russa to his front office, the Chicago Tribune reported on Monday.

When asked if he'd like to work again with La Russa, who spent eight years managing the White Sox, Reinsdorf told the Tribune, "I would love to.''

Reinsdorf told the newspaper he hasn't yet talked to La Russa about joining the Sox.

Reinsdorf said he was present when the St. Louis Cardinals won Game 7 of the World Series on Friday because he knew La Russa was going to retire.

In a statement released by the White Sox, Reinsdorf suggests that La Russa would have called it quits whether the Cardinals won or lost.

"I knew Friday night was his last game, and I wanted to be there for it," Reinsdorf was quoted in the release. "Like a father who gets more enjoyment out of seeing his children succeed, I was as happy for him Friday night as I was when we won in 2005."

There had been speculation even before Ozzie Guillen was released from his contract to manage the White Sox that La Russa could be his replacement next season. The White Sox went with Robin Ventura instead, hiring him long before La Russa's postseason run with the Cardinals was complete.

"Tony La Russa certainly left his mark on the game of baseball," Reinsdorf said. "His brilliance is his legacy. One of two managers to win a World Series in each league, six pennants, it says a lot about the man that he wasn't just going to stick around to break records."

"Some managers are great at running a game. Some are great from the ninth inning until the first inning. Tony was rare. He truly was great at both. I don't think anyone has won more often with teams expected to do far less."

In addition to managing the Cardinals and Oakland A's, La Russa managed the White Sox from 1979-86, going 522-510 over that stretch. He retired Monday with 2,728 career victories, third all-time behind John McGraw (2,763) and Connie Mack (3,731).

"Tony is one of the few people I know who would do something for a friend even if it was bad for him personally," Reinsdorf said. "It's a measure of the man that we fired him and remained friends."

Doug Padilla covers the White Sox for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.