Yermin Mercedes Tanking Since La Russa Criticism for 3-0 Swing


Tony La Russa may have a few World Series rings, and lots and lots of Ws, but the 76-year-old manager of the Chicago White Sox may still have a bit to learn about the players of the 2020s. 

Since he threw his own player, designated hitter Yermin Mercedes, under the bus for not adhering to baseball's ancient 'unwritten rules', Mercedes has hit the skids badly. 

Mercedes was one of baseball's best stories to start the season, finally making the big leagues at the age of 28, and absolutely raking. He was the runaway leader for Rookie of the Year consideration... Until he took a 3-0 pitch from Minnesota Twins' catcher-turned-mop-up-man Willians Astudillo and deposited it 400 feet away over the center field fence. 

Turns out his manager, La Russa, is still a proponent of the age-old 'unwritten rules' of baseball — one of which states that in a blowout, you never swing at a 3-0 pitch. And La Russa was quick to criticize his popular young DH after the game:

Since being called out, very publicly, by his manager, Mercedes' batting splits have taken a nosedive. Hitting .364 with a .984 OPS before the incident, the "Yerminator" has hit just .143 with a .427 OPS since. 

It will be interesting, indeed, to follow the relationship between White Sox players and manager La Russa, their senior by HALF A CENTURY, as this season goes along.  

Photo Credit: Jordan Johnson-USA TODAY Sports