Jim Thome could join Mark Parent on White Sox’ coaching staff
by daryl van schouwen email@example.com October 17, 2011 9:36PM
Updated: November 19, 2011 8:50AM
Like Robin Ventura, Mark Parent has no experience as a major-league manager, but one veteran minor-leaguer who played for Parent this season believes he will be a big-league manager.
“I told my dad during the season, Mark is going to manage in the big leagues someday,’’ said outfielder Mike Spidale, a 29-year-old former White Sox draft choice out of Nazareth Academy who batted .326 for the Phillies’ Class AA Reading club this season.
“I’m ecstatic that he got the opportunity this year to be a big-league coach. He’s earned it, and he’s going to do a good job.’’
Parent, a 13-year backup catcher in the majors, is expected to be named Sox bench coach next to Ventura, who was named manager 12 days ago.
“I loved him,’’ Spidale said. “Probably my favorite manager in 12 years of [professional] ball. You can tell right away when somebody knows what he’s doing. He’s an ex-catcher, so he knows all aspects of the game, but more important than that, he’s a real good motivator.’’
As a Detroit Tiger in 1996, Parent was managed by Sox farm director Buddy Bell, who’s playing an important role in helping Ventura assemble his staff.
Class AAA Charlotte manager Joe McEwing is expected to become the third-base coach.
Sox farm-system hitting instructors Jeff Manto or Tim Laker are thought to be the top candidates to replace Greg Walker as hitting coach, but don’t rule out the Sox making a play for a bigger name such as Jim Thome.
Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf loves Thome, 41, whose playing career likely has come to an end after 21 seasons and 604 home runs. The two share the annual habit of meeting for dinner to talk about life and baseball after the season, and a major-league source said Reinsdorf was eager to move this year’s meeting up.