By Jim Owczarski
The last time Chicago White Sox fans were able to see Robin Ventura on a daily basis was the summer of 1998, before he departed via free agency for the New York Mets.
Some lasting images linger, of course: The confrontation with Nolan Ryan on the mound and teammate Frank Thomas in the dugout; the horrific ankle injury in the spring of 1997 and subsequent return just a few months later.
But 14 years is a long time, and set against the personality of former manager Ozzie Guillen, Ventura seems placid.
I think there are misunderstandings, Ventura said about his perception.
The 44-year-old first year manager went about dispelling some of those during the first day of SoxFest at the Palmer House Hilton Friday night during a question and answer session alongside general manager Kenny Williams.
Ventura put his sense of humor on display, but as he tried to play into the laid back persona, Williams interrupted, saying the 44-year-old first year manager has a lot more fire in his belly than what appears on the surface.
Not everybody has a personal relationship with you, Ventura said of the fan base. The people I played with and the people I played for know what Im like, they know how I handle situations.
"Kenny and (White Sox chairman) Jerry (Reinsdorf) have known me a long time. Theyve known me since I was a kid and now as an adult, how I handle things and how I go about it. They wouldnt hire me if I was just going to come in and sit down and not do anything or say anything.
It might be a long shot for the White Sox to sign free agent Manny Machado, but here on the White Sox Talk Podcast, we like dark horses. Chuck Garfien, Ryan McGuffey and Vinnie Duber discuss what it would take to bring Machado to the South Side. Plus, is he "the" guy the White Sox are targeting this offseason? Will the Rockies listen to trade offers for Nolan Arenado a year before he reaches free agency? Plus, Chuck talks about a cost-controlled, All-Star on a rebuilding team that could be an answer at third base.
Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below:
Mark Buehrle. Jon Garland. Freddy García. José Contreras.
The 2005 White Sox had four consecutive complete games to finish off the 2005 ALCS — Contreras took his turn in Game 5 against the Angels 13 years ago Tuesday. How special was that run of starting pitching to finish that series? Consider the following six statements:
— No team has had more than two complete games in a single postseason, let alone a postseason series, since.
— There has been a grand total of four complete games in 188 postseason games (through Monday) since the beginning of 2016.
— Those 2005 White Sox remain the only team with four complete games in a single LCS (which went to a best-of-seven format in 1985).
— They are the only team since the 1968 Tigers (in the World Series) with at least four complete games in any postseason series.
— They are the only team since the 1956 Yankees (in the World Series) with at least four consecutive complete games in a series. (The Yankees had five in a row: Games 3 through 7.)
— They are the only team since the 1928 Yankees (in the World Series) with at least four consecutive complete-game wins in a series (Games 1 through 4).
Take a moment to look back and appreciate what Don Cooper’s troops were able to accomplish in that series. The way the game is played nowadays, we will never see it again.