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Despite White Sox’ woes, Ventura has kept even-keeled approach

ClevelIndians v Chicago White Sox

Cleveland Indians v Chicago White Sox

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Updated: September 15, 2013 10:26PM



In the times that try men’s souls, it’s good to have a calming influence.

With Robin Ventura at the helm in the franchise’s worst season in decades, the White Sox have learned that.

‘‘He could be losing his mind kind of like all of us probably are, and these young guys could get the wrong impression of who he is,’’ second baseman Gordon Beckham said. ‘‘But Robin has never really deviated from the way he acts, and that’s kind of the cool thing about him.

‘‘He can obviously get mad and upset, and he’s done that this year. But he’s always Robin. You’re getting 100 percent of him all the time. I don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing — it’s just Robin being Robin.’’

After a successful first season as manager, Ventura admits this hasn’t been easy for him or the players.

‘‘It becomes difficult,’’ Ventura said. ‘‘It’s about winning games, and right now we’re not going to the playoffs. That’s not the fun part.

‘‘I think in everything, you have to have the ability to overcome that kind of stuff and realize you’re lucky and fortunate to be doing what you’re doing and find a way to enjoy it. I think everybody has that in their own personality.’’

Ventura clearly was going to be the opposite of former manager Ozzie Guillen, but Guillen never had a season as bad as this one.

Ventura still has gotten his points across when necessary.

‘‘Robin’s mild-mannered, and he’s not going to blow up on us,’’ pitcher John Danks said. ‘‘But at the same time, it’s like whenever your mom’s mad at you in public and she gives you that look to let you know she’s upset. Robin has that. He gets the same point across. He just goes about it a different way.

‘‘Robin obviously played the game and understands the game. It’s a long season, and even the team that wins the World Series is going to have ups and downs. As close to even-keel as you can stay is I think the best way to go about it.’’

The even-keeled approach probably has been best for the young players now with the team, Danks said.

‘‘I think it’s good for some of the young guys not to just get buried or screamed at or embarrassed in the dugout,’’ he said. ‘‘I think Robin’s personality is perfect for what we’re going through. Hopefully, this is the last time we have to go through it.’’

Danks also knows the season hasn’t been easy on Ventura.

‘‘You feel bad for him because he’s worked hard and done everything he can do, and you can see the frustration on all the coaches’ faces.

‘‘I wish we had played better, and we know what we can do to fix it. I think I can speak for all of us when I say we’re going to work as hard as we can to get it fixed.’’

NOTE: Major League Baseball mandated that the Sox and wild-card-contending Indians had to play Sunday’s rain-delayed game. The teams waited almost 4½ hours to start the Indians’ eventual 7-1 victory, their 12th straight over the Sox.

The Sox will give fans who had tickets to the game complimentary tickets to a game next April.

Email: tginnetti@suntimes.com

Twitter: @toniginnetti



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