In the baseball world, Robin Ventura has two events that define him. The first thing that many baseball fans remember about Ventura is his NCAA record-breaking 58-game hitting streak, which still stands today. The second, probably more known moment from Ventura’s baseball career is when he charged the mound after Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan hit him with a pitch on the right elbow. This bench-clearing incident has become one of the most famous in Major League Baseball history, and it will most likely always be attached to Ventura’s name. However, as the current skipper of the Chicago White Sox, Ventura has a managerial style that is the exact opposite of what you might expect for someone that is known for starting a brawl.
After the always entertaining, but controversial Ozzie Guillen was out as White Sox manager following the 2011 season, the next man to step in as the South Siders leader was somewhat of a mystery. Shocking to most, Robin Ventura, who had never coached in the MLB before, got the job. As soon as Ventura took over in Chicago, he brought a sense of quiet confidence to the Sox. The White Sox went from having one of baseball’s most dramatic managers in Guillen, to having a guy like Ventura who would rather keep his mouth shut, and let his team’s play do the talking.
For White Sox fans, Ventura was a breath of fresh air. In his first year as the Sox manager, the levelheaded Ventura exceeded all expectations. Finishing 3rd in the American League Manager of the Year voting, Ventura led the White Sox to a respectable 85 win season. His attitude as a manager in 2012 was simple: keep your emotions in check and take it day by day.
In 2013, Sox fans should expect the same style from Ventura. Not worried about anything but winning ballgames this season, Ventura even turned down a one-year extension on his contract offered to him this winter. Although saying no to a contract extension may be somewhat head scratching, Ventura made it clear that this doesn’t eliminate the chance of returning to the Sox once his deal is up in 2014.
Ventura is simply leading his ball club by example. Putting all distractions aside, Ventura and the Sox are once again looking forward to a productive year. There isn’t much doubt in my mind that Ventura will be successful with the South Siders this year and beyond. As for his contract status moving forward, I’m sure Ventura will make the best decision not only for himself, but for the White Sox as well.