On Friday, the Chicago White Sox and manager Robin Ventura agreed to a multi-year contract extension. The details have yet to be announced as general manager Rick Hahn stated that the particulars of the deal would be kept private. In any event, the extension ensures that Ventura will be managing the White Sox beyond the 2014 season.
The announcement may have come as a surprise to some for three reasons. First, prior to the 2013 campaign, Ventura turned down a contract extension because he did not feel it was necessary with two years remaining on his current deal. Next, following a 99-loss season in 2013 many fans began to question if Ventura was the right man for the job going forward. Lastly, those two prior reasons combined left some fans wondering if Ventura even wanted to manage a rebuilding ballclub.
At the very least, the last question was answered with a resounding yes when Ventura signed off on the contract extension yesterday. Whether or not the fans think that Ventura deserved an extension is irrelevant. What matters is that Jerry Reinsdorf, Kenny Williams, and Rick Hahn still believe that Ventura is the right man to manage this team through a rebuilding process.
Honestly, the contract extension does not come as a surprise to me. When the White Sox hired Ventura to be their manager prior to the 2012 season, they believed he would develop into a great manager once he gained experience. Obviously, the first two years have not been ideal, but I can guarantee Robin learned a lot from the ups and downs his teams have experienced. In 2012, the White Sox led the American League Central Division for the majority of the season before surrendering their lead to the Detroit Tigers with three weeks left in the season. Based on how close the White Sox felt they were to winning the division in 2012, the front office did not believe that the roster needed to change much in the offseason. That would prove to be incorrect as the White Sox lost 99 games last season convincing the organization that it was time to start over. Since last July, the White Sox have added plenty of young talent and appear to be on the right track to compete in 2015 and beyond. Now that a plan is in place to rebuild the roster, it makes sense to lock up the manager that the organization feels very comfortable with and very confident in his leadership abilities.
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