Right fielder Gavin Sheets chats with manager Tony La Russa during batting practice Tuesday, hours before the Chicago White Sox play the Kansas City Royals.
Less than an hour into the first pitch, Sachs announced La Russa He missed the game at the direction of his doctors.
“I was with him all day,” Sheets said Wednesday. “It was kind of blinding. He looked good all day.
The Sox announced Wednesday that La Russa is out indefinitely and will undergo further testing with doctors in Arizona.
“As a team and as his player,” reliever Kendall Graveman said, “I wish him nothing but the best health and recovery and moving forward in the future. That’s obviously where our hearts and minds are. Hopefully we’ll get the best doctors around him to see what’s going on.”
USA TODAY’S BOB NIGHTENGALE La Russa, 77, recently had a check-up with a cardiologist and was advised to miss Tuesday’s game. After additional tests Wednesday, La Russa was advised to see heart specialists, Nightengale reported.
“I talked to him (Wednesday) and he’s fine,” Sox bench coach Miguel Cairo said. But his doctor is in Arizona. They have all the information on his medical and we’ll find out in the week what’s going on.
Cairo, which managed a 9-7 loss on Tuesday, will continue to fill in. He led the Sox to a 4-2 victory on Wednesday.
“Health and family,” Graveman said. “You see a lot of us in uniform and on the field doing our job and preparing to be the best baseball players we can be every day, and Tony was preparing to be the best manager he can be. But at the end of it all, traveling out (between) different cities and getting fit every day , to fight each other, we have families, our loved ones, people who have been through it all together. It really puts baseball in perspective.
“I understand that we want to compete and win and do our best and we get paid to do that. But there are things that I think are more important and more important than playing baseball. He needs to be with his family and take care of himself at this time.
Some players, like outfielder/first baseman Andrew Vaughn, found out about the news Tuesday through social media.
“I saw the White Sox post something,” Vaughn said, “and I was like: ‘Oh, my goodness. This is craziness.’ Then we had to go play.
“We’ve been trying to talk about it, trying to figure out what’s going on. They mentioned a few things, maybe his heart. Just health. Very scary.”
La Russa is in his second season with the Sox. Last season they won their first division title since 2008, but this year has been filled with injuries and inconsistency. The Sox enter Wednesday’s game three games under .500 in third place in the American League Central.
La Russa is second all-time among major-league managers with 2,884 hits. The 2014 Hall of Fame inductee won back-to-back World Series titles with the Oakland Athletics (1989) and St. Louis Cardinals (2006, 2011).
“You look at his record, it speaks for itself,” Graveman said. “He forgot more about baseball than I ever knew. I looked up to him coming in every day and going to work and working really hard. And his will (desire) to win, he lived and died through winning and losing. He still cares. He’s still watching.” I believe.
“When we lost, it really hurt him, and when we won, he was very excited for us. And I think when we won, he was excited not for himself, but for the whole team. He was disappointed, and when we lost, he was there to help us win. He was always thinking about what could have been done, so I respect him.
La Russa managed the Sox from 1979-86 and returns in 2021 after the Sox were eliminated in the wild card round in 2020 with hopes of taking a talented young team to the next level.
The Sox made the playoffs last season, but were eliminated in four games by the Houston Astros in the AL Division Series.
Projected to be one of the best teams in baseball this season, the Sox trailed the division-leading Cleveland Guardians by six games on the final day of August.
“First and foremost is prayer for (La Russa),” Sheets said. “You pray for him, pray for a speedy recovery. We don’t know the full details of what’s going on, but most importantly we want to get some wins… so hopefully when he comes back, whenever that may be, we’ll be in a better place going into the playoffs.
“I loved playing for him. He taught me a lot. He was a great mentor to me, especially as a young player. From the first day I came up, he took me under his wing, showed me the ropes and learned from him the whole way. I’ll be back as soon as possible.” would like to see
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