The Chicago White Sox are staring at the most important week of their season. Nearly one-third into the MLB year the White Sox find themselves scuffling, looking for answers that can turn their once promising season around. A 23-10 start, followed by a slide for the ages, leave the White Sox on the brink, and it is only June. It is time for a managerial move.
The original answer to the Chicago White Sox woes was to change the roster up a little bit. Pitchers John Danks and Mat Latos, along with shortstop Jimmy Rollins, were sent packing. A trade bringing in pitcher James Shields took place. Top prospect Tim Anderson has made his way to the everyday lineup, and yet something seems wrong. Fingers are beginning to point in Robin Ventura’s direction.
It is not as if the White Sox is a great skipper. That remains a question even after five years commanding the post. He does not seem to give the team the missing desire to alter their fortunes.
Ventura’s indifference has led to the White Sox reevaluating his status as the team’s manager.
According to CBS Local Chicago’s Bruce Levine, the Chicago White Sox are noncommittal to the embattled leader of the clubhouse.
After the announcement of the Justin Morneau signing, White Sox general manager Rick Hahn was asked about Ventura’s status with the team.
“I don’t think you have ever seen me telegraph any move or comment on any individual. The best thing you do is rally around the guys you have here. My job is to put them in the best position to win, with the people you have in this clubhouse.”
There are some questions regarding Hahn’s ability to put together a great. Not because of his talent as a general manager, but that his team is always hamstrung by salary limitations. The Chicago White Sox ownership wants to win, but not at all costs. It was evident by how the team approached MLB free agency.
Coming into the season, there was a glaring need for a left-handed power-hitting outfielder. When it came down to making deals, not a single top outfielder was signed. Two of them, Yoenis Cespedes and Alex Gordon, chose to remain with the New York Mets and Kansas City Royals respectively. Justin Uptown signed a huge deal with the Detroit Tigers. Difficult to say if the White Sox did enough to try and lure each player to Chicago. At the end of the day, it all about the results. The White Sox failed to land either player, therefore, the lasting impression leaves an empty feeling.
Not only did the White Sox strike out on the top outfielders, but the secondary free agency market was just as unkind. They did reach a deal with Austin Jackson, who helped a ton on defense before he wound up on the disabled list. Jackson, prior to his meniscus tear, struggled at the plate.
The White Sox are that team with big dreams, yet they have no direction in terms of getting there.
If the plan is to spend money on free agents, then the White Sox cannot go halfway. Yet, every offseason seems like an attempt to catch lightning in a bottle. Astute observations suggest that rebuilding the team is the best approach. It has been over a decade since the White Sox have tried a reboot.
No only is Rick Hahn limited with what options he has at his disposal, it makes it difficult to determine whether or not Robin Ventura can be a competent baseball manager. Thus far, just from judging how Ventura handles in-game situations, it appears that he may be in way over his head.
Most MLB managers would have taken the fall by now. Not Robin Ventura. Not with the Chicago White Sox and the loyalty that the organization shows at times to a fault. Determining Ventura’s fate may be where Rick Hahn is hamstrung the most. That is, at least until now.
With the offensive struggles of Jackson and the rest of the batters, the White Sox should not be in the position they are in. There is an 11-game backslide in the standings that is taking place with the team. It has begun the Robin Ventura watch in earnest. The Chicago White Sox are finally reevaluting his status as the manager.
Robin Ventura and the Chicago White Sox must have a winner of a week.
[Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images]