White Sox news, Minor Leagues updates and more

March 2, 2012

Screenshots from the Robin Ventura-Nolan Ryan fight

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ March 2, 2012 10:30 pm
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About that “beatdown”:

After Ventura charged the mound, Ryan got him into a headlock and landed 5 or so jabs on Ventura (0:10-0:13).

HOWEVER, afterwards Ventura got out of the headlock, wrapped his hands around Ryan’s neck, and brought Ryan (#34) down:

(more…)

February 27, 2012

Sox outfield: Dayan Viciedo @ left, Alejandro De Aza @ center, Alex Rios, @ right?

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ February 27, 2012 8:30 pm
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Scot Gregor:

It looks like the White Sox are going to be shaking up their outfield. Manager Robin Ventura indicated Dayan Viciedo is going to move from right field to left field, Alex Rios is moving from center to right and Alejandro De Aza is moving from left to center. We’ll see how this plays out … nothing is definite yet.

and

I don’t think Viciedo has played any games in left in the majors or the minors

BTW,

Oh boy…

February 22, 2012

Robin Ventura lays down the law

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ February 22, 2012 3:30 pm
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January 28, 2012

Will Robin Ventura do as he says?

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 28, 2012 9:00 pm
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No more ‘Can’t bench/disrespect the veterans’?

January 26, 2012

Robin Ventura talks about the 2012 Sox

Scott Merkin:

Ventura was asked about a few key matters during an interview session with White Sox beat reporters on Thursday and came up with a few pre-Spring Training solutions. The White Sox starting rotation, which looks to be one of its strongest suits, seems all but set with John Danks, Gavin Floyd, Chris Sale and Jake Peavy. According to Ventura, Philip Humber has the advantage at No. 5 over any of the young newcomers such as Nestor Molina or returnees such as Zach Stewart or Dylan Axelrod.”Phil would be that leader heading into the clubhouse,” Ventura said of Humber, whose breakout 2011 effort resulted in a 9-9 record and 3.75 ERA. “I don’t see anything changing with that at this point. We will see during Spring Training, but I’m confident in Phil in doing that No. 5 position.”Humber posted an 8-5 record with a 3.10 ERA and .218 opponents average against in the first half, but had a 1-4 mark, 5.01 ERA and .287 average against after the All-Star break.

Reliever Matt Thornton‘s season was slightly reversed, as the left-hander posted a 2.45 ERA over 52 games after May 1 following an 8.64 ERA in April. Thornton also had blown saves in his first four chances, although he didn’t have the best of luck behind him. Even with that slow start, Ventura tabbed Thornton on Thursday as his leading 2012 closer candidate over rookie Addison Reed and Jesse Crain. “I’m leaning on Matt doing that,” Ventura said. “I don’t think those type of things are concrete. I would like to see him do that, but we’ll see how that goes in Spring Training with him and how he feels.”

In Ventura’s estimation, the team doesn’t have a true utility infielder at this point. Brent Lillibridge earned high praise from Ventura for his versatility and talent, but he wasn’t identified as a possible backup shortstop. Ventura said that Alex Rios could see time in both left field and center field, and as of now, Alejandro De Aza looks to be the leadoff man. Of course, it’s just late January and things could change by the end of Cactus League action. “Gordon [Beckham] could probably do it depending on how he feels about that and how he looks in Spring Training, as far as getting on base,” Ventura said of the leadoff slot. “He has more power than normal leadoff guys, but he’s one of them.”

December 6, 2011

Sox want young pitching says Robin Ventura

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 6, 2011 6:40 pm
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More Ventura (video too) here.

November 26, 2011

Sox thinking to trade a pitcher to Cincinnati to get Yonder Alonso?

Phil Rogers:

Can Yonder Alonso become a solid left fielder? That’s the question the White Sox are studying as the Reds shop the left-handed-hitting slugger for pitching. Alonso would be blocked with Paul Konerko at first base and Adam Dunn as designated hitter, although if the Sox really are willing to let Mark Buehrle walk you wonder if they also would approach Konerko about waiving his no-trade clause.

Other White Sox links:

October 15, 2011

Robin Ventura Beats Up Nolan Ryan?

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ October 15, 2011 3:00 pm
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“You still think Ventura got his ass beat by Nolan Ryan? Think again. The new manager of the White Sox is a fighter and a winner. Deal with it.”

h/t Ben Lindberg’s Transactional Analysis: Robin Ventura

October 12, 2011

Robin Ventura’s managerial style

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ October 12, 2011 3:05 am
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From Doug Padilla’s chat:

Q: Why didnt anybody in the Press Conference ask robin questions about his managerial philosphy, is he a stat guy when looking at matchups etc…. Do we have any info besides what was asked in the PC?

A: The beat guys asked that in a separate interview session. He didn’t commit to one exactly, but he said he had to see how the roster develops. Sounded like he has the traditional leadoff man, move runners over approach, but has no issues playing big ball if that’s what the roster dictates.

Other White Sox links:

October 11, 2011

Robin Ventura, Harold Baines, and Paul Konerko get stuff

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ October 11, 2011 11:00 pm
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Robin Ventura got a 3-year deal:

While Guillen moved on to a four-year deal running the Miami Marlins, Ventura took over the White Sox under a three-year deal with no options. The hiring of Guillen and Ventura by Williams were somewhat similar, in that they were previous organization staples as players and, although neither one had prior managerial experience, Williams and White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf knew what to expect with their personalities and commitment to the organization.

Harold Baines got some hitting coach responsibilities,

“[The staff] will fit together such that Harold will be putting more time into the mental side of some of our hitters’ approaches,” Williams said. “He was pretty good at it, and remains a valuable asset in that area. But he will take a greater role along those lines … as will Robin. That’s what I meant by a coaching staff that will work together. It’s all intertwined, not just on one guy to solve the problems of our hitters.

“Robin will be very involved in every aspect — whether it be player development and offseason conversations with the players, the coaches, the scouts, everything. That’s just baseball and the way we like to do things. It’s an all-inclusive style of management.”

and Paul Konerko got coach consideration,

Perhaps the most stunning news to emerge from the White Sox’ press conference introducing Robin Ventura as manager was general manager’s Ken Williams’ revelation that he considered Paul Konerko as a player-manager candidate. It never got to a point where Williams asked Konerko about the possibility.

“Well, it was considered long enough for me to realize that Paul is a very cerebral person and he would probably drive himself nuts right now playing and managing at the same time,” Williams said Tuesday. “But that’s the kind of respect I have for him that yeah, I did consider it. Then I thought I think I would rather him be focused more on hitting third or fourth in the lineup and driving in 100 runs rather than trying to worry about 25 other guys in addition to it. We are trying to win.”

Kenny is pulling Hawk’s leg.

October 9, 2011

Is Boston 3rd base coach Tim Bogar a candidate for the Sox bench coach opening?

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ October 9, 2011 3:05 pm
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Nick Cafardo:

Tim Bogar, third base coach, Red Sox – He could be retained when a new manager is named. Bogar is also highly regarded as a future manager and does a lot of work with statistical data, which seems to fit what the current Boston regime is looking for. There has been speculation that Bogar is a candidate for bench coach with the White Sox under new manager Robin Ventura.

A Google search on Tim Bogar shows Red Sox fans are quite mad at Bogey.

Other White Sox links:

October 7, 2011

Sox ask and are granted permission to talk with Phillies minor-league manager Mark Parent

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ October 7, 2011 10:05 pm
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Jim Salisbury:

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.

BTW, Brett Ballantini has Buddy Bell on top of the list:

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:

Kenny Williams, Robin Ventura, and sabermetrics

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ October 7, 2011 2:05 am
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Mark Gonzales:

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

White Sox next coach: Paul Konerko

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ October 6, 2011 11:01 pm
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Chuck Garfien:

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.”

Mark Gonzales says two candidates are minor league hitting coordinator Jeff Manto and Charlotte hitting coach Tim Laker.

Other White Sox links:

White Sox name Robin Ventura manager [UPDATE ]

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ October 6, 2011 6:40 pm
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Surprise candidate indeed! The 2012 budget must be down to 2 cents. Tom Singer reports:

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.

Here’s Ken Rosenthal.

UPDATE: Here’s J.J.’s take on the Ventura hire.

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.

UPDATE #2: Keith Olbermann has some very good words for the hire:

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.

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