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Sox choice of Robin Ventura innovative, shocking

Posted on: October 6, 2011 5:26 pm
Edited on: October 6, 2011 6:46 pm

Leave it to the Chicago White Sox and general manager Kenny Williams to zig when everyone else thinks they'll zag, to take the path through the woods when everyone else is looking at the paved roads.

The White Sox picked a manager Thursday straight out of left field, a guy who has never been in a major-league dugout as a skipper or as a coach.

But you know what? Because Robin Ventura was in the dugout for 2,079 games as a player, and because of who he is, the choice is perfect.

Ventura was in a White Sox uniform for 1,254 of those games. He was a player's player, beloved in the clubhouse. He knows the White Sox. He's popular in Chicago. -- maybe moreso than Ozzie Guillen was (though not as loud, not nearly as loud).

Can he manage? We'll find out.

This is one of those hires that could turn out to be out-of-the-box brilliant ... or a spectacular failure.

 I will say this: Last time the White Sox named a manager who had never called the shots in a big league game, they won a World Series title. His name was Ozzie Guillen.

Consider this another promotion from the White Sox Alumni Club (Ventura will become the 17th former White Sox player to manage the club). There are no guarantees that it will work, but say this for owner Jerry Reinsdorf: He's been around a long time and the guy appreciates -- and facilitates -- White Sox tradition.

The biggest names in the Sox rumor mill were two highly respected coaches, Davey Martinez of Tampa Bay and Sandy Alomar Jr. in Cleveland. If Chicago was going with a rookie manager, why not Ventura? He knows the players very well, he knows the Chicago media, he knows the South Side terrain.

Ventura had been working as a special assistant to director of player development Buddy Bell since June. Every GM has special assistants, but I've never heard of a director of player development having one.

But that's what savvy GMs do: They stash talented people in their organization, because you never know when, say, an Ozzie will wear out his welcome.

Williams, on a late afternoon conference call Thursday, called Ventura "one of the classiest people I've ever met in the game." The GM, while admitting this was an unexpected development, said he interviewed Ventura from 1994-1998, when Williams worked in player development and Ventura was the White Sox third baseman.

"He just didn't know it," Williams said.

Among the criteria Williams listed that Ventura fit: "A passion for the city, for the organization and the drive to win a World Series championship. This person had to have leadership and communicative ability, I think, that will work with our veteran players and with our young players."

Will that lead to managerial brilliance? Who knows?

"I have a passion for it, I have a passion for this team and this city," Ventura said on the conference call. "the passion is there to do it. I was asked to do it. I'm honored to have this opportunity."

Ventura, 44, has a lot in common with White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko in terms of character, baseball acumen and blue-collar work ethic. Clearly, after the rifts in the organization that developed under Williams and Guillen, Ventura is a uniter, not a divider. Which is exactly what the Sox need.

Now, if he can just get Adam Dunn to hit ...

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 20, 2011 6:59 am
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 17, 2011 11:09 pm
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 7, 2011 2:05 pm

Sox choice of Robin Ventura innovative, shocking

Amazing their job on this site. All of us quite relished all you are required to for example. Upkeep looking this particular you definitely carry a better voices this area.

Since: Sep 16, 2007
Posted on: October 12, 2011 12:55 am

Sox choice of Robin Ventura innovative, shocking

The one thing I remember about Robin Ventura was when he charged the mound on Nolan Ryan and the old man kicked his azz. I would say his decision making is in question.

Since: Dec 23, 2007
Posted on: October 9, 2011 10:35 am

Sox choice of Robin Ventura innovative, shocking

yeap scottie.. it could be brilliant or a failure,,,, stand for something or give back your degree,, this stuff doesn't fly.... weak writing my friend.

Since: Feb 8, 2009
Posted on: October 8, 2011 2:42 am

Sox choice of Robin Ventura innovative, shocking

To be honest signing Robin Ventura who has zero coaching experience when there are other viable alternatives (Francona or Sandburg for instance) makes no sense to me. None. I guess he will make an easy fall guy so if the Sox fail they have someone to blame. I read speculation that maybe they were being cheap but I don't think so with the money they shell out for players(Dunn, Rios, Peavy) This is a truly bizzare move. Actually kinda crazy.

Since: Oct 13, 2007
Posted on: October 8, 2011 12:51 am

Sox choice of Robin Ventura innovative, shocking

 I will say this: Last time the White Sox named a manager who had never called the shots in a big league game, they won a World Series title. His name was Ozzie Guillen.
There have been hundreds of posts and articles that all went into why it was time for Ozzie to go.  What, now Ventura is supposed to rise right away, win a title (as if that's the easiest thing to do), and then fall into "ooops, another player now manager" obscurity? 

Cut the dramatics.  What a goofy article, and the above line takes the cake.  Here's one for you, Mr. Author of fluff piece:  

I will say this:  Last time there was a well written article, his name WASN"T yours!  


Since: Feb 27, 2009
Posted on: October 7, 2011 8:26 pm

Kenny Williams Is A Detroit Tigers Best Friend

Reminds Me of The Alan Tramell Hire in Detroit. I hope He manages his pitching staff as Badly as Tramell did.

Since: Apr 26, 2007
Posted on: October 7, 2011 1:14 pm

Sox choice of Robin Ventura innovative, shocking

Hey Miller, is Ventura a relative of yours? Come on, his experience in baseball management has consisted of 4 months. Special assistant? Special assistants are the ones that get coffee, schedule dinners, shred documents and read the box scores to the Director of Operations. Every sucessful manager has had bench coach or managerial experience. Just because we was a player's player doesn't equate to success. Kirk Gibson admitted to smoking pot back in the day. Think that would have helped get a manager's job without experience. Ryne Sandberg had no personality as a player, but did alright as manager in the minors. Guillen wasn't a favorite as a player but was a good manager. Mark my words (if he pursues it) AJ Pierzynski will be a good manager. Most ex-catchers are. He is smart, clever, knows the rules, loyal to his teammates, hates his ex teammates. I'm sorry Miller, you are right, Ventura does have coaching experience. High School baseball. He was picked becasue he won't but heads with the egotistical Kenny Williams. That is the one that should be out the door. Adam Dunn, Bartolo Colon, Rios, Jenks, etc. All great signings by the Man, Kenny Williams.

Since: Jan 8, 2009
Posted on: October 7, 2011 12:51 pm

Sox choice of Robin Ventura innovative, shocking

LaRussa would not have come without his twin Dave Duncan. Francona just got fired, and didnt win with more talent. If we hired Davey Martinez or Sandy Alomar people would have conplained if we didnt win. Get Ventura a solid bench coach and let him learn.

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