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.