MESA, Ariz. -- If there's any lingering awkwardness from how his stint as Cubs manager ended, Rick Renteria has done well to keep it buried for several months now.
The White Sox manager reiterated on Monday afternoon how comfortable and content he is in his new position. Renteria also brushed off the idea it'd be weird to see his former players and face his old team for the first time since they dismissed him after the 2014 season and installed Joe Maddon as manager. The White Sox and Cubs ended in a 4-4 tie after nine innings at Sloan Park.
"I'm in a great place," Renteria said. "Baseball does what it does and I think we all have to take account of ourselves. We keep perspective and we try to find some balance. There are worse things that have happened to people and always in the initial you feel a sense of a little blow. But you put it in perspective and you realize things keep moving forward and here I am now with the Chicago White Sox. Things happen."
Almost always upbeat, Renteria said last week he has never been one to allow himself to be consumed by his own misfortune. Still, it couldn't have been easy to be removed after only one season in the big leagues in favor of Maddon, who in his second year led the Cubs to their first World Series title in 108 years. Renteria returned to Chicago last season to take over as the White Sox bench coach and insisted he had moved on. He and Maddon -- who share a mutual friend in Colorado Rockies manager Bud Black -- have since talked briefly several times.
"Listen, he's awesome," Maddon said. "There's nothing there. He's fine. We're fine. I think he's a wonderful man. Love to have a beer with him sometime if we can hook up in Chicago if the schedule's being proper. But there's nothing."
Back in October, Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer acknowledged the team wasn't "entirely fair" to Renteria. Hoyer made it clear he wished his former manager well and thought Renteria did a good job managing the Cubs. Theo Epstein said Monday he thinks Renteria would fit in well with the rebuilding White Sox.
"It seems like he's got a lot of talented young players to work with over there," Epstein said. "His energy and his personality will be real assets and will help develop those kids and will keep them positive, keep it moving forward."
Monday's Cubs starting lineup featured only one player who was part of Renteria's team -- Anthony Rizzo. Renteria said he would say hello to any former players he came across and said his situation isn't strange -- "It's just baseball," he said. "I'm just on the other side of town now."
Renteria said the season he spent on Robin Ventura's bench gave him an advantage in knowing the players in his clubhouse. Although he can see "some irony" in his second managerial position coming in the same town as his first, Renteria feels good about where he landed.
"It's all good," Renteria said. "I'm happy. I'm really happy to be here. I'm happy to be in the situation we're in. The organization is taking the step that is hopefully leading us as many organizations have done over the last six or seven years, trying to create something more sustainable over time. The foundation is being laid both with the players and the way they're going about doing everything. So hopefully it will be something good for us."