Blog Entry

Robin Ventura named White Sox manager

Posted on: October 6, 2011 4:51 pm
Edited on: October 6, 2011 7:44 pm

By Evan Brunell

The White Sox announced Thursday they have named Robin Ventura as their new manager.

"When I rejoined the White Sox this June, I said this was my baseball home and that part of me never left the White Sox organization," Ventura said in a team release announcing the hire.  

"My family and I are thrilled to be returning to Chicago.  Managing a Major League Baseball team is a tremendous honor.  It’s also an opportunity and a challenge.

"I am excited to begin my career as a manager surrounded by former teammates, staff, media and White Sox fans I know very well.  I already am looking forward to talking to our players, to this offseason and to getting things underway at spring training next February."

Ventura (pictured, left, with ex-manager Ozzie Guillen) becomes the club's 38th manager and beats out Rays bench coach Dave Martinez among other potential candidates. Martinez was considered a lock for the job, and Ventura's hiring comes as a big surprise; the only coaching experience he has had is as hitting coach for his children's high school baseball team in Arroyo Grande, Calif., he said in an interview with the Omaha World-Herald in June.

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"When I met with the media as our season ended, I identified one person at the very top of my managerial list," GM Kenny Williams said in a team release.  "I wanted someone who met very specific criteria centered around his leadership abilities. Robin Ventura was that man. His baseball knowledge and expertise, his professionalism, his familiarity with the White Sox and Chicago and his outstanding character make him absolutely the right person to lead our clubhouse and this organization into the seasons ahead."

Ventura is very familiar with the White Sox, having spent 10 years with the team starting in 1989. In a 16-year MLB career, he played under such luminaries as Jeff Torborg, Bobby Valentine and Joe Torre. "I ran the gamut on different styles and smart baseball men," he said, adding that he wants players who are willing to be accountable for their actions.

Ventura finished his career with a .267/.362/.444 line in 2,079 plate appearances with 294 home runs, retiring after the 2004 season. He's most famous for his on-field fight with Nolan Ryan that delivered an iconic picture of Ryan gripping Ventura in a headlock. Ryan is currently the CEO of the Texas Rangers, who will play in the ALCS on Friday. He had previously served as a broadcaster with ESPN, appearing at times on ESPNU and also serving as analyst during the College World Series. He has also been special adviser to the director of player development for the White Sox since June, working under former manager Buddy Bell who was considered a strong contender for the job before he declined to be considered. The former third baseman, who made two All-Star teams and won six Gold Gloves, was asked earlier this year in an ESPN chat how he felt about a coaching career.

"I'm happy right now, I have four kids at home," he wrote. "It's nice to be around for that. I do stuff with ESPN. Coaching is a big commitment, and some people just think you can be a guest celebrity coach, and that's not what it is. Lot of work. Happy doing what I'm doing."

Well, apparently Ventura's ready for the commitment of being the White Sox manager. He admitted to being surprised when approached about the position by Bell and Williams, but quickly warmed to the idea.

"I think there is a challenge there, getting back into the game," he said in a conference call.  "I do have a passion for it. I do have a passion for this team and this city. I'm not one to really back away from a lot of things. ...The passion is there to do it, I was asked to do it. I'm honored."

Williams, for his part, explained how they convinced Ventura it would be a good move.

"Needless to say he was a little surprised and little apprehensive," Williams said. "We had to explain to him exactly what the support system would be and exactly what our expectations were at the start. I was very clear with him that I do not expect him to be Tony La Russa on day one. In our estimation the fit is such that all of that will come together and we will ultimately be better off down the line that we could be if -- in my opinion -- we went in a different direction."

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 20, 2011 6:58 am
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 17, 2011 11:07 pm
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Since: Dec 4, 2006
Posted on: October 7, 2011 6:20 pm

Robin Ventura named White Sox manager

Nice to have idiots in your division but what were they thinking given
the other options available?

Since: Oct 7, 2011
Posted on: October 7, 2011 4:58 pm

Robin Ventura named White Sox manager

That was supposed to be a reply to an earlier post.

Since: Oct 7, 2011
Posted on: October 7, 2011 4:56 pm

Robin Ventura named White Sox manager

If you look at the final standings for this past season, you will see the Royals finished ahead of the last place Twinkies.

Since: Sep 24, 2006
Posted on: October 7, 2011 1:00 pm

Robin Ventura named White Sox manager

Don't know yet if this is a good move or not  hiring Robin.
It seems like Kenny Williams had this move in mind for quite some time. I think since June at least when he brought Robin back to the front office.
I wish Kenny would have done a better search. I was hoping for someone like perhaps Tom Kelly who was the manager of the Twins. But it seems like Kenny is trying to prove that he know better and more then anybody else. It is his team and it has to be his way.
In my opinion Ozzie will be holding a world series trophy before anyone on the South Side of Chicago has a chance too again.
Good Luck Robin you will need it.

Since: Apr 26, 2007
Posted on: October 7, 2011 12:29 pm

Robin Ventura named White Sox manager

Not a smart move by the White Sox. I understand that Kenny Williams is a control freak and wants a yes man (reason why Tony LaRussa would not have worked out on the South Side), but Dave Martinez would have been a better fit. He has been a bench coach for a few years. Ventura coached a high school team for a summer. The next move would be to get rid of Kenny Williams.

Since: Mar 20, 2009
Posted on: October 7, 2011 11:42 am

Robin Ventura named White Sox manager

Stupid move by a stupid organization that seems to do things just because it can. Kenny needed to follow ozzie out the door. 

Since: May 31, 2011
Posted on: October 7, 2011 10:04 am

Robin Ventura named White Sox manager

Loved Robin as a players, but there's no way this works.  Simple fact is that Kenny Williams, whom should be without a job, is a control freak!  And he wants someone in pocket he can control.  So plays in Robin Ventura.  LaRussa would have been the ideal option.  Even Francona would have made much more sense.  Think about it, though LaRussa and Francona would both demand more money than Ozzie, how much money have we wasted on players such as Adam Dunn, Jake Peavy, Alex Rios, and the list goes on and on from there during Williams' tenure as GM.  

The real issue for the White Sox is that they got away from the same ideals that won them the World Series in '05.  And that was a National League style of "grind-it-out" baseball.  Manufacturing runs, stealing bases, pitching, and defense.  This is the route to a championship.  And anytime we have had the big boppers in the lineup and have tried to get someone on and wait for the "big hit", we have failed.  

As one of the oldest American League teams in all of Major League Baseball, and, at one time, one of the most competitive (see early 20th century), it is very sad to only have pocketed 3 championships to this point.  We MUST get back to the fundamentals of baseball (bunting, OBP, stealing bases, sacrificing) and continue our solid pitching and defensive efforts.   

Since: Sep 5, 2008
Posted on: October 7, 2011 9:19 am

Robin Ventura named White Sox manager

I obviously don't know how this will work out, I would have thought they would hire a manager with some experience, there are a few out there, but I wish him luck with this team and his new profession.  Take a few hints, on the field you don't have to act like an raving idiot to prove to your team that you back them up, getting thrown out of a game only hurts the team - if they succeed when you're gone from the game that means they really don't need your expertise to win, when someone puts a mike in front of your face pretend it's your family sitting right there with you - watch your language, your not in a contest with anyone to see who gets bleeped the most, you've played teh game enough - you remember all the good and bad managers that you've played under - take all that good and bad and make decisions from your heart on how best to win a game, pennant, and World Series.  Most importantly, you're in the public eye, players don't like it but for some kids out there you are a role model - TRY TO ACT LIKE ONE.  Tony Dungy has a Super Bowl ring and he treated people right, and he still WON.  TRY IT.

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