Tony La Russa admits not knowing extra-inning rule that may have cost White Sox a game

The future is now, Tony.

Things are going pretty well for the White Sox early on in the season, the first under manager Tony La Russa in his return to the game. But “pretty well” isn’t “great,” and Wednesday’s loss was one to forget.

La Russa may have mucked up up a bit: Wednesday afternoon’s White Sox-Reds matchup made it to extra innings, and La Russa opted to place reliever Liam Hendriks as the team’s “ghost runner” on second base, rather than a position player.

Hendriks had entered the game in a double switch and thus took the No. 5 spot in the lineup, but La Russa admitted he was unaware that he could have put the preceding batter (in this case, it would have been José Abreu) in to run, instead.

“I didn’t know that,” La Russa said of the rule after the 1-0 loss. “We all thought Liam was going to be the runner. I wasn’t aware Abreu could have run. I thought it was the guy that made the last out or the spot in that order. …

“I’m guessing you know the rules better,” La Russa said to reporter James Fegan, who had explained the rule to him. “Now I know.”

After a walk and force out at second that put runners on first and third, Leury Garcia was thrown out trying to swipe second and Billy Hamilton struck out for the third out soon after. The Reds would score the winning run in the home half.

Not a great look for La Russa, who is back in baseball after a decade away from managing. But what’s a worse look is the extra inning rule, anyway, which some MLB fans absolutely despise.

Well, can we blame him? TLR’s been around the game for six decades, so one itty-bitty rule change that costs a White Sox one win won’t come back to haunt him. He’s got 2,744 more of them, anyway.