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Jerry Reinsdorf Hired Tony La Russa Because He Felt Bad About Firing Him When 'Top Gun' Was in Theaters

Stephen Douglas
On the set of Top Gun
On the set of Top Gun / Sunset Boulevard/GettyImages
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The Tony La Russa situation in Chicago has reached comedic levels in recent weeks. After a second consecutive extra-innings loss to the Texas Rangers the White Sox are now four games under .500. On Thursday La Russa ordered an intentional walk after his pitcher got ahead 1-2 in the count with two outs. Over the weekend the "Fire Tony" chants started. Unfortunately for White Sox fans, that doesn't appear to be on the menu. Why? Well, the answer won't help.

Jerry Reinsdorf feels bad about firing La Russa nearly 40 years ago. The year was 1986 specifically and the White Sox, who had made the postseason just once in La Russa's first eight seasons as manager, were 26-38 at the time. Chicago actually won on June 19, 1986 to improve their record to 26-38. So La Russa was either fired on June 19 or 20.

To put in perspective just how long ago that was, the number one movie in America that weekend (June 20-22) was The Karate Kid II. In a weird twist, the number four movie that weekend was Top Gun, in its sixth week in theaters.

La Russa would go on to win a World Series with the Oakland A's and the Bash Brothers in 1989, which probably solidified any regret Reinsdorf felt over his decision. By the time the St. Louis Cardinals won their second World Series under La Russa Reinsdorf probably figured he was The One Who Got Away.

Now that La Russa has the White Sox struggling again and Top Gun: Maverick is holding strong at the box office, Reinsdorf and his manager must be having some serious flashbacks.

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