Renteria returns to manage White Sox after COVID-19 scare

CLEVELAND (AP) — The Chicago White Sox got their manager back just before their first road game of this strange, shortened season.

Rick Renteria returned to the team Tuesday after being isolated for 24 hours after he awakened Monday experiencing symptoms consistent with the common cold. Renteria tested negative for COVID-19 and walked into Progressive Field about 90 minutes before the start of a doubleheader against the Indians.

He stayed behind the batting cage and at a safe distance from his players as they took batting practice.

Renteria, who has managed the White Sox since 2017, complained Monday of a “slight cough and nasal congestion” and went to a Cleveland hospital for evaluation and tests.

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“They had the protocol in place,” Renteria said after the White Sox lost to the Indians 4-3 in the first game of a doubleheader Tuesday. “I had a stuffy and runny nose, I was coughing. We have our intake questions they ask us. Those are two of them.”

The 58-year-old stayed at the team’s hotel when Monday’s game was postponed by rain. Renteria had to stay away from his players and staff until he passed Major League Baseball’s safety protocols.

As part of the guidelines teams must follow during the coronavirus pandemic, a symptomatic person must have two negative tests given 24 hours apart before they can to rejoin the team. The person must also be symptom-free and receive physician approval to return.

Renteria said the process worked.

“It was great because I wanted to be here yesterday,” he said. “But again, everybody sees what’s going on throughout the league. It’s best that we err on the side of caution. We have the things available to us to make sure we are clear. So it worked, and I’m back relatively quickly.”

The decision by the White Sox to isolate Renteria came amid concerns about the coronavirus spreading across the majors in the first week since the delayed season began.

Games in Miami and Philadelphia have been postponed due to an outbreak involving the Marlins, who have had at least 15 players test positive.

While the Marlins deal with the outbreak, the Phillies’ home game with the Yankees was postponed for the second straight day as a precaution because New York’s players would have been in the same clubhouse Miami used over the weekend.

The White Sox announced July 5 they had two players test positive for the coronavirus. The team never identified the players, but star third baseman Yoan Moncada revealed his positive test result after he rejoined the team.

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