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White Sox Manager Tony La Russa Says Position-Player Pitching Is a 'Travesty'

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVAugust 18, 2022

Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The Chicago White Sox were blown out by the Houston Astros on Thursday 21-5 and turned to second baseman Josh Harrison for an inning on the mound to avoid further burning out the bullpen.

It didn't go well—Harrison gave up six hits and four runs, and after the game, White Sox manager Tony La Russa said he hates seeing position players pitch.

"I hate that rule you can pitch a position player," he told reporters. "There’s gotta be a way to avoid that. At some point when you get far down, I think it’s a travesty for the game. I don’t think fans enjoy it. But that's our fault."

One way to avoid it would be to simply not get blown out, but from a rules perspective, preventing position players from taking the mound would likely need to be accompanied by something like a mercy rule or expanded rosters. Teams likely wouldn't be thrilled about having to empty their bullpens in a blowout loss, taxing their pitchers in one game.

So the current alternative is to throw players such as Harrison on the mound to close out the game. It isn't pretty, but nothing else about a blowout loss is, either.

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