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Alex Rios unhappy with last night’s benching

Jul 20, 2013, 9:00 PM EDT

Alex Rios AP

White Sox manager Robin Ventura benched outfielder Alex Rios after failing to run out a ground ball double play in yesterday’s 6-4 loss to the Braves. Prior to this afternoon’s game, when he went 3-for-5 with five RBI including a grand slam, he had been scuffling, posting a .367 OPS since his 6-for-6 game against the Tigers on July 9.

Rios told the media he would have preferred Ventura pull him aside privately to discuss the matter, rather than make a public example out of him. From MLB.com’s Scott Merkin:

“If he wants to make a statement for the team, it probably worked,” Rios added. “I don’t know what his intentions were. But that’s what I wanted to see.”

Ventura didn’t respond harshly to Rios’ critique. In a matter-of-fact but direct tone, Ventura said the moment was handled and you go from there. He also understood Rios’ request for the one-on-one admonishment, but made the basic point that physical errors are acceptable, but the same can’t be said for lack of hustle.

“Again, you’re handling it for 25 guys,” Ventura said. “I get where he’s coming from, but from where I’m coming, he probably understands how I have to do it.

No matter the case, Rios may have a new manager before the beginning of August. His sudden disappearance last night prompted many to speculate that the Pirates and White Sox had agreed to a trade, and several other teams — including the Red Sox — have been linked to him recently as well. Rios, 32, is earning $12.5 million this year, will earn another $12.5 million in 2014, and has a $13.5 million club option with a $1 million buyout for 2015.

  1. tfbuckfutter - Jul 20, 2013 at 9:04 PM

    Whining to the media about being unhappy with Robin Ventura?

    Seriously?

    The way a man handles the situation is to put him in a headlock and punch him in the head. Repeatedly. For awhile.

  2. jaysfan64 - Jul 20, 2013 at 9:05 PM

    No history here re: Rios – hell no…he’s innocent as a baby seal…
    Remember – he pissed off the Jays brass so much that they literally gave him to the White Sox…and BTW his replacement in RF was Jose Bautista…
    Remember – when Ventura played, he played the game right – the way it was supposed to be played…there weren’t any questions about his character…can’t say that about Rios…

    • Glenn - Jul 20, 2013 at 11:00 PM

      The Jays were able to unload Rios’ horrible contract that they gave him – not really just giving him away but giving away his horrible contract.

      Other than getting punched out by Nolan Ryan, Ventura’s most memorable moment was failing to run out a grand slam – just saying.

      • Bill Baer - Jul 20, 2013 at 11:09 PM

        Robin Ventura didn’t fail to run out a grand slam. Todd Pratt, who was on first, picked up Ventura in celebration.

        http://wapc.mlb.com/play/?content_id=13062971

    • dirtyharry1971 - Jul 21, 2013 at 3:05 AM

      Rios has done good since he left that train wreck known as the bluejays so what are you talking about? Jose is soo pumped up on god knows what, the rest of us know what he is about, check the stats before he came to the jays, the proof is in the pudding as they say

      • nbjays - Jul 21, 2013 at 1:56 PM

        Are you still beating that poor horse, ‘harry? Give it a rest, loser.

  3. scotttheskeptic - Jul 20, 2013 at 9:48 PM

    This guy is still playing on that ludicrous contract Toronto gave him? Should be exhibit A for any team when considering expensive long-term deals.

    • tfbuckfutter - Jul 20, 2013 at 10:27 PM

      Vernon Wells approves of your statement and doesn’t want you to notice him agreeing.

  4. bigleagues - Jul 20, 2013 at 10:01 PM

    ALEX RIOS IS UNHAPPY ABOUT BEING BENCHED LAST NIGHT?!

    WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAAHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHHHHHAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

    TRY RUNNING OUT A DOUBLE PLAY BALL NEXT TIME.

  5. provguard - Jul 20, 2013 at 10:43 PM

    Mr. Rios, your lack of hustle was on display for the public… Hustle and heart compliment each other and Alex has neither… Please do not come to my team….

  6. gloccamorra - Jul 21, 2013 at 9:59 AM

    Actually, they both were on the same page. Rios wanted to be given a talking-to in the office for his personal failing, which is standard procedure in employee-management relations, but he guessed Ventura wanted to use him to send a message to the team about hustling and playing hard.

    Ventura pretty much confirmed sending a message to the team was exactly what he was doing, and understood that anybody who isn’t just punished for his failing, but is held up as an example for others, has a beef about being the chosen one.

    Ventura has to make such statements to keep control of the team, and while Rios preferred private humiliation over a public one, there are 12.5 million reasons why he was the chosen one.

  7. rmcd13 - Jul 21, 2013 at 10:42 AM

    Ventura benching Rios is not good for the team. Rios is currently being shopped in the trade market and benching Rios can only serve to lower his value. Ventura let his ego get in the way of doing what’s best for the team.

    • nbjays - Jul 21, 2013 at 1:58 PM

      Ventura benching Rios is exactly what was needed. It sent a message to the rest of the team that lack of hustle won’t be tolerated. The only thing hurting Rios’s value is his whining about it instead of sucking it up and doing his job.

  8. louhudson23 - Jul 21, 2013 at 11:37 AM

    Jake it again….

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