The Astros knocked out the White Sox from the playoffs on Tuesday afternoon, and Chicago manager Tony La Russa hit boiling point after the loss.
The 77-year-old Hall of Famer was unhappy with the Astros after the game. Why? He believed the team intentionally hit White Sox slugger Jose Abreu with a late pitch in Houston’s 10-1 win.
“That thing in the eighth round, it just leaves a bitter taste in my mouth and in my guts,” The Russa told reporters after the game. “There was a lack of characters there that they should answer for. Stupid too. I’ll be interested to see if they admit it. If they don’t admit it, then they’re really dishonest.”
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It’s hard to understand exactly why La Russa was angry about this moment. When Abreu was hit, the Astros had a six-point lead. Reliever Kendall Graveman was on the hill and had Abreu in a 3-2 count.
Throwers just don’t waste throws if they’re going to intentionally hit someone. It appeared that Graveman’s fastball had just sailed over and headed over him. Nonetheless, it drew La Russa’s ire during and after the game.
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Astros manager Dusty Baker responded to La Russa’s accusation after the Astros’ victory and flatly denied it.
“No, there’s no way,” Baker said, according to the Chicago Tribune. “The situation and the score of the match didn’t indicate why you should (let the Sox) start a rally. I don’t think there is any disagreement between these two teams. No.1, we don’t play them enough to be cool, and # 2, they’ve got a number of Latins and we have a number of Latins here, and anyone who knows Latin American gamers knows they’re close to one of the other.
“No, there’s no way we’re trying to hit Abreu. If you’re going to hit him, you’re going to hit him long before that. If there was a reason, (but) there was no reason to hit Abreu. He didn’t do anything to us. … And Abreu’s been hit about 20 times, and in modern baseball guys don’t try to get off the ball. In my day, we either hit the ground or we turned away from the ball. Today the guys would be right there and take it.
“I don’t agree with Tony. No, there was no intention and no reason to do it. Zero.”
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Of course, it’s worth mentioning White Sox reliever Ryan Tepera stirred the pot between the two teams a bit after Chicago won in Game 3. He hinted that the Astros were stealing signs from the house, which certainly created some tension.
But while there may be a little more bad blood between the two teams than Baker suggests, it still looks like La Russa is hanging on to the straws as he faces the frustration of being knocked out. of the playoffs.