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Robin Ventura replaces Ozzie Guillen as White Sox manager

Oct 6, 2011, 4:54 PM EDT

robin ventura white sox

Lots of names have been linked to the White Sox’s managerial opening since Ozzie Guillen went to the Marlins on September 28, but in the end the choice came out of nowhere.

In a surprise move the White Sox announced that Robin Ventura will replace Guillen as their new manager.

Ventura played 10 seasons for the White Sox as a power-hitting, Gold Glove-winning (and Nolan Ryan-fighting) third baseman–with Guillen often next to him at shortstop–retiring in 2004 at age 36. Since then he’s been a television analyst for college games on ESPN

“I wanted someone who met very specific criteria centered around his leadership abilities and Robin Ventura was that man,” general manager Ken Williams told reporters.

This is a certainly a bold, shocking move by Williams and the White Sox, but Ventura’s lack of experience makes it tough to have an opinion on his ability to do the job. He’s generally well respected around baseball, but has zero coaching track record aside from working with his son’s high school team.

  1. bravesman1983 - Oct 6, 2011 at 4:57 PM

    Robin’s specialty will be instructing his players on how to get their asses beaten by men twice their age.

    • thefalcon123 - Oct 6, 2011 at 5:10 PM

      • aceshigh11 - Oct 6, 2011 at 6:10 PM

        That NEVER gets old.

        How badass is Nolan Ryan? Total, complete and utter pwnage, before pwnage even existed.

      • Old Gator - Oct 7, 2011 at 9:11 AM

        I hope Ventura doesn’t manage the way he dove headfirst into that hammerlock.

  2. proudlycanadian - Oct 6, 2011 at 5:00 PM

    He will need a strong group of coaches helping him.

    • Old Gator - Oct 7, 2011 at 9:16 AM

      Heh heh. That reminds me of the Republican spin machine during the 2000 election – well, maybe he is an idiot, but we’ll surround him with the best advisors we have….

  3. ikedavisnose - Oct 6, 2011 at 5:00 PM

    I hope this works out I always liked him on the Mets especially in 1999

  4. - Oct 6, 2011 at 5:04 PM

    Wow, that came out of no-where. I like it when GM’s take risks on guys with little to no experience. As opposed to hiring some re-run “Baseball Guy” with lots of experience. Like say Buddy Bell, Jim Riggleman, Larry Bowa, or Bob Geren.

    • jdd428 - Oct 6, 2011 at 5:10 PM

      Sure, but how about someone with no experience who was actually on a MLB coaching staff – ie. Dave Martinez or Sandy Alomar Jr. Ozzie was on an MLB coaching staff when he was hired with no managerial experience. Ventura is a bigger gamble than Guillen was.

  5. bloodysock - Oct 6, 2011 at 5:10 PM

    I think the Busch Stadium squirrel would have bene a better choice.

    • 78mu - Oct 7, 2011 at 11:38 AM

      The squirrel can’t lead drills next spring on how to get out of a headlock.

      All a squirrel can teach is how to run away. Come to think of it, that might have been a good lesson for Ventura to have learned before he charged Ryan.

  6. trevorb06 - Oct 6, 2011 at 5:15 PM

    They figured it’s working for the Diamondbacks with Gibson, so heck… why not? Right?

    • bloodysock - Oct 6, 2011 at 6:06 PM

      Gibson had MLB coaching experience with the Tigers in 2003 then as the D-Backs bench coach in 2007. After A.J. Hinch was fired, he became interim manager and then manager. A bit different than Ventura.

  7. halladaysbiceps - Oct 6, 2011 at 5:16 PM

    I hear that Robin Ventura used Nolan Ryan as a character reference to get the job.

  8. cur68 - Oct 6, 2011 at 5:23 PM

    Well, the stage is set for the Rangers v ChiSox next season, I think. If Ventura wants any revenge at all this now his chance to do it. I wonder how many Ranger batters get hit?

  9. Lukehart80 - Oct 6, 2011 at 5:28 PM

    If you pick a fight with someone and get your butt kicked, I guess you’ve got no one to blame for the fallout but yourself. At the same time, I think it’s unfortunate that those few seconds have become Ventura’s legacy, instead of being known as one of the five or six best defensive 3B of all time.

    • Old Gator - Oct 7, 2011 at 9:13 AM

      …the way Ryan will be remembered as one of the five or six best .500 pitchers of all time.

  10. xmatt0926x - Oct 6, 2011 at 6:00 PM

    This is a bold move. I assume the days of an ex-player (no matter how good) toiling in the low minors as a coach or manager and working his way up after several years are over. At the same time though, shouldn’t you expect that the guy has at least coached just a little bit? Guys like Ryne Sandberg has to be wondering what the hell is going on out there.

  11. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Oct 6, 2011 at 7:29 PM

    Maybe he’ll play 3B for the ChiSox too. Can’t be worse than what they’ve been running out there since Crede went down.

  12. antlerclaws - Oct 6, 2011 at 7:45 PM

    Supposedly Ryan and Ventura have long since made up, it was just one of those “heat of the moment” things and there were no real hard feelings. However, it did become Ventura’s legacy for better or worse.

    So what are the White Sox going to show on the big screen before their games? Their manager getting his butt kicked? (Actually it was pretty much getting in a headlock and then having the fists of fury delivered to his face for a few seconds before the rest of both teams got out there.)

  13. bigtrav425 - Oct 6, 2011 at 10:36 PM

    balls of steel with this move

    • Old Gator - Oct 7, 2011 at 9:14 AM

      Too shiny. They must be brass.

  14. Spiro Agnew - Oct 7, 2011 at 11:12 AM

    The white sox just earned themselves at least one more fan. With Ventura as manager I personally will be following them very closely.

  15. firekenwilliams - Oct 7, 2011 at 2:04 PM

    I like Robin Ventura. He is a good man and definitely worthy of being a coach, but he’s not ready to be a manager.

    Ken Williams and Don Copper just wanted to get somebody they can control.

    Jerry Reinsdorf screwed over the Sox by picking Williams over Ozzie Guillen. Williams has produced two playoff teams in 11 years as general manager. That resembles Adam Dunn’s batting average. His farm system has been one of the worst in baseball.

    The Sox are going to suck for many years to come.

  16. materialman80 - Oct 7, 2011 at 4:08 PM

    I’d say they traded up.

  17. marsh78 - Oct 7, 2011 at 10:51 PM

    Pretty boneheaded move on Kenny Williams’ part, especially when there are experienced managers available with good records. Maybe Kenny should become the new GM of the Cubs. He would fit right in!

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