KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The calls for Robin Ventura’s job have once again grown louder as a lengthy White Sox slump continues.
With the team out of town for the next two weeks, fans have taken to social media to voice their frustrations with the fifth-year manager. They have also begun an online petition calling for Ventura’s head. And there’s a pretty good chance local radio talk shows will be filled with callers demanding the same early this week.
But as their slide continued Sunday, the team’s most influential player insisted Ventura’s leadership has had nothing to do with a six-game losing streak that was extended with another blown lead and a 5-4 loss to the Kansas City Royals on Sunday.
“I don’t think he gave up any runs,” starting pitcher Chris Sale said. “I don’t think he made any errors and he’s in the dugout the whole time. It’s on us to win games. I understand people -- I’ll keep it that -- want to point fingers and find blame. But at the end of the day it falls on the players. We have to find a way to turn it around. We’re going to keep fighting. It will turn. We have too much morale, chemistry and too much talent. Just a rough patch.”
This patch comes at a time when fans are skeptical about what kind of team they have in front of them. Many believe the team’s hot April to be a tease. They wonder if this team is headed down a similar path to the past three seasons as the White Sox have dropped 14 of 18 with their six-game lead vanished and turned into a one-game deficit.
Players from the 27-24 squad continue to insist they will turn things around. Alex Avila said the preparation has been there and he doesn’t expect a drop off. Sale said the confidence and chemistry are present. And Dioner Navarro and Todd Frazier like how the White Sox have continued to battle as evidenced by the close proximity of their losses -- 11 of the 14 have come by two runs or fewer.
This of course isn’t new territory for Ventura, who spent all of last summer answering questions about his job security. He headed into the season listed as one of the odds-on favorites to be the first manager in the majors fired. But Ventura was completely removed from those types of lists after the team’s quick start.
Ventura said Sunday morning that the reaction is expected for his position and he won’t let it distract him from preparing.
“That’s part of the action,” Ventura said. “I’m in here trying to work. …
“I’m just doing my work.
“I don’t feel any more pressure than there already is. That’s just part of the job and you do it.”