Tony La Russa questions Astros’ character for what White Sox manager called ‘intentional’ plunking of José Abreu
CHICAGO - Although Game 4 of the American League Division Series was all but over with the eighth inning of the Houston Astros' 10-1 win over the Chicago White Sox, the fireworks were only just beginning.
Astros rescuer Kendall Graveman toppled Sox bat José Abreu with two outs and no one on the base, which drew the wrath of Sox manager Tony La Russa, who burst out of the dugout to attack the referees.
Both teams were cautioned and there was no further incident, but afterwards La Russa questioned the “character” of the Astros and asked them to admit that they deliberately hit Abreu.
"You should have just thrown him out," La Russa said of Graveman. “It will be a good test of the winning team's character and credibility because it was intended. ... They hit him on purpose. I would be very interested (why). You should have the courage to admit that you did it and why you did it. I do not understand."
La Russa added, "I don't see how they got away with it."
Sox starter Carlos Rodón hit José Altuve in the back with an out in the third and the Sox led 1-0.
Astros manager Dusty Baker said the looting of the Abreu was not intended.
"Should I admit it?" said baker. “No, that won't work. ... The situation and outcome of the game wasn't an indication why you (let the Sox) should start a rally. I don't think there's bad blood between these two teams. # 1, we don't play them enough to get bad blood and # 2, they have a number of Latinos and we have a number of Latinos here and anyone who knows Latin American players knows they are close to each other.
“No, there was no way we tried to meet Abreu. If you meet him, you will hit him long before that. If there was a reason (but) there was no reason to hit Abreu. He didn't do anything to us. ... and Abreu has been hit about 20 times, and in modern baseball the guys don't try to avoid the ball. In my day we hit the dirt or turned away from the ball. Today the boys would just stand and take it
“I disagree with Tony. No, there was no intention and no reason to be. Zero."
Sox Relief agent Ryan Tepera hinted on Sunday that the Astros stole signs during the first two games in Houston without providing any evidence, which likely ruffled some feathers in the Astros dugout.
Before ending his press conference, La Russa said the eighth inning left a "bitter taste" in his mouth.
"It's just a lack of character that you should answer for," he said. "If you don't admit it, you are very dishonest."
In this article:
Tony La Russa
Baseball player and manager
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