Heyman reported that friends of La Russa say the 77-year-old Hall of Fame manager is “going to be OK” as he recovers from an undisclosed illness suffered prior to the start of the first game of a series with the Kansas City Royals on August 30th.
La Russa could join the club as early as this Sunday while the team is in Oakland facing the A’s. On that day, the A’s will honor former pitcher Dave Stewart by retiring his number 34 which the story says is something La Russa would like to be at. The report says La Russa’s coming back to manage would occur after that.
With La Russa at the helm, the team has been mired in mediocrity, playing around the .500 mark for most of the season. The team did not look anything like the club that won 93 games and the American League Central division last year.
The Chicago WhiteSox might see more Tony La Russa sooner than later.
However, under the guidance of bench coach Miguel Cairo who took over in La Russa’s absence, the White Sox looked like a different team. The club has been playing better of late, going 6-3 under Cairo as the team enters the first of a four-game series with the A’s this evening.
When La Russa is cleared to return the team will be his. Cairo is serving as a seat warmer while La Russa recovers and gets ready to get back on the bench.
Yet, it is worth considering what the plan might be if the team continues to play well with Cairo calling the shots. La Russa has probably been keeping an eye on the team while he recuperates and has to see the club playing more inspired baseball.
If that’s the case, could La Russa be willing to relinquish some of the managing responsibilities to Cairo as the team makes a push to get into the playoffs? Might he be fine serving as a mentor and taking a backseat to seeing what happens down the stretch?
The likelihood of that happening is remote, however, it would be in the team’s best interest to keep doing what they are doing and going with the old adage of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.
Should he be back to running the club, La Russa must keep the good vibes going and not break whatever positive mojo the club has going for it.
The news of La Russa coming back is good to hear as it means he will be healthy enough to resume doing what he enjoys doing. La Russa’s health is the most important thing and to be given a clean bill of health would certainly be a positive.
What would make his return even better would be to see the team keep up its winning ways and find a way to get into the postseason.