White Sox manager Tony La Russa said on Wednesday he would try to change Yermin Mercedes’ mind about quitting baseball.
La Russa told reporters Mercedes may have just been “frustrated” when he wrote on Instagram that he was stepping away from the game “indefinitely”. La Russa boasted that Mercedes repeatedly said the two were close.
“He knows I’m a fan of his. So I’m going to contact him and see what happens,” La Russa said, according to MLB.com White Sox reporter Scott Merkin. La Russa has also said he will try to convince Mercedes that he still has a future as a major league player.
Mercedes made his announcement less than three months after he became an MLB sensation as a rookie. He wrote in the IG post “it’s over” in English, followed by an emotional message in Spanish. He thanked his family and agent for their support and then apologized to the media and teams for “immaturity” and “failing people”.
RIVERA: La Russa has soft, problematic response to twins throwing at Mercedes
On Wednesday afternoon, he posted a thoughtful emoji and a phrase in Spanish referring to retirement on his Instagram Story.
Mercedes has been playing Triple-A Charlotte since its option for minors on July 2. He was sent off in the midst of a long batting crisis that many fans and media have blamed on La Russa. The 28-year-old DH / catcher has slashed .128 / .209 / .154 in his last 23 games before demotion.
La Russa’s fault comes from the manager who publicly criticized Mercedes on May 18 for swinging 3-0 in the ninth inning of a resounding victory over the Twins the night before. Mercedes scored on the field, a float at 47 mph from positioner Willians Astudillo.
Mercedes did not apologize after the game. This did not suit La Russa, who made their reflections public the following afternoon.
“I heard he said something like, ‘I’m playing my game.’ No he doesn’t, “said La Russa, per Merkin.” He plays the game of Major League Baseball, respects the game, respects the opponents. And he has to respect the signs. When he gets the sign of taking, he takes. “
“I just think Yermin was locked up,” La Russa also said. “Him and Astudillo, they know each other from different competitions. He was locked up and [thinking], ‘I have to have it, I have to have it.’ “
La Russa added that the Twins, who were furious with Mercedes, knew the manager “was upset”.
That night, Minnesota reliever Tyler Duffey hit Mercedes in the leg with a fastball. The referees sent Duffey out after conferring on the field. La Russa appeared to side with the Twins in her post-match comments to reporters.
“I have no problem with the way the Twins handled this,” he said.