As we wait for Robin Ventura to pass his probation period before the official press conference, I'd like to thank resident radio hawk 815Sox for pointing out that Ventura's interview on the Boers and Bernstein show is online. The embedded player above is for the entire first hour, but the segment is right smack-dab in the front, so there is no skipping necessary.
He addresses one point of contention in our debate over Ventura's desire to manage -- he said the thought of managing hadn't crossed his mind because he thought Guillen would be around for a while. So if he only wanted to work for the White Sox, it's a little easier to understand his initial reluctance if it were purely shock-induced.
But here was the major takeaway for us:
Laurence Holmes: What do you think of the idea of advanced metrics, and do you plan to use them as a manager?
Ventura: Well, I think there's a way to use everything. I mean, obviously you can't put everything into one basket and that's going to work. The game has advanced to a point where you get to use everything, and I think it's there for guys to use, for managers to use. Obviously there has to be some of that with, you know, looking at the game, and watching the game and feeling the game.
Which is about all anybody can expect him to say, given that he has to speak the same language as the players.
The whole interview is worth listening to. I'm using this introductory period to parse his words -- you know, get in some reps before we have to start doing it for good -- and a couple other takeaways in how he expresses himself:
1. "Obviously" : Robin Ventura :: "In the meanwhile" : Ozzie Guillen.
2. He's really easy to transcribe -- not just because English is his first language, but because he doesn't change direction mid-sentence. Neither of those traits are unique to Guillen -- hell, Mike Royko said that Richard J. Daley "slid sideways into a sentence, or didn’t exit from the same paragraph he entered."
This should be good for some goodwill from the beat writers, although a couple will probably still be reeling into the summer, because there will be far fewer "Get a load of what Robin said or did!" stories to mail in when time is tight.
3. He pointed to his last three managers -- Joe Torre, Bobby Valentine, Jim Tracy -- as ones likely to have an impact on his style. I can only hope he picks up on Tracy's tendency to answer his own questions. Can I explain why this would amuse me? No. Would it get annoying after a few months? Probably. But still.
And onto more meaningful things...
Christian Marrero Reading Room
Here's a good example of a newspaper serving as an institutional memory. Paul Sullivan dusted off his White Sox beat writer cap to relay a great story about Ventura in 1996. Can you imagine Jerry Reinsdorf saying this?
"But he's kind of a laid-back guy. When Harold Baines was here early in the '80s, no one really cared about him being laid back because we had a lot of goofballs like Ron Kittle and Greg Luzinski and Jerry Koosman and (Tom) Paciorek.
"But now, we don't have anybody of that nature. I think we have to get people with a little bit better personality. But they better be able to play."
Among many items related to Ventura and the White Sox's history of managers, Chris Jaffe comes up with another similar zero-experience manager besides A.J. Hinch in Arizona and Larry Dierker in Houston. It's not perfect, but we need all the comps we can get.
Mark Gonzales talks to former managers and players about Ventura, and if you're looking for one of his peers to mutter their first unkind word, you're going to be disappointed.
J.J. comes up with his random-assed White Sox lineup of the last decade, and I personally would've picked Gustavo Molina, since he went 1-for-18 in his South Side career. He didn't record a hit until his 10th game, which was also his last for the White Sox.