Nationals

Ex-Astros Hinch, Cora fit White Sox' criteria for managerial vacancy

Nationals

The Chicago White Sox have fired manager Rick Renteria after four seasons at the helm, the team announced Monday.

Renteria replaced former skipper Robin Ventura after the 2016 season. The rebuilding White Sox averaged just 67 wins over his first three years but they put it all together in 2020 to make the playoffs for the first time since 2008. While Chicago finished just one game back of the Minnesota Twins for the AL Central crown, it wasn’t able to make much noise in the playoffs before falling to the Oakland A’s in the best-of-three Wild Card round.

Speaking with reporters about the decision, White Sox GM Rick Hahn specified that “the ideal candidate will be someone who has experience in a championship organization in recent years.”

Well, here’s a look at the last five World Series-winning managers.

2019 Nationals – Davey Martinez, just signed extension with Washington

2018 Red Sox – Alex Cora, suspended for role in Astros’ sign-stealing scandal

2017 Astros – A.J. Hinch, suspended for role in Astros’ sign-stealing scandal

2016 Cubs – Joe Maddon, one year in to contract with Angels

2015 Royals – Ned Yost, retired after 2019 season

The only two ex-managers who fit the description given by Hahn are former Astros coaches Hinch and Cora. Both of them are currently suspended by MLB until the end of the World Series. However, they will be free to return to the sport for the 2021 season if there are teams interested in hiring them.

Hahn reportedly declined to comment on any candidates other than to say former White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen would not be among those considered. But the White Sox aren’t the only team looking for a skipper.

 

The Boston Red Sox have already parted ways with Ron Roenicke, who replaced Cora after he was fired in light of the Astros investigation. Detroit is also looking for a new manager to fill the vacancy left behind by the retired Ron Gardenhire.

“Someone like Alex, who is very important to this organization, I don’t want to get into the business of saying a lot of things about him that I haven’t had a chance to say to him,” Red Sox Chief of Baseball Operations Chaim Bloom said of Cora after Roenicke was fired, as quoted by the Boston Herald. “So I don’t want to get into any more detail than that.”

If Cora does return to Boston, then Hinch stands out as the primary target for Chicago. The White Sox have a young core that just broke through for the first time in 2020. They look the part of a contender for the next few seasons, putting pressure on the organization to find a manager that can help them breakthrough into the deeper rounds of the postseason.

Yet hiring Hinch or Cora wouldn’t come without some backlash.

Fans have expressed resentment with how MLB handled the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal, particularly with the lack of punishments handed out to players. If those who were deemed responsible for the plot in the form of year-long suspensions are then back in dugouts within a year, there will be plenty who will question whether the Astros were really punished at all for a scheme they carried out on their way to winning the 2017 World Series.