Tony La Russa Show continues as White Sox hit road

You almost couldn’t have scripted it: Bobby Cox, Joe Torre and Tony La Russa leaving the managerial grind together in 2010 and going into the Hall of Fame together in 2014. Three greats — no doubt about it, right?

Before you agitated White Sox fans answer that question, please remember that La Russa ranks second all-time in regular-season wins (Cox is fourth, Torre fifth) and that these very men are the top three skippers (Torre first, followed by La Russa and Cox) in postseason victories.

Such legends — and yet one can’t help but wonder what nasty things baseball fans would be saying about Cox and Torre had they, too, made surprising comebacks to the dugout heading into the 2021 season. Three wise men? More like three stooges.

These are hard times for managers everywhere. Big-timers Joe Maddon and Joe Giradri got kicked to the curb by their teams last week. Dave Martinez, who led the Nationals to their first World Series crown in 2019, is on the hot seat. So, too, it seems, are the Mariners’ Scott Servais (2021 runner-up for American League manager of the year) and the Marlins’ Don Mattingly (2020 National League manager of the year), among others.

But La Russa is the recipient of more fan resentment than any of them, in part because of his personality, in part because of his cozy friendship with Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf and in part — the biggest part — because of his questionable decisions and outright mistakes since coming back. This is not going to get better unless the Sox get much better, and fast.

Here’s what’s happening:

MON 13

Yu Darvish, ex-Cub, will be back at Wrigley.

Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Padres at Cubs (7:05 p.m., Marquee)

Old pal Yu Darvish takes the hill for the team with the best road record in the National League. In case that needs clarifying, no, it’s not the Cubs.

Celtics at Warriors, Game 5 (8 p.m., Ch. 7)

The only thing predictable about this series is that Golden State provocateur Draymond Green will stir the pot on his podcast after each game. Aren’t we all thankful podcasts didn’t exist when Dennis Rodman was playing for the Bulls?

TUE 14

White Sox at Tigers (6:10 p.m., NBCSCH)

Lance Lynn makes his long-awaited season debut, and are you thinking what we’re thinking? Now here’s a guy who’d never let anybody make him issue an intentional walk on a 1-2 count.

USMNT at El Salvador (9 p.m., FS1, Univision)

The Americans may have hit on something last week with striker Jesus Ferreira’s four-goal outburst against Grenada. Not to tell coach Gregg Berhalter how to do his job, but we’d simply have somebody do that again.

WED 15

Lightning at Avalanche, Game 1 (7 p.m., Ch. 7)

We’re beginning to suspect the Bolts — who’ve won 11 postseason series in a row and are trying to pull off the NHL’s first three-peat since the early 1980s — are actually pretty good.

THU 16

Warriors at Celtics, Game 6 (8 p.m., Ch. 7)

One of these teams is playing for a title tonight, and keep this in mind: Only four of the last 27 NBA Finals have gone seven games.

FRI 17

Braves at Cubs (1:20 p.m., Marquee)

Baseball’s defending champs were below .500 entering June, but a double-digit winning streak re-established them as a force to be reckoned with. Bonus: Nobody in Atlanta is speculating about a William Contreras trade.

Dream at Sky (7 p.m., Marquee)

We know Atlanta guard Rhyne Howard — the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 draft — can score with ease, but can she turn a double play with Shawon Dunston?

SAT 18

Dusty Baker’s Astros are locked in again.

Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

White Sox at Astros (3:10 p.m., NBCSCH)

Last time these teams hooked up for a series, Kendall Graveman plunked Jose Abreu, La Russa and Baker got into it (again), the Astros easily outclassed the Sox and, well, so much for the 2021 season. But just look how fun the Sox’ fresh start in 2022 has been!

D.C. United at Fire (7 p.m., UniMas, TUDN)

D.C. and Chicago are the lowest-scoring couple of teams in the Eastern Conference, but don’t let that fool you; they’re also the worst couple of teams in the Eastern Conference.

Lightning at Avalanche, Game 2 (7 p.m., Ch. 7)

If ever there were a team that can stand up to the champs, it’s this one. Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog, Mikko Rantanen, Cole Makar — the Avs take a back seat to no one.

SUN 19

U.S. Open, final round (11 a.m., Ch. 5)

Scottie Scheffler, Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy … Phil Mickelson? Imagine the awkward tension if Mickelson — the face of the new, controversial, Saudi-backed LIV Golf tour — makes a run at his long-sought first Open title.

Sky at Fever (2 p.m., Ch. 26)

One of these years, the Fever will be good again. And by “good” we mean “for once, not a doormat.”

White Sox at Astros (6:08 p.m., ESPN)

No matter what happens, it’s a good thing the Sox are on the road for this national telecast. Wait, they don’t know the “Fire Tony!” chant in Houston, do they?

Celtics at Warriors, Game 7, if necessary (8 p.m., Ch. 7)

Yes, please?

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