Anderson taking wait-and-see approach to playing for La Russa
Silver Slugger Awards were announced Thursday and for the first time in franchise history, the White Sox had three winners.
First baseman Jose Abreu, who is very likely to be announced as the American League MVP next week, claimed his third Silver Slugger.
Shortstop Tim Anderson and left fielder Eloy Jimenez were first-time winners.
Anderson and Jimenez were made available on a Zoom interview Thursday night, and that's when the news of the day quickly veered to new manager Tony La Russa.
"Get right into it," Anderson said with a laugh.
As soon as the Sox shocked the baseball world by announcing the 76-year-old La Russa is coming back to manage after a nine-year absence, the questions followed.
One of the obvious ones was, how is the old-school La Russa going to mesh with young, brash players like Anderson and Jimenez?
"I always reasoned if it was sincere, I didn't have a problem with it," La Russa said after being hired on Oct. 29. "With players that are being more exuberant, take Tim Anderson as an example, now it's people showing that, 'Hey, I'm coming through.' In fact major-league baseball is encouraging them to.
"If I see it's sincere and it's directed toward the game, that's displaying the kind of emotion you want."
Anderson is one of the most emotional players in the game, and his bat flips after home runs have helped the game attract needed young fans.
When asked about playing for La Russa, Anderson was equal parts respectful and blunt.
"Um, I don't know. I don't know, man," the White Sox's star said. "I was kind of reading what's been going on and kind of learning from that to get a better understanding. But I'm looking forward to learning from him. There's a lot of news saying we may not get along, but hopefully we can get along and continue to do what the ultimate goal is, to win a championship on the South Side.
"I'm just ready to pick his brain and learn the knowledge and just try to make this as smooth as possible. And just try to have fun with it -- if he allows that. But nothing changes, nothing changes. Just keep having the same approach and keep having fun and you know, hopefully he can enjoy watching it as well."
La Russa said he wanted to focus on his coaching staff after being hired, but Anderson is still waiting to get a call from the Hall of Fame manager.
When they do connect, Anderson plans on keeping it light.
"I'm excited to talk to him," said Anderson, who won the American League batting title in 2019 and was second this season. "I'm going to ask him if he's been reading, a lot of people have been saying we're not going to get along, so I'm going to ask him why do you think that? We'll see, man. I'm excited about it.
"Hopefully we can turn this negative around into a positive and keep moving, keep enjoying the game and keep having fun with it. You can't get sidetracked from what the ultimate goal is."
Does Anderson think La Russa can still handle the rigors of managing a major-league team at an advanced age?
"It's not like he's got to get out there and play," Anderson said. "All he has to do is just manage us and I'm pretty sure he's going to know how to do that. He's in the Hall of Fame for a reason. I'm just excited to see the Tony that everybody's talking about. I'm excited about it. Learn from him and see which way this thing's going to go."