Watching manager Tony La Russa work ‘impressive,’ White Sox coach Jerry Narron says
‘‘I’d like to tell you some things [he excels at], but I don’t want to give away any trade secrets from a Hall of Famer,’’ Narron said.
MILWAUKEE — White Sox coach Jerry Narron, a manager for five major-league seasons with the Rangers and Reds and a bench coach for 13 seasons with five teams, has been impressed while watching manager Tony La Russa in action in their first season together in the dugout.
‘‘I’ve been fortunate to be in the game for a long time and a lot of years,’’ Narron told the Sun-Times. ‘‘And it’s been awesome working with Tony. Just watching him, how he prepares for a game and runs through a game, it’s impressive.’’
A former catcher, Narron’s title is ‘‘major-league instructor.’’ And while his primary duty is overseeing the catchers, he wears several hats and has various responsibilities on La Russa’s staff, as most of the coaches do.
Bench coach Miguel Cairo, for example, isn’t La Russa’s right-hand man, as some bench coaches are for the manager.
‘‘The way he does it, we all have different jobs on the bench,’’ Cairo said. ‘‘That’s the way he runs it. Everyone has specifics. He uses everyone in different ways.
‘‘I’m learning so much from Tony and Jerry. All the little details and things Tony covers in a game, it’s amazing.’’
La Russa, 76, is the second-winningest manager of all time behind Connie Mack. Narron said he’s seeing why firsthand.
‘‘I’d like to tell you some things [he excels at], but I don’t want to give away any trade secrets from a Hall of Famer,’’ Narron said. ‘‘But he has a pretty good idea who’s going to be on the mound every night from now till the end. It’s pretty impressive. He’s pretty sharp.’’
Ken ‘‘Hawk’’ Harrelson watches the Sox on TV whenever he can, but he won’t be watching Saturday.
The longtime Sox broadcaster is in Cooperstown, New York, for the Hall of Fame awards presentation Saturday. The ceremony will be broadcast at 11 a.m. Sunday on MLB Network and will feature the 2020 and 2021 award winners.
Harrelson was the 2020 winner of the Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasters.
The event also will be livestreamed on MLB.com and at facebook.com/baseballhall. MLB Network will reair the ceremony at 7 p.m. Sunday and will air ‘‘Hawk: The Colorful Life of Ken Harrelson’’ at 9 p.m. Sunday.
Harrelson said he will return to watching his first-place Sox soon.
‘‘I’ll tell you what, I’m having fun watching these kids play,’’ he said. ‘‘I’ve never seen so many injuries in my whole career. But it’s given these kids, like [Andrew] Vaughn, a chance to show they are for real. Vaughn has a chance to be a stud. He reminds me of me when I was playing. He goes up there ready to hit, and he’s strong.
‘‘And all of a sudden you get Luis Robert and Eloy [Jimenez] back, it’s going to be interesting how Tony works it out. But it’s a nice problem to have.’’
Jimenez’s 20-day maximum stay for his minor-league rehab stint runs out Wednesday. Robert just started his this week.
‘‘We’ve got a lot to think about,’’ La Russa said when asked when Jimenez might return. ‘‘Been in touch with our front office, and I know they’ve gotten reports back from [Triple-A manager] Wes [Helms] about not only Eloy’s progress, but Jake [Lamb] is there playing well. At this point, everything is all go forward, but I haven’t heard a deadline.’’