MIAMI -- Even though he isn’t concerned about his future, Robin Ventura remains committed to the White Sox.
The club’s fifth-year manager said on Sunday morning he still enjoys his job even after a tumultuous season that has included Adam LaRoche’s abrupt retirement and Chris Sale’s five-game suspension for destruction of team property. The comments from Ventura, whose contract expires after this season, come on the heels of a Sun-Times report in which he’d said he like to return as the team’s manager if asked.
Whether or not Ventura would be asked to return is as uncertain as the team’s future direction. Last month, general manager Rick Hahn said the club has been mired in mediocrity and is open to all options. But Ventura reiterated Sunday he’s more worried about the team’s final 46 games than himself even as he has come to appreciate his position over time.
“When you come in here and work as hard as we do, you’re not here this long if you’re doing it as a lark,” Ventura said. “We’ve always taken it seriously of doing the work and getting them in the best spot possible. Sometimes you look around, it goes pretty quick.”
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The White Sox headed into Sunday’s series finale with a 56-60 mark and are far outside looking in at the wild-card race, 7 1/2 games back of the second spot. The team’s .483 winning percentage is the highest it has been since Ventura’s first season when the White Sox went 85-77.
One could argue that 2016 has been the most trying season for Ventura. The White Sox have struggled mightily since their 23-10 start. Not only is the team beset with injuries to several key players, but Ventura has twice found his clubhouse in crisis after LaRoche and Sale both had disputes with management. Ventura said it all comes with the territory.
“You just deal with it,” Ventura said. “That’s part of, you have a lot of high-spirited competitive people in one spot and sometimes it can burst on you at any particular spot and you deal with it and you move on. Having been around baseball, I’ve seen a lot of these. This is not exclusive to us by any means. When you’re a manager, you deal with it and you move on.”
Ventura expects the White Sox would make a quick decision after the season about whether or not to bring him back. But he said he’ll continue to keep his focus on the field until they reach that point.
“I’ve always gone through with where I am and the focus is on these guys and winning games,” Ventura said. “There’s plenty of time to look at it in the offseason. I’ve never felt like there is a reason for either side to have to do something just because I don’t have a contract next year. It doesn’t mean I won’t have one and doesn’t mean I will have one. But you just go through it and do what you’re supposed to do and this is what I’m supposed to do right now.”