White Sox interim manager Miguel Cairo dropped brutal eye-opener just in time to rescue season
Entering September, the Chicago White Sox looked dead in the water at 63-66, trailing the Cleveland Guardians by six games for the AL Central crown. It was bound to go from bad to worse, as the White Sox lost manager Tony La Russa for an indefinite period of time after concerns regarding his heart’s condition, forcing bench coach Miguel Cairo to step up as interim manager.
Two weeks later, and the White Sox are back in the playoff race after winning nine out of the 13 games Cairo managed, pulling to within three games of the division-leading Guardians. And Miguel Cairo’s frank nature just might have been what the White Sox needed as a kick up their backsides.
Closer Liam Hendriks revealed to USA Today’s Bob Nightingale what the 48-year old interim manager said that snapped the White Sox out of their slumber and wide awake in the playoff hunt.
“He told us pretty much, ‘If you don’t want to be here, then get the (expletive) out,'” Hendriks, the three-time all star, shared. “It was eye-opening to some guys who really have never been told no.”
The young White Sox core led by Luis Robert, Eloy Jimenez, and ace Dylan Cease surely needed such a blunt awakening that winning in the MLB is never easy and that everyone should always give it their all.
“There needs to be repercussions. There needs to be some kind of a risk and reward. That was one thing that reverberated with some guys. The message really hasn’t changed at all for us this year, but it was a different viewpoint, a different verbiage, a different way of delivering,” Hendriks said, appreciative of how Cairo may have just rescued the White Sox’ season with his strong declaration.
Veteran second baseman Josh Harrison echoed Hendriks’ praise of their interim manager.
“Let’s put it this way, you can tell your kids something, and they don’t listen. Someone else tells them the same thing, and they get the message. It’s put up or shut up time. [Miguel Cairo] has done a great job bringing energy to the team,” Harrison said.
The White Sox will still face the Guardians four more times this season, and we shall see if Miguel Cairo remains as manager to complete the White Sox revival, with the return of La Russa still up in the air