Steve Stone defends Tony La Russa

Steve Stone is apparently not a fan of the cameraman and production crew that showed Chicago White Sox manager Tony La Russa apparently sleeping on the bench during the first inning of a game earlier this week.

Stone, the veteran Sox analyst, appeared Thursday on the “Parkins and Spiegel Show” on WSCR-AM 670 and was asked about La Russa appearing to be fighting sleep during the first inning of NBC’s Monday telecast. Sports Chicago of the Sox-Kansas City Royals. game in field of guaranteed rate.

“Not that Tony was officially asleep, but he looked like he was almost asleep,” Score co-host Danny Parkins said. “Have you ever seen a manager fall asleep on the bench before?”

“Yes,” said Stone, 75. “I think first of all that was definitely a mistake, probably a mistake that is not going to be repeated, not by Tony but by the people who actually put it on the air.

“And I also think you can probably spend time with a camera in a lot of big league dugouts and you can find a guy who closes his eyes. It doesn’t mean he’s falling asleep. It just means that he will close his eyes. So that’s the way he works.”

On Wednesday, former Sox shortstop and 2005 World Series-winning manager Ozzie Guillen was asked during the “Mully and Haugh Show” on WSCR about La Russa seeming to fall asleep.

“When you saw the image of Tony La Russa fighting sleep in the dugout the other night… from your perspective, is that something management talks to Tony about?” asked David Haugh, a former Tribune reporter and columnist. “Is this something management thinks needs to be addressed?”

Guillen responded: “Everyone in Chicago baseball should know how big of a fan I am of Tony. Enormous. I don’t know exactly what to think or say because I don’t want to protect him because everyone sees it. … Listen, we’re in the middle of a pennant race and you (don’t) fall asleep, the players look at you on the bench, look at your reactions and your stuff, people (are) laughing or you like, what? Hell.”

La Russa, 77, a Hall of Famer, has drawn criticism as the Red Sox, who opened the season with World Series aspirations, have struggled to stay above .500 but remain in the hunt in the Central Division of the American League. They lost to the Rangers 3-2 on Thursday in Arlington, Texas, falling two games behind the first-place Minnesota Twins and one game behind the Cleveland Guardians.

Stone was an analyst for Cubs TV on WGN-9 from 1983 to 2004. After an acrimonious breakup with the North Siders, he joined the Sox’s radio booth in 2008 and switched to the television side the following year, forming partnered with Hall of Famer Ken “Hawk” Harrelson. Stone has been a mainstay for the Sox ever since.

Stone played for the Cubs and White Sox during his 11-year major league career and won an American League Cy Young Award with the Baltimore Orioles in 1980.

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