It came down quickly, “The Sox name Ventura Manager”. I knew he was a good pet dick, but I didn’t think he did humans. Ohh, sorry, that’s the wrong Ventura.
You ever watch a baseball game and see a pitcher throw a perfect curve ball? I’m talking aone that buckles the hitters knees, while it breaks perfectly over the plate. I felt like that batter after the Sox announced that they hired Robin Ventura to succeed Ozzie Guillen as Manager of the Sox.
It’s not that I think Ventura won’t get the job done, it’s just that the hiring came out of nowhere. We’ve all heard the names bandied about: Dave Martinez, Sandy Alomar Jr., Terry Francona, Joe McEwing, Rybe Sandburg, and even Tony LaRussa. In not one article, blog or sports site, did I hear the name, Robin Ventura, mentioned.
Ventura comes with no experience. Guillen at least coached for the Marlins before he took over the as the Sox Skipper in 2004. Mind you, I am not a huge believer that a guy has to go pound the bushes in the minors to become a successful big league manager, but it would be nice if he had some experience.
Ventura did have a long, and distinguished career in Chicago, and is loved by everyone that I have ever talked within the organization. I tried to interview a few years ago during the spring, but was told that he doesn’t like to do media very much. That’ll change real quick. Not just in the spring, but once the Sox win or lose a few in a row.
I think the fact the Ventura is not Ozzie Guillen will make some in the Sox organization breathe a little easier. As a matter of fact, I bet Ventura is the polar opposite of Guillen. No more having to bleep out interviews. No more candid answers about random players. No more F’bombs tossed around like M&M’s. I know, I haven’t even talked with Ventura, but I can give you a 100% guarantee that he will have none of the pizzaz of Ozzie. Not saying that’s bad.
Looking back, Ventura was, maybe not an obvious choice, but a logical one. Once the Sox said that they were keeping coach Harold Baines, and pitching coach Don Cooper, you knew that that just about ended the search for a manager with experience. I’m sure LaRusssa and Terry Francona would have insisted in bringing in their own coaches. With Ventura, he gets what the Sox give him.
I wonder if Baines will now be the bench coach, while letting Ventura pick his 1st, 3rd and hitting coaches. Wouldn’t it be fun if Ventura named Greg Walker, his ex-teammate, as the hitting coach?
After 8 years of Guillen, I’m sure the Sox need a different voice in the clubhouse. Ventura will command respect from the word go, and has the talent on the team to get them back to the post season. As much as the managerial hire is important, it’s what the guys do on the field that matters most. Ventura will be surrounded by quality people, so any bumps in the road will be smoothed over quickly.
I don’t remember, but I bet there were quite a few people who questioned Ozzie Guillen’s hiring 8 years ago. 1 World Series title, and 2 playoff appearances later, nobody was complaining.
Man, if the Sox could’ve just waited 4 more days, they could have hired Ventura 8 years to the day from his last MLB appearance.
Big day on the South Side.
For those of you wondering, I’ll have plenty of time to talk about Ventura’s pounding at the hands of Nolan Ryan.