Tony La Russa stands by Yermín Mercedes comments

“I’d be willing to bet there isn’t anybody in that clubhouse that’s upset that I mentioned that’s not the way we compete,” La Russa said before Wednesday’s series finale against Minnesota. “I walked around the clubhouse last night and nobody was giving me the Heisman.”

The White Sox manager maintained that Mercedes swinging and homering with the game out of reach wasn’t good sportsmanship toward the Twins.

“You think you need more to win, you keep pushing,” La Russa said. “If you think you have enough, respect the game and opposition. Sportsmanship.”

La Russa said Wednesday that he was surprised he was still getting so many questions about Mercedes, but he added regarding the debate on Mercedes swinging: “I’m not going to say it’s much ado about nothing. It’s much ado about a little bit.”

Following Mercedes’ home run Monday, Twins reliever Tyler Duffey threw a pitch behind Mercedes’ legs in Tuesday’s game, resulting in Duffey and Minnesota manager Rocco Baldelli being ejected.

Mercedes’ White Sox teammates have weighed in on the 3-0 swing, including starting pitcher Lance Lynn, who said in support of Mercedes that any unwritten rules are off when the other team has a position player pitching.

“The more I play this game, the more those rules have gone away and I understand it,” Lynn said. “The way I see it is for position players on the mound, there are no rules. Let’s get the damn game over with. And if you have a problem with whatever happens, then put a pitcher out there. That’s the way I see it. Can’t get mad when there’s a position player on the field and a guy takes a swing.”

But La Russa disagreed with his pitcher’s take.

“Lance has a locker. I have an office,” La Russa said. “I don’t agree.”

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