Rick Renteria will not return as the White Sox manager in 2021.
In 2020, Renteria led the White Sox to the franchise’s first playoff appearance in a dozen years, but he frustrated the fan base and received a ton of scrutiny over his bullpen management during a late-season slide that saw losses in eight of the final 10 regular-season games and elimination in a best-of-three playoff series.
The 2020 campaign was Renteria’s first opportunity to manage a contending roster, and the team rapidly rose out of rebuilding mode and into contention mode with a 23-6 midseason surge that gave it the best record in the American League. But after clinching a playoff berth, the White Sox admittedly relaxed and stumbled to the finish line.
The decision not to bring Renteria back is in extreme contrast to how highly everyone with the White Sox spoke of him in his four seasons on the job. He was praised for his player-development skills and lauded for the relationships he had with his players, the belief he had in their abilities and his tendency to let them be who they are as players and people.
The White Sox insisted he was the right manager to take the team not only through the dark days of the rebuilding but into its bright future. The White Sox have pulled an abrupt 180 in opting to move on.
Now the focus shifts to his replacement.
Whether that means an accomplished free agent like A.J. Hinch or Alex Cora, a longtime major league coach deserving of an opportunity like Sandy Alomar Jr. or a franchise legend with organizational familiarity like Jim Thome or A.J. Pierzynski remains to be seen.
Regardless, the next South Side skipper will inherit a talented roster with a clear mission: win the World Series.