October 8, 2011
October 7, 2011
The Chicago White Sox have asked for and been granted permission to speak with Phillies minor-league manager Mark Parent about a job on their major league coaching staff, according to a baseball source.
Parent is the manager of the AA-Reading. Is Parent being considered for the bench coach job? Kenny said he’ll likely stay in-house for the hitting coach, but he’d ask for permission to speak to the bench coach guy Ventura wants.
While minor league director Buddy Bell has been adamant about never wanting to manage again, Williams initially misspoke and implied Bell would be on Ventura’s staff, then caught himself and said the executive staff would be supportive. That doesn’t lock in Bell as the guy the White Sox are seeking permission from (the Kansas City Royals) to become bench coach, but it does shoot him to the top of the list.
Other White Sox links:
- James writes about Chris Sale and moving him to the rotation.
- Bob Nightengale reports that Arizona was awarded a claim on Paul Konerko on August, but Kenny Williams’ included rookie 1B Paul Goldschmidt among his demands and the talks died.
- Mike talks about the Sox naming Robin Ventura as their manager.
Williams, meanwhile, spent more than six minutes stressing why Ventura was the right guy for the job and wasn’t hired because he was a fan favorite as a player.Williams said he sought a candidate who possessed a passion for the city and the organization, the ability to lead veterans as well as youngsters, enforce discipline as well as display a sense of humor and show a familiarity with the minor league instruction.
In addition, Williams said he wanted a manager who wasn’t afraid to express his beliefs even if they didn’t conform to those of the staff, as well as to bring an old-school attitude with an open-mindedness toward sabermetrics in evaluations.
Not Tom Tango but better than:
Guillen also didn’t care for sabermetrics, and many of the Sox’s number crunchers avoided the dugout during pregame batting practice, which used to be their hangout in previous years.
October 6, 2011
In case Ventura doesn’t succeed as manager, believe it or not, his replacement might already be lurking inside the White Sox clubhouse. Just like Ventura had no clue he was on Williams’ radar in the 1990’s, this player probably doesn’t realize it either.
“As I’d freely admit right now, Paul Konerko can be a major league manager just because I’ve had 10 years worth of conversations with Paul Konerko,” Williams said. “And as a result, I’ve come to the conclusion that this guy certainly has the necessary stuff. He’s a little busy right now, you know, becoming an MVP. But one day he too will hopefully be considered if he wants to do it along the same line. This might be out of left field or a surprise, but to people who are within the organization, not so much.”
Can’t say I’m surprised. After the Ventura announcement, very little will.
And Kenny Williams said the Sox next hitting coach will likely come from within the organization:
“I have talked about that with Robin and because we’ve had so much growth within our system and we got so many young players as well as guys trying to rebound, we are probably going to stay within the organization,” White Sox general manager Kenny Williams said. “We’ve still got to have some conversations on it and whether or not Frank is spoken to about or not, that’ll be Robin’s choice at the time.
“But I’m thinking initially, because we have history with some of our young players that have now come through and have performed well, we’ll probably stick with that,” Williams continued. “But Frank will undoubtedly be welcomed to add any advice he has and he’ll be part of the family because he is who he is and he’s got a lot to offer.”
Other White Sox links:
- James looks at Kenny’s ‘let the kids play’ strategy and gives it two thumbs up.
- Robin Ventura confirmed bullpen catcher Mark Salas and bullpen coach Juan Nieves will be back next year.
- Robin Ventura knows who he wants as bench coach and the Sox will ask his club for permission to talk to him tomorrow.
Robin Ventura on Thursday was named manager of the Chicago White Sox, agreeing to a multiyear deal to lead the team for which he starred for a decade.
Ventura, 44, becomes the 17th former White Sox player to manage the club. …
“Robin is one of the most popular and highly regarded players in this franchise’s history,” White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said in a statement. “From the very first day he put on a White Sox uniform, it was apparent that Robin was a born leader. Those leadership skills were obvious to staff, players, media who covered him and certainly to the fans of Chicago. We saw those skills again this summer as he visited and worked with our Minor League players.
“You will not find a better teammate, leader and friend. His ability to motivate and lead others will be a terrific attribute as manager. I loved him as a player, from his baseball knowledge, to his professionalism, to how he went about his business in the clubhouse and on the diamond. Robin exudes class in everything he does.
“Since making the announcement this afternoon, I’ve heard nothing but great feedback from our players, staff, friends and White Sox fans.”
Ventura has no prior managerial experience and will return to uniform after rejoining the club on June 6, 2011 as a special advisor to director of player development Buddy Bell.
BTW, I’m ambivalent with the hire. I’d have liked to see Dave Martinez named manager. The Sox won’t be going anywhere in the near future so the ‘no managerial experience’ doesn’t seem so bad, but, still, this is a Major League team you’re putting in the hands of someone with ‘no managerial experience.’
UPDATE #3: And here’s James’ take.
Congratulations to Kenny Williams and Jerry Reinsdorf and all others with the Chicago White Sox who managed to pull not just a complete surprise, but what is likely to be a long-term brilliant maneuver, in hiring Robin Ventura as the team’s new manager.
If anybody in baseball history has ever been better prepared psychologically for the roller-coaster of managing, I can’t think of his name. Ventura was probably the most unflappable, even-keeled player I’ve ever met – completely immune to the impact of wins and losses, interviews and ignorance, the media and the fans. He focused on exactly one thing: playing the game, and helping his teammates play it nearly as well as he did. …
… I’m not saying it’s likely, I’m just saying he doesn’t need this managing crap, and that’s one of the reasons he figures to be great at it.
October 5, 2011
John Sickels reviews his pre-season prospect lists (the bold part of the quote is from the pre-season list):
6) Chris Sale, LHP, Chicago White Sox, Grade A: 2.79 ERA with 79/27 K/BB in 71 major league innings, just 52 hits, eight saves. Another successful debut, and I think he will do well as a starter.
33) Zach Stewart, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays, Grade B+: 4.20 ERA with 79/27 K/BB in 101 innings in Double-A/Triple-A. Traded to White Sox, went 2-6, 5.88 with 45/18 K/BB in 67 major league innings, 90 hits. Capable of better, but not going to be an ace or rotation anchor.
and from the review of the hitting prospects (the bold part of the quote is from the pre-season list):
33) Brent Morel, 3B, Chicago White Sox, Grade B: Hit .245/.287/.366 with 10 homers, 22 walks, 57 strikeouts in 413 major league at-bats. Capable of better, could sneak up on us in a year or two.
Depending on the day, the source or the direction the wind blows, Martinez or Cleveland Indians bench coach Sandy Alomar Jr. is the favorite to land Guillen’s old job. Terry Francona’s sudden availability adds a high-profile wrinkle to the mix, and there’s some talk of a surprise off-the-radar candidate.
Jim Thome is coming back!
Other White Sox links:
- James posted his playoff primer. And it took him 2 posts.
- The Sox minor league teams went 351-354 in 2011.
- John Sickels on Brent Morel: “Capable of better, could sneak up on us in a year or two.” More .271/.400/.671 please!
- Coop is pushing Terry Francona for manager and says the ‘Chris Sale to the rotation move’ hasn’t been decided yet.
October 3, 2011
Ken Williams says "we're going to let the kids play," will know what they have in mid-season, young culture coming—
Peter Gammons (@pgammo) October 03, 2011
Other White Sox links:
- Chris Sale will join the Sox starting pitcher rotation. Hopefully Mark Buehrle is a piece of next year’s rotation as well.
- James plays ‘is he a starter or not’ in his last recap of the year.
- J.J. talks about Kenny’s ‘Let the kids play’ plan.
- Fangraphs’ Tommy Rancel looks at the contract extension that Sergio Santos signed.
- Tony La Russa: “I’ve said when I’m done here [St. Louis], I’m done.” Good.
- Michael Blanke will replace Josh Phegley, while Phegley gets his wrist checked, in the AFL’s Mesa Solar Sox roster. BTW, the AFL starts tomorrow.
October 1, 2011
His [Kenny Williams] revelation that virtually silent but sound coach Harold Baines will play a greater role on the next coaching staff is a step in the right direction.
Or the new hitting coach? I think both positions require more communication though than 1st base coach though.
Other White Sox links:
Lastings MIlledge has opted for free agency per International League transactions page.—
Brett Ballantini (@CSNChi_Beatnik) October 01, 2011
IL Transactions Click the menu on the top and select September 2011
Sources confirmed to me that the White Sox have no interest in hiring Terry Francona. They are already well down the road on original list.—
David Kaplan (@thekapman) October 01, 2011
General manager Ken Williams continues to work off his short list, the source said. Rays bench coach Dave Martinez, according to a second source, is at the top of that list. Martinez, a former outfielder, played for the White Sox from 1995 to ’97.
The White Sox also like Yankees bench coach Tony Pena, but Martinez is their No. 1 target, the second source said. Both Martinez and Pena currently are unavailable; their respective teams are in the post-season.
I hear pitching coach Don Cooper, who got contract extension with White Sox, pushing for Francona as mgr—
(@DKnobler) September 30, 2011