White Sox

Robin Ventura steps down as White Sox manager

Robin Ventura steps down as White Sox manager

He doesn’t have any regrets, but Robin Ventura announced the end of his tenure as White Sox manager on Sunday afternoon.

Calling it a personal decision, Ventura stepped down as White Sox manager shortly after his team closed his fifth season with a 6-3 loss to the Minnesota Twins at U.S. Cellular Field. Ventura — who finished with a 375-435 record and finished below .500 in four straight seasons — said he thought the club might be in need of a new voice. The team is expected to name current bench coach Rick Renteria its new manager in a press conference on Monday at 11 a.m.

“I just feel it’s the right time,” Ventura said. “I love being here. The organization means a lot to me. You can go as hard as you can and really the only thing you know is how you conduct your business and how you treat people. I’m good with that. 

“Talking to (general manager Rick Hahn) through September, you just realize right now is the right time to do it and you need somebody else.”

Ventura’s final season as White Sox manager will likely be remembered for several high-profile incidents that took place within the clubhouse, namely the abrupt and public retirement of Adam LaRoche and Chris Sale’s five-game suspension for destruction of team property. While those incidents may have caused him some stress, Ventura said it was the team’s collapse after a 23-10 start that was the most difficult to deal with. Ravaged by key injuries, underperformance and a lack of depth to handle those issues, the White Sox fell apart in mid-May and never recovered.

“What's hardest is we started off so well, so you had the optimism that was there that you were going to keep that rolling and then it didn't continue,” Ventura said. “That's the hardest stuff. The other stuff, it just happens. There's probably stuff that happens all over the place that's like that. But that had nothing to do it with being tougher.”

Though he made the determination he wouldn’t return over the course of September, Ventura held off on an announcement until after the season concluded. Ventura said he wanted his players’ focus to remain on the field where it belonged and didn’t want to detract from that. Ventura addressed his team prior to Sunday’s game to inform them of his decision.

“You have that thing you grow up with from your parents that when you start something you do it,” Ventura said. “If you get fired, that’s one thing. But I knew I was going to finish what I signed up to do. And I did that.”

Ventura has no plans to take another job within the organization and for now has no designs to manage again. Once questioned whether or not he wanted to be the team’s manager, Ventura said he’d say “yes again” if he had to do it all over. Ventura lamented the lack of team victories but enjoyed the job.

“You just do what you can do and how you conduct yourself,” Ventura said. “It’s not like they’re going to be building a statue or putting a statue out on the concourse. You do what you can and that’s all you can really do.”

White Sox Talk Podcast: Interview with Hall of Famer Harold Baines

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NBC Sports Chicago

White Sox Talk Podcast: Interview with Hall of Famer Harold Baines

Chuck Garfien sits down with new Hall of Famer Harold Baines.

First, Chuck, Ryan McGuffey and Chris Kamka share their memories of watching Baines play with the White Sox (1:40). Then, Baines explains why he's always been so soft-spoken (8:45), how he was able to play 22 seasons in the majors (13:00), why he's never spoken to GM Larry Himes for trading him to Texas (15:30), the apology he received from President George W. Bush (16:30), what he thinks about the critics who don't think he should be in the Hall of Fame (18:25), a replay of Baines emotional interview with Chuck about his dad (20:50) and more.

Listen to the full episode in the embedded player below:

White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson discusses inspiring a younger generation of black baseball players, bat flipping and much more on Pull Up Podcast with CJ McCollum

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USA TODAY

White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson discusses inspiring a younger generation of black baseball players, bat flipping and much more on Pull Up Podcast with CJ McCollum

White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson appeared on Thursday's episode of the Pull Up Podcast hosted by Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum and ESPN's Jordan Schultz to discuss many things including his MLB career, the charity work he does in the Chicago community and the need more expression and entertainment (overall) in baseball.

McCollum asked Anderson if the sport of baseball has evolved and what he would do to further these developments, based on the idea that the sport has a stigma of being boring, particularly within inner-city and/or largely black communities. Anderson stated, "They should allow players to have more fun.....just allow players to be themselves." 

Anderson discussed how being the only black player on the White Sox—the team that represents the South Side of Chicago—is extremely important to him and how great the White Sox organization has been at giving him every opportunity to be himself and "be comfortable". He expanded on how much he loves MLB life and how he wants to be able to pass on that love for the game to younger generations, especially the youth of the South Side of Chicago.

"I enjoy it [the responsibility of being the lone black player on the White Sox].....a lot of those kids in they area [the South Side], they kinda remind me of myself."

Schultz brought up the criticism of Anderson's bat flipping, asking him why it was so important for him to show that he was enjoying himself, at the expense of breaking one of baseball's "unwritten rules".

Being of a younger generation, Anderson lamented that it was indeed a new day in baseball and doubled down in saying that the simple aspect of having fun needs to be encouraged even more in the sport. 

"You're playing a game that you're failing most of the time and the times that you do succeed they don't want you to enjoy those moments. For me man, y'know, I think that's just a lot of pain showing.....from struggling, that's just that emotion that's coming out man. You know when you finally get to a point where you feel like you breaking through.....those moments that I want to remember and I want people around me to remember. That’s why I play the way that I do.”

Anderson is indeed having the best season of his career so far, with a slash line of .317/.342/.491 entering Friday morning. He is also nine home runs away from matching his season-high of 20 with over the half the season left to go.

With even more of a platform amid his career-year, Anderson has continued his crusade to make baseball fun again and doesn’t plan on changing up the way he plays the game anytime soon.


 

As touched on earlier in this post, Anderson wants to serve as a role model while also showing the youth that it is OK to be yourself as a Major League Baseball player.

In all the camps and baseball clinics that Anderon hosts, he always makes sure to answer every question about his unique experience in the MLB because he understands the value of kids getting to see someone who looks like them succeeding, even more so in a sport where the number black players sits at a mere 7.7% of the entire league

“Everything [is] not always good [for kids in inner-city communities], so I think that understanding that and kinda being a role model and motivating and inspiring those kids that look like me and I look like them, I think it's easier for those kids to look up to me. So that's why I go out and play hard and....enjoy the moment and do those crazy things on the field.....because that's what those kids like."

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