White Sox bench coach Miguel Cairo steps up successfully as acting manager

·2 min read

Miguel Cairo steps in successfully as acting manager originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The White Sox were left stunned at the news of Tony La Russa's departure.

He left the team on Aug. 30 with a "heart issue," which forced him to visit his personal doctors in Arizona on an indefinite absence.

In his place, bench coach Miguel Cairo was asked to step in the manager spot hours before the Sox' first game against the Kansas City Royals in a three-game series.

Cairo and the team expressed their concern for La Russa, as they found out news of his absence hours before the game. Andrew Vaughn mentioned he found out through the White Sox' Twitter account.

Cairo also mentioned he "cannot be Tony La Russa" and "he's a Hall of Famer." But, he conveyed his confidence the team would survive with the coaching staff they had to work with.

Despite the confusing, emotional absence of La Russa, Cairo did a phenomenal job as acting manager. He managed the team through three-straight series wins over the Royals, Twins and Mariners with a 6-3 record. Also, Dylan Cease nearly no-hit the Twins under Cairo's leadership.

Cairo’s enthusiasm on the bench helped uplift the team struggling with the sudden absence of La Russa. For that, the Sox should be grateful they maintained success despite La Russa's absence.

RELATED: Report: La Russa 'going to be okay,' eyes return next week

However, Cairo's stint as acting manager is coming to an end. La Russa is "going to be okay" and plans to return to the club "early next week," according to a report from the New York Post's Jon Heyman.

The Sox have a weekend series starting Thursday on the road against the Oakland Athletics. After a day off on Monday, they take on the Colorado Rockies at home in a two-game series starting Tuesday. The Rockies series seems like a potential re-entry point for La Russa.

With La Russa potentially rejoining the team next week, the team hopes carry the momentum and relief of his return into the final stretch of the season. The club is tied with the Minnesota Twins in the AL Central, two games back on the division-leading Cleveland Guardians.

The Sox should pick up wins against the Athletics in the weekend series, since they are one of two teams in MLB already eliminated from playoff contention. Plus, a series between the Twins and Guardians this weekend could help the White Sox climb the standings and take first place in the division.

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