‘You just hope he’s going to be all right’ – The Denver Post



The Chicago White Sox announced about 50 minutes before the first pitch against the Kansas City Royals that manager Tony La Russa would miss Tuesday’s game at the direction of his doctors.

Miguel Cairo knew about an hour before the game started that La Russa would not be on the bench and that he would be stepping into the manager’s role.

“Believe me, he would love to be there,” the Sox bench coach said. “He wants to be there. But I know he needs to rest and they’re going to find out (Wednesday) what is going on and hopefully we know by (Wednesday) everything.”

La Russa, 77, is scheduled to undergo further medical testing Wednesday in Chicago. The Sox anticipate an update on his status before Wednesday’s game against the Royals.

“We didn’t have much of a heads up,” right fielder Gavin Sheets said. “I don’t know all the details still. Obviously praying for him, praying for a full recovery.

“At the same time, we go out and do our job and prepare to play a game, and we know with Miggy we are well-prepared and just go out and do our job.”

Sheets homered twice and had five RBIs, but it wasn’t enough as the Sox lost 9-7. The Royals hit four home runs, including two by Nick Pratto. The Sox lost their fifth straight and 10th in 12 games.

La Russa met with reporters around 4 p.m. for his daily pregame session and discussed urgency, injuries, former pitcher Dave Stewart — who was visiting — and the calendar.

“Everybody knows we’ve got to win games, starting with this one today, period,” La Russa said. “Think about just win today.

“The guys know that time is running out. Still, concentrate on today. Just try to win today.”

Less than three hours later, the Sox made the announcement and shared the news with fans in attendance with a message on the video board.

“I didn’t know much about it until I saw it on the scoreboard when I went out there,” Sox starter Lucas Giolito said. “You just hope he’s going to be all right. I don’t know any details.”

Giolito and Sheets said the late change did not affect their preparation.

“My job is a lot different than a manager’s job, so I just focus on what I need to do,” Giolito said.

Said Sheets: “We are going out there ready to play a game. It doesn’t change our preparation or anything. We wanted to get a win for Miggy.”

Cairo went 1-1 as the Sox acting manager in 2021, serving in the position for a 9-8 victory on Aug. 12 against the New York Yankees at the Field of Dreams Game in Dyersville, Iowa, and a 2-1 loss on Sept. 18 at Texas.

La Russa missed the first game to attend his brother-in-law’s funeral and the second because he was suspended after reliever Mike Wright intentionally threw at Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani.

Cairo was ready for Tuesday’s task despite the short notice.

“I knew the pitchers that we had and I knew the matchups,” he said. “I always prepare myself before the game starts.”

Giolito allowed the two solo homers to Pratto — in the second and fourth — and a two-run homer to Salvador Perez in the third as the Sox fell behind 5-0.

They cut the deficit to one with a four-run fifth that included a three-run homer by Sheets.

Michael A. Taylor’s bloop single that fell in front of a diving Sheets with two outs in the sixth brought in two to put the Royals ahead 7-4. Taylor hit a solo home run in the eighth, and the Royals held on while the Sox fell six games behind the Cleveland Guardians in the American League Central.

Their thoughts afterward were on their manager.

La Russa, inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2014, is in his second season of his second stint with the Sox. He first managed the team from 1979 to 1986.

“We’re going to find out (Wednesday) what is going on, and hopefully he’s going to be fine and he’s back (Wednesday) to do his duties,” Cairo said. “We are going to keep him in our thoughts and hopefully everything is fine.”

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