Robin Ventura “absolutely” wants to return to the dugout in 2016 even after a season in which the team hasn’t met expectations.
Though he expects to be evaluated by general manager Rick Hahn along with everyone else, Ventura, who is under contract for another year, said Tuesday he intends to be back for a fifth season as the White Sox manager.
Ventura reiterated Tuesday his belief that because of its pitching the club is a playoff-caliber team that has been felled by a poor offense. Back in February, Ventura said he expected the White Sox to make the playoffs.
“I’m just as disappointed in what you have here,” Ventura said. “But when you analyze it, you’re going to go through everything, you go through coaches, you go through players, through the whole process as we have in the past. I would like it to be better as well.
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“People that think I don’t care, that’s an unfair assessment. Nobody cares more about how it’s going here than I do.”
Asked about most big picture items, Hahn said he prefers to wait to address it all after the season ends on Oct. 4. He did promise the front office would evaluate everything, with his group’s process included.
While Hahn plans to be reasoned, it also doesn’t sound as if he intends to stand by and return with the same team. Hahn also identified an offense that has averaged 3.91 runs per game as the team’s biggest issue.
“You don’t want to overreact to the underperformance and try to change too much and therefore create more problems,” Hahn said. “At the same time, we’re very cognizant of the fact we need to look at everything right now. It’s not producing wins at the major-league level we want, and therefore we’re going to have to make some changes.”
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Hahn said club chairman Jerry Reinsdorf is also very focused on why the White Sox have struggled this season.
“He wants to know where it’s headed and what our plan is to get ourselves back on track to where we want to be,” Hahn said. “He is communicating very openly and very directly about where we’ve fallen short in his opinion and his thoughts on how to get better and wanting to hear our thoughts on what we’re going to do.”
Ventura, who signed an extension before the 2014 season believed to be for three seasons, won’t point fingers at any of his players. He and his staff continue to work to improve players and “you either are going to keep that player or you’re not --- that’s what it’s going to come down to,” Ventura said.
Ventura -- who entered Tuesday with a 286-336 record (.460) -- likes the challenge of managing in the majors and all of the aspects the position brings. Though he described it as a difficult job--- “For anybody to think it’s just an easy job that anybody can do, it’s not,” Ventura said -- Ventura is happy with the progress he has made.
But he’s still disappointed and ready to be evaluated.
“We’re not in first place so it’s not where we wanted to be and you just go on for the rest of the season trying to win your games, see where you end up when that comes to an end and then in the end it’ll be assessed by somebody that works here,” Ventura said.