Anderson on La Russa: ‘He's a best friend'


GLENDALE, AZ –  Tim Anderson and Tony La Russa. Best friends?

This might come as a huge surprise to everyone who believed that the old school, 76-year-old manager would never be able to mesh with a young, dynamic, change-the-game shortstop like TA when the White Sox hired La Russa after the 2020 season.

But after one year together, Anderson and La Russa aren’t just getting along. According to Anderson, they’ve formed such a tight bond, they’ve actually become close friends.

“He’s always there. I call him, text him, talk to him. After a game, before a game, whatever. He’s like a best friend,” Anderson said about La Russa on the White Sox Talk Podcast. “You always have access to him. He’s going to always keep it real with you, and that’s what you need when you’re playing a struggling game like this. You don’t want someone just telling you stuff just to tell you.  He’ll hold you accountable as well.”

Almost 50 years separate the two of them. La Russa now 77, is the third-oldest manager in history. With such a large age difference and cultural gap, how is it possible for them to be best friends, like Anderson describes it?

“He’s a best friend with the title of a manager,” Anderson explained.

“We’ve probably got one of the best relationships for sure. I’m always learning from him. He’s always giving me quotes and different things to motivate me. To have a guy like that in your corner. He doesn’t have to do that. He doesn’t have to give me any kind of motivational speeches, and he does. So I respect him for that.”

More than anything, Anderson says that La Russa has made him a better player. The Hall of Fame manager has a knack for knowing what to say and when to say it to Anderson when the shortstop needs a tip, an edge or a boost.

“You see the way I play. You see how hungry I am. He’s just adding to my basket, which is great. Which is what you need,” Anderson said. “For me to be hand-to-hand with him, right up under him to be able to learn the game.  He’s been in those situations. He’s won World Series. To learn from him has helped my career. He’s helped the way I think about the game and helped the way I play, and has improved me overall.”

Click here to follow the White Sox Talk Podcast.

Contact Us