The Chicago White Sox on Thursday named former All-Star Robin Ventura as the team's 38th manager, just one week after the Sox ended a contract with Ozzie Guillen, who quickly landed with the Florida Marlins.
The Chicago White Sox can’t be accused of ignoring Chicago sports trends.
Manager Robin Ventura, who was going into the final year of a three-year pact he signed to become the team’s skipper before the 2012 season, was inked to a new, multi-year extension with the team on Friday, but not allowing their manager to coach on a one-year deal was just one trend that the Sox kept up with.
They also kept up with the Chicago trend of announcing breaking news at annual fan conventions. In previous years, the Cubs brought Kerry Wood back into the fold and the Blackhawks have signed head coach Joel Quenneville to an extension.
Another trend that the Sox adhered to? They announced the extension via the team’s Twitter page:
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) January 24, 2014
“There was never really any question in our minds as to who we wanted in the White Sox dugout now and into the future,” White Sox GM Rick Hahn told the media on Friday after the extension was announced. “We are in complete agreement with the direction and vision for this organization in 2014 and beyond. I have great faith that Robin’s leadership and direction will help us reach our goals.”
“We have been on the same page since day one, but I’m very happy to have this behind us so we can continue to keep our focus on the playing field,” Ventura said of the extension. “I’m excited about the direction of the club and the moves we have made this offseason, but there is still a lot of work to be done so I think we’re all ready to get to spring training and get started.”
Ventura was named the 39th manager in White Sox history on Oct. 6, 2011. He took over from Don Cooper, who managed the final two games of the 2011 season after Ozzie Guillen accepted the same position with the Miami Marlins.
His two years at the helm of the White Sox have been up-and-down, to say the least. In his first campaign, he led the White Sox to an 85-77 finish, finishing just three games behind the Detroit Tigers in the AL Central. In year two, after turning down a contract extension before the season, the bottom fell out, as the White Sox finished in last place in the Central with a 63-99 mark. Only the Marlins and the Houston Astros had a worse record than the White Sox, and there was some speculation heading into 2014 whether it would be Ventura’s last season with the club.
This contract dismisses that kind of speculation, and Ventura and the White Sox have plenty to be optimistic about. With new young talent like Avisail Garcia and Jose Abreu, as well as some new speed at the top of the lineup with Adam Eaton, the White Sox will be looking to have a bounce back year from a disappointing campaign, and after a year that saw them lose 50 games at US Cellular Field, there really is nowhere to go but up for Ventura and company.