White Sox: Tony La Russa pleads innocent for plunking Shohei Ohtani

© Provided by Fansided

Chicago White Sox manager Tony La Russa insists his pitcher did not intentionally throw at Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani.

The drama in Thursday’s game between the White Sox and Angels saw Tony La Russa ejected along with pitcher Mike Wright Jr. for allegedly targeting Shohei Ohtani.

After the game, La Russa wanted to make it clear that wasn’t what happened.

“They made a mistake. It’s upsetting. It looks bad for our pitcher, our team and me,” La Russa said per James Fegan of The Athletic.

Tony La Russa says Mike Wright Jr. didn’t throw at Shohei Ohtani

You could forgive the umpires for wondering about Wright’s headspace. He threw three straight pitches inside at Ohtani. The last one hit him on the back of the calf.

Was it intentional? You be the judge.

Here was the sequence that ended with Shohei Ohtani getting plunked

Joe Maddon thought the White Sox were throwing intentionally. Tony La Russa (who was not happy about being ejected) claimed they were not https://t.co/9k6fGhrVeZ pic.twitter.com/WSxgK9sHtI

— Jack Harris (@Jack_A_Harris) September 16, 2021

It’s not immediately clear those were intentional, but it’s a bad look.

The Angels hit two White Sox players earlier in the series. La Russa argued they didn’t retaliate after those, so the Ohtani HBP was incidental.

Wright was showing a dangerous lack of control to get three pitches so wrong either way. Getting thrown out was always going to be a risk he ran with that kind of performance, especially since it happened to one of the brightest stars in the game.

If throwing at batters is going to remain part of the game, then pitchers will keep getting ejected whether they mean it or not.

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