White Sox

Despite uncertain future with White Sox, Robin Ventura remains focused on winning games

Despite uncertain future with White Sox, Robin Ventura remains focused on winning games

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.”

Revenge tour: After Eloy Jimenez homered against Cubs, Yoan Moncada homered against Red Sox

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USA TODAY

Revenge tour: After Eloy Jimenez homered against Cubs, Yoan Moncada homered against Red Sox

Call it the White Sox Hitters Revenge Tour.

Last week, Eloy Jimenez provided the single best image of rebuilding progress to date for the White Sox, smashing a game-winning homer in the ninth inning against the Cubs, the team that traded him, at Wrigley Field, the park he always assumed would be the one he'd call home as a big leaguer.

Well, a week later, Yoan Moncada exacted similar revenge on the team that traded him.

In the first of a three-game series between the White Sox and Boston Red Sox, Moncada took a second-inning pitch out to left field, depositing a ball over the top of the Green Monster for a tie-breaking two-run homer at Fenway Park.

The Red Sox traded Moncada — as part of a package that also included Michael Kopech and Luis Basabe — to the White Sox during the Winter Meetings in 2016 in the deal that jump-started the South Side rebuilding project.

Between signing with the Red Sox in 2015 and making his White Sox debut in 2017, Moncada spent time as the No. 1 overall prospect in the game. After a disappointing first full season in the majors last year, Moncada is having a much better go of things in 2019, bringing a .295/.347/.509 slash line into Monday night, when he belted his 13th home run of the season.

Of course, the Red Sox are pretty happy with their return in that trade, Chris Sale, who in addition to being one of the best pitchers in baseball over the past two and a half seasons got the championship-clinching out in the World Series last October.

But part of the reason the White Sox future is so bright is the return they got in the Sale trade. And one of those players got his revenge, Eloy style, on Monday night.

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White Sox Talk Podcast: Chris Getz on Luis Robert, Dylan Cease, Nick Madrigal and more!

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Chris Getz on Luis Robert, Dylan Cease, Nick Madrigal and more!

Chuck Garfien gets the inside info about some of the top prospects in the White Sox organization from director of player development Chris Getz.

They talk about the wow factor of Luis Robert, what he's working on before being promoted to Triple-A, if he can make the majors in 2019, what kind of major league player he will be and more (3:45)

-Why Nick Madrigal has the "it" factor and why he might have been disappointed with Getz at the start of the season (10:10)

-Why Zack Burdi has struggled this season and a great sign of things to come (16:30)

-Why Kyle Kubat is so highly thought of in the White Sox farm system (18:20)

-How close Dylan Cease is to the major leagues (20:15) and more.

Listen to the entire podcast here or in the embedded player below.

White Sox Talk Podcast

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