In 2012, Manager Robin Ventura guided the Chicago White Sox to an 85 win season, resulting in a 2nd place finish in the American League Central Division. The White Sox led the division for most of the season, but were unable to hold off the Detroit Tigers in September causing them to miss the playoffs. Considering that the White Sox were not expected to contend last season, Ventura’s first managerial season was considered a success. So much that General Manager Rick Hahn, and the White Sox brass, offered Ventura a one year extension to his contract earlier last week. After taking some time to think about it, Ventura turned down the extension last Wednesday that would keep him as manager through the 2015 season. As a result, Ventura still has two years left on his current deal and feels there is plenty of time to figure things out. In a statement released, Ventura stated:
“It’s flattering and nice and everything, but in talking to Rick, we have two more years to do this. We have good communication and everything is fine. I think this is my contract. I was the same way as a player. I’ll worry about it at the end of it. For them, I want them to have two years to think I’m still the right guy for the job for that to continue to go. It wasn’t anything that was a big deal, so I’m not holding out for anything or disappointed in not wanting to stay here. I think at the end of that, that’s when you talk about it. I’m not worried about trying to extend anything right now. I’m more worried with this team in this spring training than I’m worried about 2015.”
At first, I was wondering why Ventura turned down the extension. Usually, you would expect a manager to accept a contract extension for more security and money. However, after hearing his reasons, I understand and respect Ventura’s decision to turn down the extension. As a former player that had a long successful career, Ventura most likely has financial stability and is not managing for the money. This decision proves that Ventura is only focused on continuing to do his job, and that he wants to be the White Sox manager because he loves the organization. Considering that the White Sox are very loyal to their former players, expect Ventura to get offered and accept a more long term extension provided that the White Sox are contending during the next two seasons. When former GM Kenny Williams hired Ventura prior to the 2012 season, Williams had visions of Ventura being the manager for a substantial amount of time. If things go right, Williams will have his wish and Ventura will indeed be on the south side for years to come.
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