White Sox Manager Tony La Russa Says DUI Arrest Was 'Inexcusable Mistake'

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistFebruary 17, 2021

Tony La Russa, Boston Red Sox vice president and special assistant to the president of baseball operations before a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays Friday, April 19, 2019, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

Chicago White Sox manager Tony La Russa said his DUI arrest was an "inexcusable mistake" as he heads into his first spring training with the club. 

"I made no excuses, it was an inexcusable mistake," La Russa told Bob Nightengale of USA Today. "It has cost as much embarrassment personally as possible. Anyone to think that this wasn't something that had a very negative impact.

"... I mean part of the embarrassment and negative feelings is the impact on the organization and the fans and the people that hired me. There were already enough questions of me managing, and then this. It has been torturous."

La Russa, 76, was arrested and charged with driving under the influence in Arizona last February. The case became public in October, leading to widespread criticism regarding the White Sox's hiring of the Hall of Fame manager.

La Russa previously pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor DUI charge in 2007 when he was managing the St. Louis Cardinals.

In a December conference call, La Russa said he "brought this on [himself]." As part of a plea deal with prosecutors, La Russa completed a 20-hour alcohol counseling course.

The White Sox, who hired La Russa in October despite him not managing since 2011, said "there cannot be a third strike."

However, the franchise has remained loyal to La Russa during the public scrutiny and no punishment from the team has been announced.