Despite White Sox’ losing record, Guillen says Ventura is doing a fine job
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN firstname.lastname@example.org July 16, 2013 10:40PM
Chicago White Sox v Tampa Bay Rays
Updated: July 17, 2013 1:06PM
NEW YORK — Robin Ventura laughed when he heard what former teammate and predecessor Ozzie Guillen had said a few minutes earlier, that Ventura is a better manager this year than last year.
Hmmm. This season’s White Sox team is in last place. Last year’s was in first for 117 days.
“Wow. I don’t know,’’ Ventura said near the visitors’ dugout Tuesday at Citi Field before the All-Star Game. “I don’t look at it as better or worse. You just manage daily.’’
The daily grind hasn’t gotten the best of Ventura yet. He said he wants to manage next year — and probably beyond.
Because of the Sox’ poor play and Ventura’s decision during spring training to decline an extension offer beyond next season, speculation won’t go away that Ventura might not want to manage next season. Or that he’s not gung-ho about the job.
“Just by saying, ‘We’ll figure that out later,’ I think people took that the wrong way,’’ Ventura told the Sun-Times of his decision to honor his three-year contract and take a wait-and-see approach about an extension. “I never at any point while I was managing didn’t think I wasn’t going to come back and manage in 2014.
“People interpret things differently unless you give the emphatic [answer]. Sometimes when you give them the emphatic response that you’re coming back, they still don’t believe it. But I want to do this, and I plan on doing it.’’
For how long?
“I don’t know how long, but I’d like to do it for a while more, yeah,’’ he said.
Guillen, who still lives in Chicago, said he watches a lot of Sox games. He feels bad for Ventura and the Sox, but he said Ventura is handling adversity well. It’s obvious to all that the laid-back Ventura is not handling it the way the hyper-excitable Guillen would, but Guillen said there’s something to be said for Ventura’s manner.
“I’ve watched most of his interviews, and he’s great,’’ Guillen said. “He’s very professional; he never changes the way he is. That’s the way he is. I think he’s managing better this year than he was last year. People think you’re a good manager when you’re winning. Well, you’re a good manager when you’re losing. That’s when you have to be a manager. He has a lot of guys on the DL, a lot of guys playing bad. He has handled it pretty good.’’
“It is [tougher],’’ Ventura said. “Stuff has happened you wouldn’t have expected. But I don’t think every year you have a blueprint for whatever [is expected] in the offseason will happen during the season.’’
Guillen knows from where Ventura speaks. The unpredictability of the game is what makes managing a fascinating and exhilarating occupation — and a maddening one.
“You miss the field; you miss being around; you miss the action,’’ Guillen said. “But life is very good without baseball.’’