White Sox manager Tony La Russa, hired by the team late last month after a nine-season retirement, was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol in February and was charged with DUI in Arizona the day before the White Sox made his hiring official. ESPN’s Jeff Passan, Paula Lavigne, and Charlie Moynihan were the first to report the news on Monday night:
Chicago White Sox manager Tony La Russa was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence in February and charged with DUI a day before the team hired him, according to court records obtained by ESPN.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) November 10, 2020
News with @pinepaula and @MoynihanCharles: https://t.co/C1lHlik4Zl
La Russa was arrested after running his car into a curb and refusing to submit to a breathalyzer or blood or urine test, though the arresting officer later received a warrant to draw blood for testing. He faces up to 10 days in jail if convicted, though he’s unlikely to receive a sentence that harsh due to the fact that he’s considered a first-time offender in Arizona since his last DUI was more than seven years prior.
This is the second time the 76-year-old La Russa has been charged with DUI. While managing the Cardinals in March 2007, he was arrested near the team’s Florida spring training facility after being found asleep at the wheel with his SUV in park at a stop sign. He later pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge.
White Sox VP of communications Scott Reifert confirmed Monday that the team was aware of La Russa’s arrest when they hired him. Per USA TODAY’s Bob Nightengale, La Russa is not in jeopardy of being disciplined or let go by the White Sox. It remains to be seen, however, whether he’ll be disciplined by Major League Baseball, which has become more aggressive in reprimanding players and coaches for unacceptable off-the-field behavior in recent years.