Introducing Your New White Sox Skipper
The Chicago White Sox announced on Thursday that ex-third baseman Robin Ventura will be their new manager. This announcement took the whole MLB community by surprise. Before taking the job Ventura was working as a non-paid hitting coach for Brad Lachemann at Arroyo Grande High School in California and a special adviser to Buddy Bell.
“I didn’t have much doubt that he’d go into coaching, but I’d hoped it wouldn’t have been so soon,” said Lachemann of Ventura. Coach Lachemann will be losing Ventura to the Chicago White Sox.
Nobody could have seen this coming, but it is not unheard of for GM Kenny Williams to make bold moves such as these.
Pressure and Expectations
Robin Ventura is one of the most popular players in White Sox history. The third baseman was loved throughout the 90’s and has provided fans with many memories throughout his years as a player. There is no doubt that fans are excited that he will be in the dugout leading our Sox, but what does this mean for our team next year? Are we going through a transition phase? Do we fear that next season is lost because we have a new manager with zero experience? There are so many emotions floating around right now, I for one am not prepared for another sub-par season on the south side of Chicago. Kenny Williams said in an interview that he doesn’t expect Ventura to hit the ground running, but don’t we expect that as fans? Realistically we have to believe that Ventura can do this job, and do it well. Kenny Williams has always been a calculated man, and he doesn’t make moves without having the facts laid out. This makes the hire both exciting and unnerving as we have seen a few of Kenny’s recent moves crash and burn (Dunn, Peavy, Rios).
Ventura signed a multi-year deal, and specifics have not been released yet. Through the media he has been expressing his excitement to return to Chicago, a city where he is very comfortable.
“I am excited to begin my career as a manager surrounded by former teammates, staff, and media and White Sox fans I know very well. I am already looking forward to talking to our players, to the offseason, and to getting things underway at spring training next February,” said Ventura in an interview with ESPN.
Other candidates in mind for the White Sox were Rays’ bench coach Dave Martinez as well as Sandy Alomar Jr. Both had stints with the White Sox at some point in their careers.
Ventura will have the veteran leadership of pitching coach Don Cooper and first base coach Harold Baines at his side.
All eyes will be on the 44 year-old skipper come opening day. There is a lot of work to be done with a roster that holds so much potential. Ventura takes the helm during a time when players like Alejandro De Aza, Dayan Viciedo, and Tyler Flowers will be competing with veterans like A.J. Pierzynski, Alex Rios, and Adam Dunn for playing time. He also has players coming off the worst year of their careers (Dunn, Rios). It will be interesting to see how Ventura handles the first year at the helm of a team that has several issues that need to be addressed.
Photo Source msn.foxsports.com