The White Sox carried on for a second day without manager Tony La Russa after he flew to Arizona for more medical tests after an evaluation Wednesday morning.
La Russa is scheduled in the coming days to undergo additional testing, reportedly heart-related, by his personal physicians at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona.
“His absence from the club will be indefinite pending the results of these evaluations,” the Sox said in a statement.
Beyond that, there was no further information shared by the team. General manager Rick Hahn declined to discuss the matter before more is known about La Russa’s health.
Bench coach Miguel Cairo, who managed the Sox in their 9-7 loss to the Royals on Tuesday in La Russa’s absence, communicated with La Russa on his phone about the lineup Wednesday.
“I’m going to be calling him whenever I can; I’m going to text or call and see how he’s doing,” Cairo said while doing the manager’s pregame meeting with media in the Sox’ dugout before the game against the Royals at Guaranteed Rate Field. “But he will be back.”
That remains to be seen. But La Russa, 77, was the same as always, Cairo said.
“He’s always been the same,” Cairo said. “He was fine Tuesday. We talked. Everything, he was feeling fine. But his doctor is in Arizona. They have all the info, and we will know later in the week what is going on.”
Sox players didn’t know what was going on Tuesday when the team announced about an hour before the game that La Russa, at the discretion of his doctors, who had put him through recent testing, wouldn’t manage.
“I found out on Twitter,” outfielder Andrew Vaughn said. “I saw that the White Sox posted something, and I was like, ‘Oh, my goodness. This is crazy.’ And then we had to just go play.”
“Kind of the same thing,” outfielder Gavin Sheets said. “You know we didn’t really know what was going on. Obviously, it was a last-minute thing. I found out over social media, as well. There was some chatter in the clubhouse of what was going on, but, yeah, just praying for him.”
La Russa, the oldest manager in the majors, seemed fine when he talked to the media and was on the field for early work before Tuesday’s announcement. Cairo said there was no medical episode before the game.
“No, he just got news from his doctor,” Cairo said. “It was the best for him to relax and be calm and do the test today.
“He was ready for the game. Believe me, he’s always ready.”
There’s one month left in La Russa’s second regular season after he was hired by chairman Jerry Reinsdorf to return to managing, and the Sox were three games below .500 and six games out of first place in the American League Central in one of the team’s most disappointing seasons in recent memory.
It has been a stressful season for La Russa, who has one year left on his contract and has heard fans call for his firing.
“As of right now, today, I’m manager,” Cairo said. “So when he comes back, he’s going to take over. But right now, he’s got to go to Arizona and do his tests, and we’ll see what happens.”
“I didn’t talk to him about his health,” right-hander Kendall Graveman said, “but Tony was Tony. Tony showed up every day and went to work, even at his age, and he worked hard. He worked really hard. It meant a lot to me as a player that he would show up every day and put in his best effort and really get after it every day.”
“It’s unbelievably tough,” Vaughn said. “We don’t really have much information on what’s going on. I know he’s going to AZ to get it checked out.
‘‘I hope everything’s OK. It’s kinda scary.”