CHICAGO – For the moment, here’s how the White Sox structure to run the club is going to be: Tony La Russa will be around the team but during games he’ll watch from a club suite. Miguel Cairo will remain the acting manager and will call the shots on the field.
This is where the team stands as they continue to pursue the Guardians for first place in the American League Central division, one in which Cleveland leads by three games.
So far, there is no timetable for when that might change.
Cairo doesn’t have a problem with any of it, happy to have La Russa around while also taking the reigns of the club, for now, on a temporary basis.
“That’s my job right now,” said Cairo before Tuesday’s series opener with the Rockies at Guaranteed Rate Field. “We’re glad that he’s around because I always ask him questions about what I could have done better, what I could do different or stuff like that.
“He’s got his spirits. He’s a mentor. He’s like a father to me. I care about him and I’m glad that he’s well and he’s in good spirits.”
The White Sox and their fans have been since Cairo took over the acting manager spot after La Russa was sent to Arizona just before the club’s game against the Royals on August 30th. In that stretch, the team has played with what looks like renewed energy and has put themselves back in the hunt for a playoff spot.
A 4-2 victory over Colorado on Tuesday evening puts their record at 10-4 under Cairo, with one of the losses coming on August 30th when he replaced La Russa at the last minute. The White Sox have cut their deficit from six games in the AL Central to three with 20 games remaining in the season.
Eloy Jimenez’s three-run homer in the first inning would prove to be all the club would need on Tuesday as the look for the quick sweep on Wednesday afternoon against the Rockies at 1:10 PM.
The same situation will take place for that contest with Cairo in the dugout and La Russa watching from a suite at Guaranteed Rate Field. While it’s still unknown how that scenario is going to remain, Cairo is going to keep doing what he has to do to try and get the club back to the postseason.
“We just run day-to-day,” said Cairo of his approach to his role at the moment. “As of today, I go to the ballpark, I prepare for the game, I do the lineup, I check with my coaches. I always check with the coaches, hitting coach, bench coach, everyone just to see what they think. I get their opinion, and after that I do my lineup.”
It’s an approach that’s worked so far, and has kept the inconsistent White Sox in range of a third-striaght playoff appearance. How much that will stay is still to be determined.