Watching this MLB Network video recounting how Robin Ventura rolled out of bed and guided the White Sox to first place in mid-September, it reminds me of something that came up during his weekend's White Sox-Twins series: Ozzie Guillen really is in the past.
Well, duh, but let me elaborate.
Over the course of the weekend, I really didn't think, hear, or read about Ron Gardenhire much. He was there, of course. The camera showed him making pitching changes and thinking about making pitching changes. But he was just another manager.
That was never the case when Guillen was around, because they had forged a relationship and had plenty to talk about when their teams met. Ventura doesn't talk more than he has to, so he didn't offer any insight about his counterpart. Basically, Gardenhire is basically Ned Yost or even somebody like John Farrell, relative to the past.
Since Ventura is the new guy, all the commentary -- and because of the Sox's standing, it's entirely praise -- flows in his direction. Alas, Ventura's personality doesn't stand out to distant observers, so the insights are limited and ultimately blend together. Take the accompanying story to the video, or Jim Leyland's recent comments, and fill out your RoBingo cards accordingly:
- he doesn't get too high
- one day at a time
- He's the same guy
- have a calming influence
- the complete opposite
- let them play
He hasn't even finished his first season, but it's all old news, and that makes the footage and stories of Guillen's explosive/effusive tendencies look and sound even more dated than they actually are. I don't have a problem with this.
While we may not be fans of the way Ventura has relied on September call-ups for situation above their pay grade, it doesn't sound like Ventura is going to whittle down his options. Paul Konerko's comments are interesting, because apparently the players are caught off guard by the usage, too.
Jose Quintana is tanned, rested and ready for today's start against the Tigers, and he said he's planning on attacking them away, just like he did in his last start -- although A.J. Pierzynski is ready to adjust if they catch on.
Jeff Manto isn't ashamed to live and die by the long ball, because it's what the offense is best at. While Ventura has said he likes when the Sox score without homers, Manto has a different opinion: "To get a run by something other than a home run, it’s nice. But it takes too long.’’
There was a strange appeal play (video) in Saturday's Indians-Tigers game, which featured Alex Avila missing third base while running home, and Quintin Berry ttrying to steal it on the toss over on the appeal. This article is a good explanation of the play's moving parts.
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer discovered some photos from the Seattle Pilots' only season. Ball Four fans should enjoy these, but there are also a few photos of the White Sox in those slick 1969 jerseys.