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Sox can talk to Phillies’ Class AA manager for bench-coach gig

Mark Parent

Mark Parent

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Updated: November 16, 2011 11:54AM

If nothing else, Mark Parent is aptly named to be Robin Ventura’s bench coach. After all, he’d be the one holding Ventura’s hand while the former White Sox star manages baseball games for the first time in his life.

The Philadelphia Phillies reportedly gave the Sox permission to talk to Parent, who managed Reading, the Phillies’ Class AA team, to a 74-68 record and playoff berth this season. The Sox’ bench coach, who normally doubles as the manager’s right-hand man and confidant, will have a greater responsibility than usual because Ventura will be learning on the job.

Parent, 50, managed Class A Lakewood to the South Atlantic League championship in 2010. A former catcher, he played 13 seasons in the major leagues, including 1994 and part of ’95 with the Cubs.

He doesn’t fit the mold of the grizzled veteran bench coach, such as former major-league managers Rene Lachemann, 66, and John McLaren, 60, who reportedly are on the list of possibilities. Ventura does have ties to Lachemann — he shared his only coaching “experience” as a volunteer hitting instructor for Arroyo Grande (Calif.) High School, where Rene’s nephew was the coach. That’s not on Ventura’s resumé, of course, but he is close to the Lachemann family tree that includes Marcel Lachemann.

“It’s easy to say, ‘Pick somebody who has been around forever,’ ’’ Ventura said last week. “Sometimes it’s good to go with a guy who’s not at the end of a career, but a younger guy you totally trust baseball-wise and personality-wise if it’s going to work. Bring in guys who are committed and you trust.’’

That would seem to point more toward Parent. When Ventura was hired to manage the Sox on Thursday, he said he had identified a candidate from outside the organization whom the Sox needed permission to interview.

Ventura was hired by the Sox in June to be an adviser to director of player development Buddy Bell, a former manager who is ideally suited to be his bench coach. But Bell doesn’t like to travel and is needed in his current position.

Ventura has spoken mostly about the importance of getting the most out of his players, respect for the game, etc. He said playing under Joe Torre, Bobby Valentine and Jim Tracy late in his career shaped him as much as anything when it comes to managerial style.

Ozzie Guillen was not a strong proponent of metrics and statistical analysis. Ventura will probably use them to some degree.

“There is a way to use everything,’’ he said. “You can’t put everything into one basket and that’s going to work. The game has advanced to the point where you can use everything. It’s there for guys to use, for managers to use. Obviously, there has to be some of that with looking at the game, watching the game and feeling the game.’’

The Sox still need to name a hitting coach and announce Harold Baines’ role, as well as determine their base coaches. Pitching coach Don Cooper, who received a four-year extension, likely will have an even bigger say in all pitching decisions.

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