White Sox' Miguel Cairo Emotional Discussing Tony La Russa's Impact

White Sox' Miguel Cairo Emotional Discussing Tony La Russa's Impact

Cairo emotional discussing La Russa stepping down originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

What has Tony La Russa meant to Miguel Cairo?

It’s a question Cairo has been asked on at least one occasion over the last month, after he took over as White Sox acting manager in wake of La Russa’s absence due to health-related issues.

But Cairo’s most powerful answer came Monday night, when asked the same question again with news La Russa is stepping down from his position due to his health.

“To me it was sad,” Cairo said. “It was emotional for me because I played for him.”

Cairo paused for 30 seconds as he became emotional, wiping away tears and taking a sip of water. He had a tough time getting his answer out.

“And he’s my mentor,” Cairo continued. “I’ve learned so much from him. And of course I’m going to keep calling to keep learning. But we’re going to miss him, for sure.”

Cairo played for La Russa on the Cardinals from 2001-03. They reunited on the South Side after the 2020 season, when La Russa named Cairo his bench coach as he returned as Sox manager.

Cairo is in his first big-league coaching position, and it’s clear La Russa has made a great impact on him. He said La Russa is “like a father” to him last month.

Cairo filled in admirably for La Russa, leading the Sox to a 13-6 start before an eight-game losing streak.

He will be interviewed for the managerial opening, White Sox GM Rick Hahn said Monday, for the job he did in La Russa’s absence.

“I feel really honored that they’re going to give me the chance to interview for the job,” Cairo said. “We’ve got a great group of guys in there, like he said, and I’m going to see what happens and go through the process.

“I know they’re going to interview more people. And just going to be ready to interview for the job.”

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