Because Robin Ventura is evenkeelednevergetstoohighnevergetstoolow, it makes me pay closer attention to situations where he might break character.
Bruce Chen games, much like the 3-0 loss we watched Wednesday evening, had a way of bringing barbs out of Ozzie Guillen. For instance, from last July:
"Bruce Chen once again," Guillen said. "This one was more painful than [the last] one. [Expletive] pathetic. No [expletive] energy. We just go by the motions. We take the day off today instead of tomorrow. If we go to Cleveland and play the way we play in Kansas City it's going to be a long-ass July."
Guillen said "nothing against Chen" twice in that rant, which is a one qualifier past sincerity. So after a game that was Chennier than most, I was curious to see how Ventura might react. Duck and cover, folks!
Yep, that's it. I thought we might see a little more frustration when he said they were "running a pop-up drill" for the Royals, but he then credited Chen for luring Sox htiters into trying to pull pitches they couldn't get on top of, and then it was "we have do to better" from there on out.
Ideally, there won't be many more -- if any more -- occasions to put the "vent" in "Ventura," which means that this totally believable footage might rise to the top of his Rants of the Year compilation. The list-makers might have to settle for his snarkiest shutdown lines instead.
(He did say Dewayne Wise was likely to start in place of Dayan Viciedo tonight, which is probably the most substantial part.)
On Hit and Run last weekend, Matt Spiegel and Barry Rozner had a pretty good interview with Kenny Williams. It's often less than enlightening when Williams talks, partially because of the restrictions that come with the job, but more so because he readied himself to dodge uncomfortable questions about Ozzie Guillen. With a wider variety of topics, it seems like he entered this interview with his guard a little lower than usual.
The whole thing is worth a listen, but among the highlights:
On giving up players: He said that Terry Ryan tells Williams to stop calling about Eduardo Escobar, and what it's like to see guys like Gio Gonzalez develop into premium players years after a deal.
On Jake Peavy and Kevin Youkilis: Williams said he would be interested in retaining both players if the price is right. His response about Peavy was longer and more enthusiastic, although perhaps because they asked about Peavy first. A one-sentence response about Youkilis could have merely meant "Same deal," although I think he has more emotions invested in Peavy.
On the Comeback Player of the Year: He separates Peavy from Alex Rios and Adam Dunn because his problems stemmed from an injury and unprecedented surgery, whereas Dunn and Rios (Dunn more than Rios, he thinks) suffered through the weight of a fan base coming down on them.
On expanded rosters: Spiegel brought up the idea of Ventura having too many options, and Williams sounded like he might agree with Spiegel, but phrased his concerns in terms of uniformity between teams. He says it's "ridiculous" and "mind-boggling" to have two teams playing a game with a varying amount of available players.
On the team MVP: He mentions a number of players, among them Orlando Hudson. Seriously.