Former D-Backs Chief Baseball Officer Tony La Russa arrested for DUI in Phoenix

Former D-Backs Chief Baseball Officer Tony La Russa arrested for DUI in Phoenix
Tony La Russa (Source: CBS Sports)

Former Arizona Diamondbacks Chief Baseball Officer and current Chicago White Sox manager Tony La Russa has been charged with driving under the influence after being arrested for DUI in Phoenix earlier this year.

According to the Maricopa County Justice Courts website, the arrest occurred in February, but the case was filed on Oct. 28, one day before La Russa’s hiring was announced by the White Sox. There is no attorney listed for La Russa on the website.

White Sox spokesman Scott Reifert said the team was aware of the arrest when the 76-year-old La Russa was hired.

“Because this is an active case, we cannot comment further at this time,” Reifert said Monday, Nov. 9, in an email.

ESPN reported La Russa allegedly ran his car into a curb on Feb. 24. A state trooper found La Russa standing next to his SUV near Sky Harbor Airport, according to the ESPN report, citing an affidavit filed by the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

La Russa was taken into custody after a field sobriety test. CBS reports that La Russa’s blood-alcohol content was 0.08, resulting in a misdemeanor charge that could be punishable by up to 10 days in prison. In the affidavit cited by ESPN, the trooper described him as “argumentative.”

This arrest marks La Russa’s second known DUI arrest. He pleaded guilty to driving under the influence in Florida back in 2007 after police found him asleep inside his running sport utility vehicle at a stoplight and smelling of alcohol.

“I accept full responsibility for my conduct, and assure everyone that I have learned a very valuable lesson and that this will never occur again,” La Russa said then.

La Russa was hired by Chicago in a surprise move after Rick Renteria was let go. La Russa, who is friends with team owner Jerry Reinsdorf, started his managing career with the White Sox during the 1979 season.

The Hall of Famer hasn’t managed a big league club since 2011, when he led St. Louis past Texas in the World Series. He also won championships with Oakland in 1989 and the Cardinals in 2006.

La Russa is 2,728-2,365 with six pennants over 33 seasons with Chicago, Oakland and St. Louis. He was enshrined in Cooperstown in 2014. Only Hall of Famers Connie Mack (3,731) and John McGraw (2,763) have more victories. La Russa and Sparky Anderson are the only managers to win the World Series in the American League and National League.

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