BOSTON — General manager Rick Hahn wouldn’t comment Monday on the status of manager Robin Ventura as the White Sox limped into Boston after a three-game sweep at the hands of the American League Central-leading Cleveland Indians over the weekend.
The White Sox entered Monday’s series opener against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park three games under .500, a low water mark for the year, and have now been swept by every team ahead of them in the division — the Indians, Kansas City Royals and Detroit Tigers. But whatever the front office is thinking about the coaching staff, stay or go, Hahn isn't going to publicly discuss it.
“I don’t think it’s in anybody’s best interest for me to comment on the status of anybody in uniform — coach, manager, player — other than to say that on any given night, we’re doing everything in our power to support the group that’s here and to try to put them in the best position to win,” Hahn said. “That’s where everybody’s focus is. It’s not on the future or outside distractions or answering questions out the status of anybody within the organization. We’re trying to get this group in the best position to win tonight. It’s the only thing we can control right now and that’s where our focus is.”
After a 23-10 start that saw the White Sox fasten an early grip on first place in the AL Central, the White Sox have lost 26 of their last 36 games entering Monday night. But Hahn said whatever decisions are made about the future of this team will be made through a wider evaluative lens.
“You try to look at the entirety of the work,” Hahn said. “When things aren’t going well, you feel that same frustration that fans are feeling and perhaps even moreso on a daily basis you’re consumed by this. I think it’s natural to look at areas where you can get better, but any decisions are made based upon the entirety of anyone’s performance, based on not just the snippet of five or 10 days or the length of a season or past career.”
The goodwill the White Sox built up with that 33-game start to the season is running on fumes, though, with the club heading to Boston five and a half games out of first place and five games out of a wild card spot (they’re as close to the league’s second-worst team, the Oakland Athletics, as they are the second wild card team, Kansas City). Hahn & Co. believe, though, that the roster as currently constructed is good enough to contend over its final 90 games.
But at some point, the tailspin has to end. And for the White Sox chances of making the playoffs for the first time since 2008, it probably has to end soon.
“We very much believe the talent is there to be in the thick of things come October,” Hahn said. “Obviously we have to stop squandering opportunities, especially in our division, where we’ve performed poorly over the last few weeks. But we have not, thanks in large part to the quality start, haven’t buried ourselves yet. We need to get it turned around fairly quickly, though, so we can continue saying that and reinforce our notion, our believes in ourselves that this team has the ability to contend.”