Ventura Brings More Questions than Answers

By Joe Tichy

Is Kenny Williams doing the right thing in hiring Robin Ventura?  I don’t know.

Will Ventura’s lack of managerial experience hinder his team’s play on the field?  I don’t know.

Is Robin Ventura going to lead this team to the playoffs?  I don’t know.

I could go on for an entire article with questions followed with that same answer, but I won’t to save my readership and credibility as a writer.  I do know Robin Ventura is one of the most beloved figures in recent White Sox history.  I do know he fulfills one of the requirements Williams had for club’s new skipper.  Robin Ventura has White Sox blood.  Although he played for three teams after the White Sox, Ventura will be remembered as a South Sider (except for a few Mets fans).

So, why Ventura?  Why not?  Vague, I know.  That may be the best word to describe this hiring.  Kenny Williams says he has been interviewing Ventura since 1994.  Imagine interviewing for a job 17 years ago that you didn’t know you were going to get.  What people do know is Ventura has a great baseball mind.  So, he can be used to develop Alejandro de Aza, Tyler Flowers, Dayan Viciedo, and Brent Morel.  Who will develop Robin Ventura?  I don’t know.  His bench coach seems to be all but selected.  Can we assume he has served some time as a bench coach in Major League Baseball?  I don’t want to beat a dead horse, so let’s all just say maybe.  But we all know what happens when we assume such as the time we assumed Williams was going to hire Davey Martinez or Tony LaRussa.

What I DO know about Ventura is he is a class act and handles himself with the utmost confidence around his teammates and the media.  It will be a complete change of pace from the obscenity laced postgame press conference Chicago experienced with Ozzie Guillen.  He does in fact know the game of baseball inside and out from a hitting and fielding perspective.  Don Cooper’s role as pitching coach may never be as important as it will be this year especially with the chance we see some new arms in the 2012 rotation.  Cooper will have to sit with not only his pitching staff, but also Ventura.  Cooper probably knows this team better than Ventura.  His patience may have to be at an all time high for this season.  Knowing Venutra’s acumen, he will be as prepared as he can be come spring training.  White Sox fans hope his team is.  On a positive note, Jerry Manuel and Ozzie Guillen were merely coaches when they were brought on as managers.  Kenny Williams will take chances.  That we do know.

Ventura and the Sox have had a wonderful history together.  His two All-Star appearances and six Gold Gloves speak for themselves.  Do Sox fans want a former great player with no managerial experience as the guy calling the shots on the field for the next few years?  You get the idea. Should Ventura bring another title to the South Side, fans will have another question.  Ozzie who?  That may be just the question Kenny Williams wants you to ask.

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