Robin Ventura lived up to his promise to the media. He addressed his job status after the conclusion of the season, and although it didn’t surprise anybody, it puts a button on the era just the same.
His first words: "I’m not gonna be back as manager next year. I just feel it’s the right time. It’s more of a personal decision than anything."
And he maintained that theme for the entire seven minutes or so of questioning. He presented it as his decision to make ("Because it was my decision, it was mutual ... it was me that initiated it."), which is still unsettling even if the result is the same. However, if there was any acrimony from the White Sox putting the onus on him through the media, he didn’t use any opening to tip his hand.
When asked whether he was disappointed with the way the leak altered the last week, he said, "Some of it’s probably my own fault, just saying we’re going to talk about it at the end of the season, so that leads up to all the other stuff."
When asked whether he sensed the front office trying to nudge him out, he issued a flat rejection. "We worked hard all the way to the end. This is me expressing this."
When asked about the players’ occasional backlashes, he shrugged them off. "There’s a lot of things that go on when you’re together a lot, and you're a family," he said. "Part of it is there’s some tough times and some tough love, a kick in the pants at other times. I just don’t publicly do it. But these guys all play hard. They went out and played hard, and that’s the main thing."
His voice wavered a little bit at times, although not as much as when he announced that Jeff Manto was fired back at the end of the 2013 season. That said, his answer about future plans indicated some level of burnout. When asked, he said he didn’t have plans to stay in the organization. Would he want to manage again in the future? "You never say never, but right now, no."
As for the presumed next White Sox manager, Rick Renteria, Ventura kept it short. "I don’t hire people around here. I know he’s a great guy, I know he’s very capable of doing that, but I don’t hire people around here."
Ventura’s last words? "And Tommy, the security guard." It made sense if you heard the preceding question, but isolating it from its context makes its own fun.