White Sox Hire Robin Ventura as Manager, More Shocking than Cubs Not Hiring Ryne Sandberg

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As you’ve heard by now, the Chicago White Sox hired Robin Ventura as manager to replace Ozzie Guillen. In doing so they truly made a statement of what they are not; much more than what they are.

They went from a manager of loud, politically incorrect public statements to one who is as mild-mannered, and bland/vanilla as possible. They also showed that they are not the Chicago Cubs, who decided to retain Mike Quade, instead of hire Ryne Sandberg. Had the Cubs hired Sandberg it would have been exactly like what the Sox did today- hiring a fan favorite (read: one of the greatest Caucasian position player stars in a generation) to mollify the fan base.

A way to allay the dissenters among their own people.

People think this hire come out of nowhere, but that’s not entirely true. Ventura, a former All-Star and Gold Glove-winning third baseman, was hired as special advisor to Director of Player Development Buddy Bell just a few months ago. Yes, it’s quite a big jump the organizational ladder in one season, but Ventura scouted the Sox minor-leagues throughout the season, evaluating performances and reporting directly to Bell. So this gives him an advantage when the Sox promote those farmhands to the parent club.

Which means he’s the right man for the job if/when the Sox rebuild. He’ll grow and develop with the players. Even though the Sox farm system has certainly earned its criticism. And although that sounds like good news, it’s actually bad news cuz it means you now know the direction they’re going.

Hey “All in” failed.

And that hurts, because it was my favorite marketing slogan in awhile. 2012 will have to be “All in; with overpriced CRAP, and some kids, so not really all in” or “All in. because we can’t get these bad contracts off the books. So not quite all in.”

Obviously, the marketing team will spin that into something more digestible. But I have a feeling this move says, “hey, he’s one of our own, and a nice classy face of the franchise.” While all the while actually saying “let’s give them something nice to enjoy while we put lipstick on this pig.”

Because with those Jake Peavy, Adam Dunn and Alex Rios contracts, the Sox will be out of it for at least a couple years. The organization needs to put out feel good news somewhere.

 

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